It was time-consuming, but the only long-term solution to dealing with this problem was for the staff to conduct an education campaign, personally speaking with people, and trying to locate owners of dogs, or those that fed the street dogs. The staff then explained to the owner the benefits of spaying and vaccination., distributing a leaflet written in Nepali.
Over the years so many dogs have been spayed and vaccinated that, not only has the health of the community dog population greatly increased, but the population of puppies has been greatly reduced. These days there are so few puppies available in Kalimpong town, that Darjeeling Animal Shelter sends surplus pups from Darjeeling to KAS for adoption.
In addition to the ABC programme, the staff at KAS conducted many camps in far-lying villages only accessible by walking. This is an important factor in the control of rabies because wild animals living in the surrounding forest, particularly foxes and jackals, can spread rabies through attacking village livestock such as cattle and sheep, or even through fighting with the village dogs.
The first volunteer vet to work at KAS was Aldona Skeratyte. She lived in a small room at a nearby guest house, with kennels outside where rescued dogs were kept until the shelter was completed and she could move in to the vet’s house
Dr Naveen Pandey was the first full-time permanent vet to work at KAS from 2001 until 2007. He now works at Help in Suffering Animal Shelter in Jaipur, Rajasthan.