Hi, I’m Samuel Davies and I run the biggest rescue and birth control centre for the awful street dog situation in Katmandu, Nepal (KAT CENTRE).
Proof image: https://i.redd.it/r0sdwy1jlac81.jpg
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 sq.km 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 https://youtu.be/c-lZb9DTtQs?t=20 (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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1UjS3_MUoc
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: https://katcentre.org/en/cancer-control-program
Here is our main website detailing our programs and history: https://katcentre.org/