Over 23,000 dogs live in the streets of Kathmandu right now.
Up to 200 people die annually from rabies and other diseases caused by contact with street dogs. In some cases locals poison the street dogs. They put strychnine-laces meat on the street, which children can also come in contact with. If so, they can die a terrible death with convulsions that can last nine hours.
The death of a street dog even affects the environment. Locals throw the dogs in the river and the carcasses foul the community water supply.
People get dogs while they are puppies. As soon as they grow older, they are not cute anymore and are abandoned. Dogs are not sprayed or castrated which results in the rise of number of dogs.
There are a few organizations that do their best to save dogs from suffering and help people to stop the propagation. One of them is the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre (KAT), which is a non-profit organization located in Budanilkantha. They developed an Animal Birth Control Program, where female dogs get sprayed, de-wormed and vaccinated against rabies.
“We can’t close our eyes, street dogs are a big problem,” says Deepeesh Dhakal, communications officer of the center. Most of the dogs have Mange, a widespread skin disease, or are involved in a traffic accident. The KAT Centre takes care of them until they are healthy and most importantly they sterilize the dogs. You can recognize them on a cut out at one ear. Sterilize dogs are not common in Kathmandu.
There are a lot of organizations and veterinary hospitals in Kathmandu which can help tocurtail the rising number of street dogs and the fast spread of dog disease. Everybody can help to bring the street dog problem under control.
By Lara Höfemann
The writer is a photojournalist from Germany doing an internship at Internship Nepal.