Every year in Nepal at least 200 people die from rabies after being bitten by dogs. The fear of rabies has led to the country turning against its stray dog population.
In Kathmandu there are over 20,000 stray dogs. Until recently the local authority resorted to poisoning these animals, causing them to convulse in agony for many hours before dying.
Not only is this method cruel, random culling doesn’t reduce the spread of rabies.
WSPA is working with partner organization the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Center (KAT) to address the local stray dog problems.
The KAT center neuters dogs, vaccinates them against rabies and provides any veterinary care they need. The dogs are tattooed and receive an ear mark to indicate that they have been treated. Once fully recovered, the dogs are returned to their original neighborhoods.
The center also performs emergency treatment for stray dogs and makes weekly educational visits to Kathmandu schools.
Since the program started there has been a visible improvement in the health of Kathmandu’s stray dogs and the stray population has reduced.
This project has provided an effective alternative to poisoning dogs and is helping to change the attitudes of both the public and the Government.