Goodmorning from Kathmandu, Nepal!
Yesterday I took a quick breakfast and arranged a taxi to the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre. I contacted them a few weeks in advance and got in touch with Ben, one of the volunteers, who was very pleased to welcome me.
The Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre
The KAT-centre is situated near Budanilkantha, Bagmati, just a 25 minute ride from the city centre and in a friendly suburb area of Kathmandu. The road towards the KAT -centre at first is paved, but in the end becomes unpaved and somewhat rocky. I took a taxi of which the driver was persistent to drive me to the door, but walking would honestly be the best option. So put on some sneakers or sturdy shoes. KAT-centre is well indicated along the road.
When I arrived at KAT-centre, I saw a very modern new building! It’s stated blue and very recognizable. They recently moved into this new accommodation with good facilities and are still finishing up a bit of construction. Nevertheless, it is in full function already and they have so much more space here!
The vision of the KAT-centre is to solve the problem of the excessive amount of stray dogs and cats by treating the animals with spay and neuter treatments, better known as Animal Birth Control (ABC). Next to animal birth control, they treat sick or injured animals and they shelter dogs and cats who have complications or have been abused or underfed. Some of their permanent inhabitants are blind or miss a leg, but they receive a wonderful life in the centre.
The KAT-centre has two employed Veterinarian and two assistants plus two guys who are responsible for feeding and cleaning daily. Having two VET’s and two assistants makes it possible to help up to ten animals a day! With doing this the KAT-centre fights the excessive amount of stray dogs. Many of the stray dogs come in for a day or four and leave again after treatment.
Sometimes the KAT-centre gets a call from a local about a dog acting strange, being sick or straying. The VET’s take a trip daily into the city to find some of the sick dogs and to bring them to the centre. Doing this is very tough and the people at KAT are well trained to do this. In the centre the animals are treated, fed well and cleaned, giving them the rest they need to rehabilitate. Once they get back on their feet, they either get brought back to their community or some get adopted. In the KAT-centre there are always puppies around, as they tend to be more vulnerable and treated badly. The puppies or kittens that are raised in the KAT-centre are most likely to be adopted.
My day as a volunteer
I was able to volunteer for a day with the KAT-centre. At first I got a warm welcome by Ben, one of the long-term volunteers. He gave me a wonderful tour around the centre, showing me all areas and telling me all about the daily activities here. I am amazed by the engagement of the centre, as I visited a shelter in Amsterdam recently and can relate to the same procedures and activities. Hygiene is a high standard here, as this helps them fighting deceases such as rabies. During the tour, one of the cute little puppies liked to play with my wide-leg pants. Loved it, even though he made a hole in my pants hihi. After the tour I got to join the team for a lunch break. After lunch, me and another volunteer took several dogs out for a walk. The surrounding of the centre is so beautiful, walking here is a pleasure. You see a truly different side of Kathmandu, with woods, rivers, singing birds, goats and family houses. The roads can be sturdy, which made it a good exercise. The dogs are so happy to be out, chasing each other, running and playing around. We took out each dog for an hour. After walking several dogs, I went in again to say goodbye to everyone and my colleague-volunteer took me to the bus to get back to the city centre. I had such a lovely and peaceful day, a gift after spending a few days in somewhat hectic Kathmandu centre. I would truly recommend this to everyone!
This two cute babies stole my heart. They are still so small, somewhat dirty from the streets and underfed. But they become better and stronger pups here in the KAT-centre
(You will find a good idea of my day at KAT-centre in my Nepal vlog)
The KAT-centre is always very pleased to have volunteers, as many hands make work a lot easier. Volunteering here is such a thankful role as you receive so much love of the animals already. You really help the animals, which will bring you satisfaction guaranteed. You can either work with the animal care, assist with back-office activities or general maintenance. If you are a veterinarian, you may like to volunteer assisting the KAT-centre veterinarians with treatments.
As a volunteer you will assist the team of KAT-centre. You become part of the small but strong team and will most likely be helping with walking the dogs and giving affection. In the KAT-centre, around 40 dogs are inhabited who all love to walk daily and to get some cuddling and petting. If you like to be surrounded by happy people, improve the lives of dogs and other animals, this is the best volunteer job for you!
In the KAT-centre they work six days a week and usually have Saturdays off. Your working hours may vary, but are usually starting around 10 am and finishing around 3 pm, which gives you plenty of time to have a calm morning and to explore the city after work. During your working day, you get to walk the beautiful area surrounding the Kat-Centre and you’ll join the team for a delicious Nepali lunch. Trust me, You will love this!
Excited to join KAT-centre as a volunteer? You can either volunteer short term or long term, arranging your work with KAT-centre directly here or going with an organization such as Green Lion. They also welcome daily visitors and volunteers that like to walk dogs for a day, so be sure you consider doing this when you have a limited amount of time.
Note: Volunteers at KAT should be vaccinated for rabies
Support the KAT-centre
I brought donations with me and bought as many things as they requested me from the Netherlands. If you like to do the same, be sure to inform before departure what they like to receive, what could be of use.
You can also make a financial donation to support their work, via several options. Money in Nepal can change a lot and your contribution will be very effective.
If you like to make a dedicated change for a certain dog, you can sponsor a rescued dog starting by just $20,- dollar. Find out more about it here.
Like to raise money in your community of by doing sports? Why not raise money for the KAT-centre. Some ideas and tips how to do it, can be found here.
- Animal Welfare Organisations accept that Animal Birth Control (ABC) has been proven to be the only humane way of controlling the street dog population and eliminating rabies worldwide.
- In many cities in India, Animal Birth Control (ABC) has completely eliminated rabies and dramatically reduced stray dog populations.
- A lot of dogs in Nepal are considered stray dogs but are partly owned by the community. The local community knows the dogs, feeds them sometimes. They just don’t take the responsibility when an animal is sick to bring it to the VET. That’s why the KAT-centre treats them and returns them to the community afterwards.
‘Since I’ve been introduced to the KAT Centre I’ve been trying to go there as often as possible. When I’m not at the centre I really miss it. You get used to the positive energy and the loving atmosphere you find at the KAT Centre.’
– Anna Hoogendijk from the Netherlands
I am very impressed of what I’ve seen and very proud I got to spend the day here. They do such great things for the animals in Kathmandu and they make a huge effort in solving the problem! I believe soon they will achieve this goal with their great positive attitude and work ethos!
Forty dogs would love to be walked daily, so if you have time in Kathmandu: pay a visit to KAT-centre, bring some small donations and walk some dogs. Or commit to a long-term voluntary role while experiences Nepali life here♡
Watch the Nepal vlog to get a live tour around the KAT-centre