Thank you, dear supportes, volunteers and SDC friend's! Enjoy our Newsletter Summer 2015! It's a long one…so many things have happened…
In this edition:
1. Volunteer Wiebke's experience with SDC
2. Rabies vaccination campaign 2015
3. experience of volunteer Arlette, during the earthquake time at SDC
4. Introducing our kennel sponsors
5. Dog stories (Billy, Luti & Birke) -
our adopted dogs: Arthur, Findus, Khaire and Snowy
6. dogs that found a new home (Shanti-Padme)
7. Dogs that need a new home - Bulla
8. Magazine articles about SDC (Germany and Switzerland)
9. How to support SDC - bags and calendars
1. Volunteer Wiebke's experience with SDC:
I first read about Street Dog Care two years ago and finally made it to Nepal in February this year. It was my first trip completely alone far away like this, that's why I only planned to stay for 4 weeks in Boudha with Street Dog Care, but in the end I was amazed how fast the time passed. From the first day, I felt completely comfortable at Street Dog Care - and in Boudha - so it felt like I just skipped the adaptation phase that many people experience when visiting Nepal. I initially met Jasmine, the SDC program manager at the Saturday Camp, and the rest of the staff at the centre. I am so grateful I met all these wonderful people and dogs! They made it easy for me to feel welcome and needed.
On my second day we brought one of the dogs, Mero, to his new home at a horse farm. This was one of many incredible experiences – to see a street dog finding a lovely home like that. Driving there was a big adventure, squashed into a taxi with the entire staff of SDC (5 people) plus Mero, me and the taxi driver! Unfortunately it was a really difficult time for Street Dog Care when I was in Nepal, with a lot of dogs being sick on the streets and losing dogs at the centre without exactly knowing the cause for their death. I accompanied one of them, Mitro, each day for hours to the vet where he got his i.v. infusion, but in the end the disease was too strong, and he died.
But there were also joyful things happening that I was so glad to witness. For example, I drove to the vet a few times with Tommy who had a big tumour, and it was so unbelievable to see the tumor shrink after just one dose of chemotherapy. It was also a privilege to help bring My Kyi to the airport to send her to her new family in France.
I fell in love with all the dogs at the centre but especially with one, Sani Dhunkar. Sanu told me her story about having a really tough time with skin disease and living on a waste dump near a guesthouse. I think we just found each other and in the end I couldn't help it and decided to adopt her. I am so much looking forward to have her with me soon. When I had to leave to go back to Germany I was so sad. It felt like leaving a family behind. I had such a wonderful and precious time at SDC! I am so glad I applied for volunteering. It was the best thing I could do! And I am absolutely sure I will come back! :)
Please spread the word:
Street Dog Care is looking for more volunteers!!!
If you are interested, please e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Rabies vaccination….
C.H.A.N.C.E has supported our rabies campaigns for over 5 years. The rabies vaccination program, which they fund annually, was actually taking place as the first earthquake hit Nepal with such devastating impact on the 25th April 2015. In the first photograph of the team, Jasmine Brocking who manages the Centre in Boudha, Kathmandu is on the far left.
Here is their report:
Report from Street Dog Care 2015 Mass Rabies Vaccination Campaign in Boudha Area
Street Dog Care (SDC), through the generous support of Shenpen and C.H.A.N.C.E for NEPAL (UK), was successful in vaccinating a total of 808 dogs in and around the Boudha area, reaching approximately 80 percent of the region’s dog population.
Starting at the Boudha Stupa, four teams of volunteers, and four veterinarians worked out from all main roads and side roads; from Mahankal Road to Chabahil, from Jorpati towards Mahankal Road/Medical college, including all side roads, from Boudha main road to Jorpati. We covered mainly the northern area of the main road, as visible in the map below. During this weekend we were able to finish about 500 vaccinations and were planning to finish the other half during the second weekend. Unfortunately this was not possible, due to the earthquake and we could only finish a total of 808 vaccinations this year, please read the report below.
During the second weekend we covered the southern areas of the main road, from Jorpati towards the Bagmati River, and Tusal to Pashupati - including all side roads.
Vaccinations were administered directly on the street at the dogs’ natural residences, and no dogs were removed from their territory, further reducing likelihood of stress. The dogs generally received us kindly, with gentle, humane means of capture used on those dogs who were more fearful of people.
Each vaccinated dog was marked and photographed. Photographs were uploaded to our website and Facebook page offering community members and tourists an efficient method of searching out vaccinated dogs in the case of adoption, dog fights, or bites.
On the first day of our second planned mass vaccination weekend the big earthquake occurred. Unfortunately we were not able to finish our goal of 1000 dogs at a later date, as we weren’t able to refrigerate the remaining 200 unused vaccinations due to a lack of power. Nevertheless, we were lucky enough to be able to finish a total of 808 vaccinations during the whole rabies campaign and are still happy about the result, despite it being a very difficult time for all the team, people and animals in the Kathmandu valley.
Here is a small report about what happened on that day:
It was almost lunchtime on Saturday, April 25th when the first earthquake occurred. Our staff and volunteer groups were carrying out our street dog vaccinations – with 300 already completed. The aim was to reach 500 dogs during that weekend, so as to fulfill our goal of 1000 vaccinated dogs in the Boudha area. Half way through, we were stopped by a display of nature’s force so strong that Kathmandu is no longer the same city we knew before. Our teams were luckily out in the streets when the ground first started shaking. Then came long waiting times, full of fear and uncertainty while experiencing the many aftershocks. We went together with dogs to fields or other safe places, away from buildings and walls that threatened to fall down and crumble. Nobody knew yet what was really going on. As the afternoon came, our teams met at the dog centre and we could see, to our relief, that everybody was safe.
Artoo (one of our centre dogs) ran almost 4 km towards the Bagmati river after the first shock, where he was found by volunteer Laura as her team followed up with the rabies vaccinations. He returned with them by taxi and was again safe with us, sharing a tent with Maya, our cook. Luckily for Artoo, Laura was there to recognize and help him…otherwise he might have gone too far to return, running away scared and confused as he was. Once we were back, we were happy to see that the house of our centre was still standing. No one had been even harmed; we were all fortunate to have survived.
During later aftershocks, a wall in the quarantine area of our centre collapsed, but no dog got hurt. Our clinic and several walls had cracks, a wall was in danger of falling in the main area, and the cement floor was broken, but all these damages were minor compared to what happened in downtown Kathmandu or in the villages. There were also tents around the stupa where people slept: dogs Oscar, Punte and Lute were sharing that encampment with people who either lost their houses or were too scared to return.
During the nights, everybody stayed at the dog centre or slept outside in the fields for safety. We had enough food and water for a couple of days. There was initially no power and we had communications, however, given the dramatic proportion of the earthquake, we know we were very lucky.
By vaccinating 808 dogs approximately 80% of the region’s dog population, SDC has significantly reduced the likelihood of rabies outbreak, thereby ensuring public health of Boudha and surrounding areas. Boudha’s street dogs are now less threatened by the risk of contracting rabies. This in turn has created a safer, healthier, stress-free street dog population.
3. experience of volunteer Arlette, during the earthquake time at SDC
My volunteering time at SDC in April 2015.
HOW IT STARTED
In October 2012 I saw a flyer for Street Dog Care at Fire & Ice Restaurant in Thamel, Kathmandu. Since then, dogs follow me all the time during my stays in Nepal.
While on trek in Mustang (former independent Buddhist Kingdom, now part of Nepal) a dog accompanied me for a while and became very special in my life.
Last year I made a journey to Tibet and you already guessed what happened, exactly, during the trekking to Samye Monastery a dog followed me for quite a long time.
This was a sign for me and during the night, the SDC flyer came into my mind again.
I decided I wanted to get to know Street Dog Care and arranged a meeting with Jasmine, the program manager. From that time on, my view of both the dogs in Nepal and life in general changed.
I wanted to work at SDC and, as soon as I got back home, I arranged my volunteering.
FIRST DAY ON THE JOB
Together with friends and family, I gathered a box full of supplies and arrived with it on April 1st in Boudha. Right away it felt like coming home. There were 2 days to acclimatize before starting to work, but the SDC dogs were calling me (what is it with these dogs ☺), so I went to the centre immediately.
How nice, great and lovely being there again, there was such a nice atmosphere, I cannot exactly describe what it was, but my feelings told me that I was at the right place.
My first working day started with the Saturday Health Camp. It was a big experience, everything was new, so much to learn, so many people and dogs visited us that day. What a great and special day!
The full moon and lunar eclipse made it even more special with its many butter lamps and colours round the stupa.
My second day and the following days/weeks were dedicated to Posar, a lovely black and white dog. He came into the center a few days before I arrived. He had tumours on his whole body, a lot of open wounds; he was very weak, but on the other hand also very strong.
My first thought was: “My God, how can he live, how can he survive, he suffers so much.”
I talked to him – as I am an animal communicator – and noticed he had a strong will to live, so we made an “arrangement” that we would manage this together.
We went to the vet many, many times and he got better and better, stronger and stronger.
I am so proud of him. I learned a lot from him - be strong and fight, even though life is not like you wish or not as you would like it to be! It was like a ritual for me going with him to the vet, preparing him for the drive, being together.
I am very grateful I had this opportunity. During my stay he really got better and better and back home in Munich I learned that he moved from the quarantine area to the isolation area.
I was so happy hearing that, but he still has a long way to go. Let us pray he will manage this terrible disease, so that he can enjoy life for the time being!
Posar still has a big influence on my life, as well as the earthquake, which hit Nepal on April 25th. At 11.56 am time stood still, the earth quaked and nothing would be the same anymore …
We were out in the field for the yearly rabies vaccinations. I was really looking forward to it and curious how it would be, as the vaccinations were given to the “real” street dogs, and till then I was only used to the nice street dogs of the centre, or the stupa, who get to know you after a while. As the “dog catcher”, I had to approach them with cookies, nice talking and catch them, and after that Kamala, the vet technician, gave the vaccination and a colour mark on the back.
We had a lot of fun during the camp, we were a really well attuned team, and everybody had his/her task. The vaccinating was going very well. In no time we had more empty than full injections ☺
Then the earth quaked … We didn´t exactly know what happened at that time, but after a while, we realized what was going on, but didn´t know what damage there was all over the country and how many people died.
The atmosphere was strange – the streets were empty, people gathered on the fields and open spaces, and shops were closed. Boudha was completely different, changing from a beautiful and peaceful place where people do their kora´s, into a desolate and quiet space without any butter lamps.
AFTER THE QUAKE
During the first night after the quake I slept outside, because there were a lot of aftershocks. It was very strange sleeping outside, but I was accompanied by … exactly … a dog. He slept on my bed at my feet for the whole night. It was very nice and calming for me, so I could sleep a little bit. After a few days I flew back home with very mixed feelings. On the one hand I wanted to go home to my husband, friends and family, but on the other hand I wanted to stay, help the people, animals, dogs in Nepal …
One thing is for sure – the earthquake, the volunteering time and dogs changed/will change my life!
Dhanyabad (thank you) to all the people I got to know at Street Dog Care and who supported me during my stay. I learned a lot from them, they are very special, for me they are angels to the dogs and the people who work with them.
And of course last but not least, dhanyabad to all the street dogs. They “pushed/pulled” me into this direction, and a completely different world has opened to me!
4.introducing our kennel sponsors:
In the coming editions of the newsletter we will introduce our kennel sponsors of SDC. These are kind people around the world, who have decided to sponsor a kennel at SDC centre. When you sponsor a kennel you are assigned a kennel number and a dog. Usually we send updates about this particular dog and once the dog is well enough to leave for the road, or is adopted, the sponsor will get a new dog, which can recover in their kennel. This way people know what is going on in their kennel and how the dog is improving or what is happening to him. Sometimes we bring very good news and sometimes sad news. We also have a few resident dogs for sponsorship.
In this edition we like to introduce two of our sponsors, Ray Townson from the UK and Ginny Carlin from the US.
Ray Townson is the sponsor of Maya. He was interested in sponsoring one dog and decided on Maya – one of our permanent resident dogs who live in the entrance part of the centre. Recently she developed a problem with her eye and after examination, the vet told us that she would need an operation. Unfortunately, Maya had a tumor, and her eye had to be removed, but she was very brave and made a good recovery. Ray was very worried about her well-being and kept her constantly in his thoughts. His good wishes for her have surely helped her to heal quicker. Ray also decided to sponsor the new wooden boxes at the entrance gate, as the old ones were falling apart. Now Maya and the other dogs are enjoying their new sleeping place.
Luckily, Ginny Carlin also decided to sponsor a kennel with us. She is an animal lover, and visited SDC some years ago. Later she contacted us about a sponsorship and is now helping Julie - a permanent resident dog, who is looking for a lovely home. When Julie first came to us she was paralyzed and had two puppies. She suffered a lot, not being able to walk, but still needing to take care of her babies. One of her puppies sadly passed away and the other one was extremely lucky and lives today in Switzerland. Her name is Nira.
If you would like to give Julie a sweet home please contact us. Julie is fully vaccinated and is good with other dogs. Maybe you have some space in your house? You could visit her at the SDC centre in Boudha and talk to our Program Manager.
4. Dog Stories (Billy, Luti and Birke)
& our adopted dogs: Arthur, Khaire, Findus (stories by: Jasmine Broecking)
We have so many amazing dog stories we would like to share, but we have had to choose a few. Below are our favourites. Follow our Facebook page to get our new stories every day!
Our emergency cases:
Snowy and Arthur in Belgium