"Scamper is easy to take of and is growing to be a healthy, friendly and a little mischievous," says Pranab, who is glad he adopted a mongrel instead of wasting money on an expensive pure breed. Animal Nepal and other shelters in Kathmandu rescue stray and abandoned dogs from the streets, treat them for skin and other diseases and put them up for adoption.
According to a dog census earlier this year, there are over 22,000 stray dogs inside the Ring Road. Unlike the Municipality that still poisons stray dogs to control their population, Animal Nepal holds regular mobile sterilisation clinics.
Animal Nepal has started a campaign called 'Adopt a Nepali Dog' to get dog owners to turn to Nepali mongrels and this year alone 14 dogs from the shelter have found happy homes.
"These dogs are used to having people around them, so they are very friendly and good natured," says Lucia de Vries of Animal Nepal, and adds there are upsides to adopting a mongrel as opposed to the fashionable pure breeds.
Mongrels are healthier, easier to take care of and more adaptable. A mongrel pet is also more economical, they don't have a price tag and the maintenance cost is low. Animal Nepal provides free medical care for one year after adoption.
Surendra Kuwar Basnet, the vet at the sanctuary discourages families from purchasing costly pure breeds. "A pure breed puppy can costs as much as 20,000," says Basnet. There are numerous 'puppy mills' that focus on the business rather than on dog welfare.
Surprisingly, while Nepalis run after pure breeds, there is a demand in India for Nepali mongrels which are known for their hardy and friendly nature and are sold as Himalayan Breeds. Traders even smuggle up to 20 street puppies in one small cage, cover it up with jute bags and traffick them across the border for sale. Many die en route.
Animal Nepal alone took care of 36 rescued puppies last year, and the shelter found homes for all of them.
Says Vries: "We tell families why buy a German shepherd, Japanese Spitz or Tibetan Mastiff when you can have all in one for free?"
K-9 Unit, STUTI SHARMA
A police academy for sniffer dogs becomes an invaluable part of the Nepal Police
A dog's best friend, MICHAEL COX
Sterilising street dogs to control their numbers is far more humane than poisoning them
K9-Friendly, SUBEKSHA POUDEL
Communities come to the rescue as dogs languish in the streets
Friendly dogs (and a cat) looking for loving homes