STREET DOGS OF NEPAL
On a recent visit to Nepal with an old school friend I came across the Monkey Temple or Swayambunath Stupa. I had already visited Delhi in India where the dog situation was really horrendous and also Lahore in Pakistan where Bears were chained by the roadside and scrawny white chickens awaited their fate in cramped tiered cages in the blistering heat. By the time I reached Nepal I was feeling helpless and frustrated as I couldn’t do anything to help these unfortunate animals.
As I was staying in Kathmandu for 8 days I had began feeding street dogs when I could. Every street had local dogs suffering from different ailments and starvation. One couldn’t sleep at night with the barking of the dogs and fights breaking out between the wandering male dogs.
On the 5th day in Kathmandu I visited the Swayambunath Stupa This great Stoup is said to have been built around 250 B.C. It is a Buddhist temple occupied by lots of Monkeys and set high on a mountain in Kathmandu. It is accessed by about 400 steps. Despite my lack of fitness I made it to the top of the Monkey Temple. I realised then that many more street dogs occupied this site as they were lined up panting on the stone slabs. About 15 were apparent, all but two or three suffering from severe mange and dehydration. Some scratched continuously but many just lay in the dust breathing heavily and with their barely covered ribs protruding. I felt many were near death. This was indeed a bad situation but I felt I had to try and help them, even just for today.
I saw some monks feeding one little black dog who was obviously trying hard to digest the rice from their hands, this was causing his stomach to heave, obviously causing great pain, I felt he was dying before my eyes. The lack of food and water had left him slowly clinging on to life. Others lay silently on the ground with their skin flaked dry, wrinkled and purple, fights with the Monkeys left them with injuries that had become infected. Coupled with no regular food or water this was something I had to try rectify.That day all I could do was buy up biscuits, smoked fish and bottled water, (the only available food) in a little shop. Some boys helped me distribute this and I eventually came down from the temple and went to the nearest vet. Unfortunately he was closed but first thing next morning I rang him and arranged to meet him. This Veterinary Surgeon turned out to be Rai Djanraj who without hesitation offered to feed and medicate the suffering dogs with my financial assistance. Nepal is a poor country with little money to spare but with kind people.
The outcome of this brief yet very productive meeting has led to the ‘Street Dogs of Nepal rescue’. Rai and I exchanged details and I left a little money for him to help some of the dogs I had seen. We both agreed it was a serious situation for these animals and I was even more upset to learn there were 40-50 more dogs including litters of pups at the temple. I vowed to help in any capacity I could, money was needed to treat and feed these dogs and I felt people ought to be told of their plight, hence the website. On my return home a friend Gill who is also involved in Greyhound rescue kindly agreed to design the website for me at no cost. I was determined to keep my promise to Rai and the dogs, although I am sure he felt he would never hear from me again.
Well thankfully, since being there in February 2006, I have kept enough money going to Nepal to cover Food and Veterinary expenses. Short term this is helping a lot but long term Rai and I feel a permanent base for dogs to be held and treated should be our goal. I have received weekly reports via email about the progress of the dogs from Rai and I trust him without question. I love recognising some of the dogs that Rai calls the ‘worst’ dogs and their amazing return to good health , if indeed they ever before had regular food in their lives I will never know. I would guess they had short hungry, pain-filled lives for the most part. One dog Karma who was bald with mange and starving has been adopted by a monk and lives with him happily. He looks like a different dog now and so are many of the others. It is really vital that what we have started continues. This project is indeed ‘do-able’ and Rai, Gill and I are committed to keeping the Stupa dogs bellies full as long as we are able.
Please help in any way you can. Every dogs life is precious, every animal counts.
….a little goes a long way in Nepal…please send some donations now so that lives can be saved, this is a genuine appeal to anyone who can help in any way.”
We need another -71 signatures so that we can Rescue work in Kathmandu Nepal.
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