This month our veterinary team from WVS India moved the Jamtse Animal Birth Control and Anti-Rabies Programme to a new region: the Tibetan settlement of Hunsar in Karnataka. The team have been meeting with the community and on the first day, vaccinated 300 dogs with the a 4-in-1 vaccine to help protect these vulnerable animals from a number of diseases. They will now be starting the sterilisation surgeries to help with population control, and establish rabies vaccination work to protect both dogs and people from this deadly disease.
The expansion of the awesome Jamtse outreach project comes as a result of our success helping animals in India’s first established and largest Tibetan settlement in India, Bylakuppe. We are one of a few charities to be granted access to Bylakuppe and began our project in October 2017 to provide easy access to treatment for the animals belonging to the 70,000 inhabitants. “Jamtse” roughly translates to love, kindness and compassion.
Many of the dogs are owned by the monks living in these settlements, but there is also a large population of stray dogs that are owned by the community as a whole. We’ve had an excellent response from the community of Bylakuppe over the last two years and look forward to a similarly positive reaction from those living in Hunsar. This project is a vital outreach campaign for our WVS India vets, allowing them to help both animals and people living here and promote a more positive attitude towards free roaming dogs. Our Director of Veterinary Training, Dr Ilona, who started this incredible project, explains the importance of Jamtse: “Outreach clinics like this, where we work very closely with a small community, are important for educating people about rabies control and also to show them through action what animal welfare is all about, and how we can best promote it within our communities.”
Alongside the sterilisation surgeries and rabies vaccinations, regular dog population surveys have helped monitor the effect of the programme and the positive impact our work has had on both the dogs and the wider community. During the time WVS vets were working in Bylakuppe an incredible 3,454 dogs were sterilised, an additional 1,940 dogs received rabies vaccinations and 152 animals were treated for injury. These are inspiring results and ensured the team achieved over 70% sterilisation and vaccination coverage in just 15 months!!
Ani Samten, a Tibetan Buddhist nun living here, is just one of the community members who has shared our passion for this work: “It is custom for people to abandon stray puppies at monasteries which is very sad. The work of WVS is helping manage the stray dog population which will eventually result is no new puppies, no puppies being left at monasteries and more awareness of, and compassion for, the needs of these amazing creatures. I can’t thank WVS enough for the valuable and much-needed work they are doing here.” This project has grown from strength to strength over the past two years and has only been possible thanks to the support of the community, collaboration with Tibet Charity and the local government, and funding from the Brigitte Bardot Foundation. Collaboration such as this is key to improving animal welfare and the WVS India teams will continue to run these regular clinics to provide effective animal birth control and improve the levels of animal welfare in this region. We look forward to updating you on the work in Hunsar as the project grows!