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In the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, there are now around 23,000 street dogs roaming around the streets. Even though street dogs are very common in poor countries, here in Nepal it is different.

The scale of the problems outweighs others cities by multiple magnitudes, as Kathmandu now has the most number of stray dogs per of their city than any other location in the world. This high density means they are at high risk of diseases, rabies, starvation and abuse. There growing number has even spilt over to threaten the endangered red panda through dog attacks and the transmission of distemper (a virus red pandas are highly susceptible too).

What we have achieved so far:

- Through our sterilization (Animal Birth Control) Program we have reduced the street dog population from 34,000 in 2012 to 23,000 now by sterilizing systematically around 1000-1,500 dogs a year.

- Through a direct agreement signed with the Government, we have managed to ban the culling and positioning of stray dogs previously used by the government and military to reduce dog population numbers

- The no-cull agreement has also made Kathmandu a healthier and safer place for people, as previously dogs would be poisoned with meat, thrown into the river and polluting the water which many people rely on for drinking

- Over the years we have provided over 20,000 rabies vaccines to dogs and educated over 15,000 children and all major communities in the Kathmandu valley how to be safe around dogs, avoid dog bites and how to look after their community dogs

- Individual dog transformations and adoption. Here is a short before after (1:15min afterwards)

I have studied veterinary medicine, clinical medicine (human) and infectious diseases as a speciality at medical school in London, England. I have been working as an expert on infectious diseases around the world, focusing on rabies, leprosy, trachoma and other diseases known as NTDs (Neglected Tropical Diseases). I have been working for KAT managing the team and running projects since 2014 when the original owner became too sick to carry on the clinic. This is where my irrational love of animals started and I have dedicated my whole life to the dogs, cats and even monkeys and cows that live on the streets.

Here you can see me working in the KAT CENTRE:

Concerns for the future of stray dog population:

CTVT - Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumours.

We have been conducting research over the past few years into this type of cancer which is spreading through the stray dog population here in Nepal. This type of infectious cancer (called a transmissible tumor) affects both male and female dogs, causing horrific genital disfigurement, pain and eventually death. We have seen a shocking rise in the number of dogs infected with this cancer, to the point where almost 30% of dogs admitted to KAT are co- infected with CTVT. According to our surveys there are now as many as 7,500 dogs infected with this cancer and the number grows month by month. These cancers are very unusual as they can be transmitted through direct transfer of cancer cells, for example when a dog sits in a particular area and the cancer cells from their bodies are left on the ground, and then are picked up again when a new dog rests there. It is not just the genitals, but the mouth, nose, eyes and anywhere on the body if the cancer cell gets into the skin.

This is truly the biggest animal welfare threat facing the stray dogs we have seen in our lifetime and due to the infectious nature of these cancers, the treatment is anything but straightforward. Additionally due to the complexity in treating these cancers (involving bio-hazardous drugs) there is not a single organisation in Nepal who will accept these cases, resulting in all the cases being referred to us.

We are in the process of securing land to build a specific cancer treatment, isolation and recovery unit outside of the city to deal with the 40-60 reported cases we receive every month and hopefully will be able to start screening, hot-spot mapping, isolation and treatment of infected dogs later this year (2022).

Here is our plan to address the cancer problem:

Here is our main website detailing our programs and history:

Comments: 82 • Responses: 27  • Date: 

marypoppycock41 karma

This is really impressive. Is your organization composed entirely of expats/Westerners like you or do you hire locals?

Do you sterilize both male and female dogs or just one sex?

Have the stray dogs in the community gotten any friendlier over time as people are educated on how to treat and care for them?

KATclinic202263 karma

Hi there, we have a good mix of locals and westerners (mostly British and German).

We do, do both males and females dogs, we did some research that shows females sterilization has the biggest impact on population numbers, but males show stronger collection to a reduction in dog bites. So we do both :)

It is possible that the population has gotten more friendly, in the tourist areas especially as in these areas we don't have to net dogs very much. One of the things we are conscious about is that the dogs we catch are 'easier' and small, so we are now actively trying to focus on larger more aggressive dogs so these ones are not let to breed.

Vicandiers15 karma

How do you make a living?

KATclinic202241 karma

I work as a doctor mostly consulting online (My wellness GP and similar apps) and then in my free time I work unpaid for the KAT centre the same as the other trustees of the charities to help for the animal.

Vicandiers16 karma

Alright, I'm asking cause I'm a vet student and would really like to do something similar, but would still want to make a decent living somehow.

KATclinic202229 karma

We would always love volunteers to visit- you would be most welcome to come down and work with us when you have a break from work. Alternatively if you were thinking of setting up your own charity I would recommend starting a private clinic, where the profits go to treating stray animals, this would be sustainable and allow you a decent living too maybe.

Vicandiers7 karma

Thanks for the info. I would love to come and volunteer sometime. Do you euthanise animals if their suffering is too much? I know this can be a big issue with hindu people.

KATclinic202226 karma

This is a difficult question, we value all life, but we do euthanise animals when there suffering is too much or there change of recovery is not good. Mostly these days it is advance cancer (CTVT) that we have to euthanise, but also spinal injuries and dogs run over by cars is also a very common reason. Our approach is to safeguard against suffering and end pain as quickly as possible if recovery is not an option

Anytimeisteatime8 karma

How come your justgiving page for climbing Kili says you left clinical medicine in 2012 and there's no one on the GMC register who fits your name with the middle initial given in an article about the KAT centre? And you're listed as Mr rather than Dr on the KAT website..? And no S Davies registered with the RCVS, though guess you wouldn't need to be registered in UK for veterinary practice in Nepal. But you would need GMC registration to work for MyWellness etc for UK patients.

Genuinely was just curious as have always wanted to become dual qualified vet/human med and know there are only a few around but hadn't come across you before, so went to Google where you studied and couldn't find anything. Plus you look super youthful for ~39 (minimum to do both degrees and GP training in UK before working at KAT in 2014).

Hoping there's a simple explanation for the above as your charity seems really cool and dual qualified vet/human med is also very cool.

KATclinic20228 karma

Hi yes I left clinic medicine for 5 year whilst I was living in Nepal and helping to run KAT. I only returned to university recently and graduated through an intercalated specialty in infectious diseases and public health at LSHTM. I am unfortunately not a qualified vet, I did undertake DVM for 3 years but transferred to human medicine instead. My heart has always been with the animals but practically public health was a better career choice

theblacklabradork12 karma

What do the locals think about your efforts? Are they supportive or oppose helping strays? What is the main source of funding for these efforts?

KATclinic202221 karma

The locals are very supportive, many of them bring dogs into our clinic themselves. Some, mostly the older generation and mostly men are not friendly to dogs and do not like us helping them but these are a minority and mostly because they had bad experiences of dogs as a child.

ergonaut11 karma

How'd you get this gig?

KATclinic202236 karma

I was a medical student in Nepal, I saw so many stray dogs I started treating them in my home (I got kicked out by the landlord), then moved to a bigger house and merged with a current charity owned by a British lady that was shutting down and it snowballed from there

12Southpark14 karma

I regularly donate to sneha care for animal. Where can I donate to your work?

KATclinic202215 karma

I know Sneha, yes she works in the south of the city doing great work and we work in the north. Here is our website-

12Southpark12 karma


KATclinic202210 karma

Thanks so much for your kind words, incrementally it will get better, there is already the first animal protection law in place and we have brought many prosecutions against abusers. Nepal is an adlect paradise in the himalayas, one day im sure it will be a paradise for the animals too

Annual-Country410610 karma

First of all as a young guy living in Kathmandu , I would like to thank you.

Secondly , how can the Government of Nepal help in this situation and has there been any support at all from the Government?

KATclinic202212 karma

Hi, Namaste, Where in KTM do you live maybe you can come visit us?

We have been working with the government for many years now pressuring them to take action and support. We wrote a research paper back in 2012 which correlated high areas of sterilization to a reduction in dog bites (mostly in children), since then they have shown an interest and since 2019 have funded organisations like our to sterilization dogs in different parts of the city.

Unfortunately, there approach has been to offer own lowest-bid wins contracts, which is not the most ideal system when trying to promote safe and effectively sterilization, but it is a good step in the right direction

Annual-Country41065 karma

Where in KTM do you live maybe you can come visit us?

I would love to visit but I am just a college kid , I don't know how can I contribute much.

Again immense respect and gratitude for your work.

KATclinic20228 karma

No worries, you are always welcome to come look around our clinic if your interested , or if you and any sick or injured animal you can drop us a message on our Facebook page and we can try to send someone to come and help. This sort of info from the public is always really helpful

sthabroxitiz2 karma

Hello, I am from Kathmandu too, I am really impressed by what you have done. I would like to visit and see how the clinic works. But I'll come after the COVID surge goes down.

KATclinic20223 karma

HI, sure we always love to see visitors and volunteers, we are based on the Ring Road near the entrance for the HAMS hospital. Feel free to get in via our website if you plan on coming down in the future and we will make sure there is someone there to show you around;

NSWthrowaway869 karma

On the one hand there is a problem with overpopulation of dogs, which seems bad for both the native wildlife and probably humans.

On the other hand it sounds like you're against culling.

Can you explain your rationale on why the solution to overpopulation is not culling? Safe alternatives to poisoned meat exist and it seems like the least risky solution for both native wildlife and human health.

KATclinic202232 karma

Great question. Culling has been proven not to work as a method of population control and actually increases the risk of rabies. Stray dogs have very strict territories which become disrupted through culling leading to intra-city migration. This movement of the population affects our vaccination areas ('buffer zones') and causes the dogs to fight over who owns what areas, increasing the risk of rabies transmission and dog-to-dog bites.

Apart from the welfare implications of culling, it does not drop the population numbers down as sporadic killing of dogs around the city just allowed more space ands resources for other dogs to survive who would have otherwise died. This is called the mortality threshold and is what keeps populations stable.

MightyMetricBatman8 karma

How did the street dog situation get this bad?

KATclinic202214 karma

Mostly through unchecked breeding for many many years, with readily avalible access to trash/rubbish so they have lots of food to eat.

goddamnsexualpanda2 karma

piggybacking off this, is there something specific to Katmandu's situation?

KATclinic202210 karma

Kathmandu has a high level of street trash in the center of the city and all around so this has allowed the dog population to grow, in similar countries like India and Bangladesh there is not so much food trash everywhere so the limited resources keep the population lower.

muscleupgyal8 karma

How does the local populace feel about the stray dog population and do they try to help solve it? Being Nepal I imagine its a hardscrabble existence for humans and dogs alike

KATclinic202219 karma

The younger generation is great, they are almost all animal lovers having grown up around dogs and we get great support from them. The number of young people with smart phones is approaching 95% in the city, so they are the ones who find sick and injured animals, geo tag the location and send us the details on Facebook.

Pknsko0l7 karma

You're doing awesome stuff! What's a success story you're most proud of?

KATclinic202212 karma

Probably Fred our one armed monkey that was rescued. It was our first time to deal with a monkey, he had an electrocuted arm that we had to amputate. He was very very aggressive and not friendly at the start but after a few months he learn we were there to help and became very cuddly. It was not suitable for him to live with us forever as we have so many dogs around, so he was sent to live in a sanctuary. Here is a video I made of Freds the rescue

Nicapika5033 karma

How is this cancer transmissible? I have never heard of contracting cancer by sitting on cancer cells left behind. Is it a virus that mutates the cells?

KATclinic20225 karma

It is a very unusual cancer it acts very much like a virus, but the cells can latch on, infect and grow in any canine tissue, Not much is know about this type of cancer and its transmission is very unusual. Its ability to spread during mating as well as survive outside the body creates challenges in its control.

The benefit is, as it is so aggressive and grows rapidly, it s very susceptible to chemotherapy and ones killed or removed completely the relapse rate is very low.

It has only been around for a few hundred years, which in the grand scheme of most diseases is a very short time indeed.

Nicapika5031 karma

Interesting. Is there a website you could reccomend that describes in detail how this cancer works? I am interested in what is known of the cell biology, how it latches etc. Thanks!

KATclinic20222 karma

Here is our weblink to the cancer problem and our strategies to control it>, there is not much public information out there mostly research papers. We have a deep research analysis have not uploaded the research paper I wrote publicly yet and not sure I can sent it through reddit (if you want it I can email it to you [[email protected]). This is a useful article too>\~:text=Canine%20transmissible%20venereal%20tumour%20(CTVT,that%20exhibit%20unrestrained%20sexual%20activity.

humaneshell2 karma

Are you vegan? Thanks for the incredible work you are doing.

KATclinic20223 karma

I personally am not, I am vegetarian, but as many of the local staff are strict Buddhist they are vegan so we serve dalbhat at lunch time, which is a local vegan dish of potatoes, rice, lentils and beans (maybe other things I am not sure- but tastes great!)

goldfishpaws1 karma

Are you the guys I would see at Boudhnath? So much respect to you for all your work.

KATclinic20224 karma

Hi Probably Yes, we do work across most of the city. My friend also runs a charity inside Boudha stupa area called Street Dog Care, it might also be them, they do great work and look after the 50-60 dogs that live inside the temple.

Ok_Rain_86791 karma

Hi. Up in northern Canada, in small communities and Indian Reservations where abandoned and neglected dogs will form packs and occasionally eat a child or two, there's often a Spring culling, where folks will go out and shoot all the extra dogs that sprang up. Does this happen in Nepal?

KATclinic20222 karma

s will go out and shoot all the extra dogs that sprang up. Does this happen in Nepal?

In some parts of Nepal they still do culling, not through shooting, mostly beating and poisoning, which is not just a large welfare issue but quite ineffective in reducing the population. We have a no-cull agreement with the government in Kathmandu that whilst we are hear doing our programs they are not allowed to cull any dogs.

12Southpark1 karma

Have you heard of sneha care?

KATclinic20222 karma

Yes, she and her team work in the south part of the city of Lalitpur not far from Kathmandu I think. She has a small shelter for her dogs that I visited a few years ago up in the mountains

Grannyk91 karma

Is there no such thing as birth control pharmaceuticals for Dogs and cats? Is surgery the only course of action? I have wondered often if there could be a dry food, with an additive such as the human birth control pill in it, to feed street dogs and cats.

KATclinic20225 karma

Unfortunately no, surgical sterilization is the only effective method. There has been some research into injectable birth control but this is expensive, only temporary (6-12 months) and has quite bad side effects. Hopefully in the future injectable birth control for dogs will be an option. Currently some small organisations use the human birth control injection, which is unproven and very dangerous and is something we are totally against.

huntersace1 karma

how do you decide which dogs to sterilize? and do you typically prefer to sterilize make or female dogs?

KATclinic20224 karma

Research shows focusing on females has the biggest impact on reducing population numbers (as they give birth the the puppies), but also studies show by focusing on male dogs you can help reduce the incidence of dog bites. So we focus on both, working systematically area by area to cover at least 70% of all stray dogs.

bhaladmi1 karma

There seems to be a similar problem with the monkeys in Kathmandu, especially around big temples. Do you know of any effort to control the population of monkeys?

KATclinic20224 karma

I know what you mean, swayambhu is lover run with monkeys, unfortunately I do not think there is a control program. The catching, isolation, recovery and surgery on monkeys is very different to dogs and requires special permission from the government and training to handle wild animals. The only assistance we are able to provide to monkeys is when they are sick and injured as this falls under 'first aid' of the wildlife treatment Act.

multihobbyist-11 karma

Aren't dogs a food over there?

KATclinic20223 karma

You are thinking of china and south Korea.