Rescuing Dogs with KAT

9 November 2009 - 7:12pm 1 Comment

Tara, a cute two-legged dog is one of KAT’s permanent residents.

There’s never any being too small or too insignificant and His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche constantly shows us what it means to care for every sentient being, as well and as much as we can.

Rinpoche and Kechara have recently created a connection with the Kathmandu Animal Treatment (KAT) centre to help stray animals all over the streets of Kathmandu. KAT focuses on:

1. Controlling the stray animal population of Kathmandu, by running sterilisation programmes in concentrated areas.
2. Conducting rabies vaccination programmes
3. Extensive education initiatives
4. Rescue missions: Most of the dogs here suffer extremely bad skin problems and mange, which causes incredible suffering; others get hit by cars in road accidents and often left to die. KAT takes in specific cases like these, administer treatments and nurse them back to health. Very injured animals that would have no chance of survival if they returned to the streets stay on the premises permanently and become KAT’s personal in-house, lovable mascots.

Information about their fantastic work to save animals can be read here

Rinpoche stops to play with every dog on the grounds.

Rinpoche’s compassionate helping hand

When Rinpoche came across a KAT poster at a restaurant, he immediately sprang into action. As Rinpoche is always on the look-out for opportunities to help others, he wanted to get involved as quickly and as much as possible.

A few of us went to check out their premises and got to know their vets, directors and of course, the dogs, before Rinpoche went to visit. A few days later, Rinpoche personally went down with a few of us to see the dogs there and find out what the centre needed for their work.

Rinpoche tours the grounds of the centre.

After a chat with the director, Mr. Khageshwaar, their in-house vet, Dr. Kiran and a few of their hard-working volunteers, Rinpoche got the donation ball rolling by signing up as a lifetime member and sponsoring two kennels for a year. The monetary contribution towards this will go towards their very valuable work of sterilising stray dogs and treating sick and injured animals.

Two kennels sponsored by H.E Tsem Rinpoche and Kechara.

Two kennels sponsored by H.E Tsem Rinpoche and Kechara.

Two kennels sponsored by H.E Tsem Rinpoche and Kechara.

We also secured their wish-list and set off to a nearby supermarket to buy everything they needed. Over the next two hours, the Ladrang and KMP staff here in Nepal went on a massive buying spree for KAT, picking up materials that are most important and needed for their daily operations. We bought cleaning materials, towels, food bowls, dog collars and leashes, rice and dhall (for the dog’s food), emergency lights, stationery, and even snacks for the centre’s 12 volunteers.

The wish list items that we sponsored for KAT.

A group photo with Rinpoche and all the KAT volunteers.

We zoomed our way back to the centre, just as they were closing for the day and presented all the goodies. While we were laying everything out, we had a lovely surprise – the founder of KAT, Jan Salter, was in the centre then and came down to say hello.

Rinpoche and Jan Salter take a photo to mark a fabulous day!

After the presentation of wish-list items that Rinpoche sponsored, Ms Salter kindly invited us up to their office to talk a little more about their work and plans. Though she is nearly 73 years old, Ms Salter has boundless energy and is a tremendous inspiration for all of us. Five years ago, against all odds, she put her savings into setting up KAT. She had no idea how it would work or if it would even take off, but she took a risk, started off with one or two dogs and it has grown to what it is now. KAT now cares for up to 45 dogs at a time and has recently secured its own land. They are currently raising funds to build up the land.

While we were there, we also met a volunteer called Katrina, who had come in from England to volunteer her time with KAT. The centre may have started out small but their work is immense and set to make a huge impact on the streets of Kathmandu – people are starting to hear about KAT from outside of Nepal and it is Rinpoche and our wish to raise as much awareness for them as we can.

Sharing ideas with Jan and volunteer Katrina in the KAT office.

Rinpoche shared many marketing ideas with Ms Salter and was very keen to help KAT promote their activities. Rinpoche explained to her that he understood what she must have gone through to get the centre going, and that he appreciated her deeply for doing something without any expectation of getting anything back.

Rinpoche shares some heartfelt words with Jan, stating that she is a real inspiration to many.

Before he left, Rinpoche presented her with a gift of his personal mala. He told her, “I don’t have much on me, but this is something very sacred to me. I wish to offer it to you as a symbol of my deep appreciation for your work.”

Rinpoche and Lucy, one of KAT’s most important members!

The next step

Every little step brings us closer to helping the world more and more. Rinpoche’s wish to help the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre is our way of supporting this noble effort to bring great relief to animals who have very little rights, power or abilities to help themselves.

There are millions of animals in the world that need help, and although we cannot help every single one of them, supporting initiatives like KAT will help us to create the causes to help more and more animals in the future. Karmically, we create the affinity to be able to help animals now and in the future. On a practical level, we learn how other organisations work and help animals so that we can apply the same practices for the animal sanctuary that we hope to establish soon.

For now, we are not based full time in Kathmandu, so we will be helping KAT with their marketing and promotion initiatives from afar.

Looking at ways to improve KAT’s existing signboard

Rinpoche has started off by sponsoring two big new signboards for their premises. He felt that their previous sign was too small and many people would not notice that they were even there. We hope that by creating more prominent signboards, more people will know about them, drop by to visit and eventually be inspired to lend their support.

Kechara Lounge in Boudha will also be helping to promote their work, by carrying their promotional items and talking to visitors about them.

Our Kechara staff will also be maintaining close contact with KAT while we’re back in KL to find out what their needs are. Whenever we fly back into Kathmandu, we can then arrange to sponsor items on their wish list or help to develop their marketing initiatives.

For now, if you’d like more information about how Kechara is supporting KAT or if you would like to contribute towards their wish-list, please contact Assoc. Liaison Jamie Khoo at jamie@kecharapub.com or +6016 323 9567.