Where does the time go? One day I’m being lead around Nepal on a tour without realizing it, the next I’m saying goodbye to the extraordinary staff and volunteers of the KAT centre and on a flight to Delhi. So much has happened since my last blog it is hard to keep track. The KAT centre is currently in “crisis mode.” The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) sadly, as of this fiscal year, has stopped providing (significant) financial support due to a change in policy. WSPA will now be focusing its efforts on more large scale government work. Furthermore, some of the full time staff at the centre recently went on strike demanding new policies, and leaving volunteers to provide for the animals (aside from feeding). Cathie, myself and some other volunteers recently spent time at the Saturday market, an area which mostly targets ex-pats, spreading awareness and attempting to raise funds for the centre.
It is so easy for us to focus on the overwhelming issue of lack of funds. And it should be. The fact is, the KAT centre currently only has enough funding to run for three more months. Some long term volunteers are frantically strategizing ways to come up with the money, and all donations help. What gets overlooked, or forgotten, are the day to day success stories. Lately we have adopted out three in-house dogs and successfully rehabilitated eight more. Two dogs (Johnnie and Sweetie) that came in over a month ago with serious spinal injuries and a poor prognosis were released last week with a clean bill of health. It was amazing watching them recover with the help of vet medicine and homeopathy. As well, following the strike, our two long term leg fracture patients were released as well as many other hairless, mange – turned luscious coat dogs. The recoveries these animals are able to make, if someone just gives them some time and care, is remarkable. Animals come in with massive wounds festering with maggots and a week or two later trot out looking for food and their companions. In Poland they say, “It heals like on a dog.” And I believe it.
These next few months will be crucial for the survival of the KAT centre. If the staff can settle their differences and therefore permit efforts to be focused on proper fundraising, KAT’s future can be bright. As the leaders in Animal Birth Control and treatment in Nepal, KAT has the potential to further reduce the stray dog population, educate the future of Nepal, and even expand to a second or third location. However, if staff issues remain and proper funding is not received the future looks grim. I urge readers to make even small donations. However, down the line I believe KAT will require a larger, corporate sponsor to thrive.
Over the past three months I’ve learned more about veterinary medicine, shelter medicine, life and humility then all my education combined. I also believe I have provided the KAT centre assistance in every way I could. Sometimes the staff and volunteers needed a laugh more than anything, and I did my best to help ease the tension when applicable. I will greatly miss everyone involved at the KAT centre, especially the children that lived in the attached home. I had the pleasure of taking these children to the cinema one day, and watched them marvel at the shear size of the building and play for hours on the “moving staircases”. I think I may have enjoyed myself more than they did.
My time with VWB has gone by in a blur and I loved every second of it. VWB makes an investment in us students. They send us across the globe to provide help bettering communities for animals and people. We do are absolute best to provide said help, and in doing so, learn more than we could ever imagine. For this, I could not be more grateful. I have made connections here that will last a life time. And, if I’m lucky, I hope to return to Nepal one day. Thanks to everyone I met and all the departure gifts. Your notes were hilarious and heart warming. I am in Manali, India now at a battery powered internet cafe during a power outage. I will be here for a few days then I will take a 22 hour bus or jeep to Leh, Ladahk.
All the best,