On the 11th of November 2018 we were called to a shocking report of a dog being attacked by a man with a khukuri knife – something similar to a large machete.
Nothing could prepare our staff for the sight that awaited them as they arrived to find a crowd of people surrounding a dog with some of the worst injuries that we have ever seen. Across the length of his body was a terrible open wound and it was remarkable that he hadn’t passed away on the spot.
The dog, who we later named Moti (or Champ in English), was still conscious but in a clear state of shock, scared and in pain. Above, KAT team member Rabi Nagarkoti can be seen comforting Moti by closing his eyes.
At the scene, which attracted a great deal of attention, were also staff from 4care Nepal, a private veterinary organisation who were called by a member of the public.
When Moti arrived at KAT Centre our team decided to immediately sedate him – temporarily putting him to sleep while being attended by our staff. This was done to reduce his stress and to relieve him from pain during the emergency surgery to repair his wounds.
After being sedated, Moti was taken to KAT’s operating theatre and prepared for surgery. His wounds were thoroughly cleaned with antiseptic fluid because of the obvious risk of infection, and the opening in his skin was sutured back together, the first stages of his healing process.
Moti needed hundreds of stiches and our senior veterinary surgeon Dr Bidur Piya was assisted by veterinary technician Ram Nagarkoti.
Despite how serious his wounds appear, Moti was in fact very lucky to have not received damage to his internal organs, and to have not lost more blood. He was especially lucky to have been rescued by KAT, too!
From the very beginning of the case there were reports in the community that people knew who was responsible for the attack. The man was well known in the area to be unstable and erratic in his behaviour, with possible mental health problems.
There were further rumours that the dog was in some way associated with the man and that, to scare Moti away, he decided to hurt him. This would not be unheard of as people have been known to injure dogs in similar ways when they want to shoo them away out of their neighbourhood.
Following the attack, the suspect had left his home and was in hiding.
On the morning of the 15th of November, four days after the attack, a number of activists attended a meeting with Mr KK Acharyaji, DSP of Singhdurbar Police Station, to apply pressure on the police to keep up their pursuit of the suspect believed to be responsible for attacking Moti. This was an excellent development for animal welfare in Nepal, and an example of how people working together can change the system and ensure that animal abusers are brought to justice.
Police later stationed officers outside of the man’s house, awaiting his return, and attempted to liaise with the man’s family to ask him to hand himself in, as a warrant had already been issued for his arrest.
In fact, it wasn’t until the 5th of December that it was confirmed the man had been caught, and had confessed to the attack. It was at this point that he showed remorse for the attack and his mental illness became apparant to those who saw him, which we wish he will be able to recover from.
Finally, after nearly a month spent recovering and receiving treatment at KAT Centre, Moti was ready to be released back to his home community, where the locals (and his doggy friends) were waiting for him.
By this time Moti had become perhaps the most famous dog in all of Kathmandu, his story highlighting the suffering of Nepali street dogs and helping to enforce the idea that those who hurt animals should be prosecuted – laws which only in 2018 began to be applied to street dogs.
Thank you to everyone who supported us in this rescue and the following campaign to seek justice!
In early October 2018, just before the major Nepali national holiday Tihar, we received a desperate report from a Canadian lady living in Nepal that she had found a dying dog with three sickly puppies living on the streets. She reported that the mother was not eating and had an open and infected wound on her rear which was leaking puss.
Due to Tihar, in which nearly every business and organisation closes in Kathmandu, we were short of staff and this left us in a difficult dilemma. Our ambulance driver was missing and to make matters worse, the road leading to KAT Centre was completely closed from the 7th of October due to repairs.
At first, the kind lady who had sent us the report, whose name was Lesley, had arranged for a local vet to treat the mother with IV fluid. Her wound was found to be infested with maggots and she was becoming very weak and emaciated. Despite her emergency treatment she couldn’t hold on and she passed away.
The locals reported that she had delivered a total of seven puppies, so that when she was found a total of four had already died.
Of the three remaining puppies, it was noticed that one was sinking and had begun excreting a green fluid. Despite the pressure on KAT and the fact that we had very limited space to take in more dogs at the time, we decided at this point to admit all three to our care.
One puppy died soon after being admitted, and a second was suffering from an unknown illness. We sent her for blood tests which came up clear for distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza and parvovirus (as well as rabies, of course).
Despite consultations with Dr Sushil, another respected Nepali vet, and the work of all of our team, and being placed on an emergency IV drip, this puppy sadly passed away too.
Thus, of the seven puppies originally born to the mother, four had died on the street, and two had died despite being given the best treatment available – only one was left: Dawa.
Time passed and although we were worried that Dawa’s health would fail as well, she continued to gain strength and pushed through. All the while, Lesley, who had originally rescued the dogs, was planning to adopt Dawa and bring her back to Canada. In fact, Lesley already had one Nepali street dog who she had previously adopted!
Due to the original uncertainties about her health and whether or not she would be fit to fly, it wasn’t until the 22nd of December that she began the journey to her new home. Dawa had been at KAT for a total of 10 weeks and would be arriving just in time for Christmas!
The flight to Canada was with Turkish Airlines with a transfer in Istanbul, the stopover and the flight totalling around a gruelling 40 hours. Despite this temporary hardship, she arrived safely and was collected by Lesley from the airport, from where she was taken home for some much needed rest.
Dawa’s story is bittersweet, highlighting the suffering and vulnerability of street dogs in Nepal, but also showing just how rewarding it is when we are able to help some of them – even just one. It also shows the potential for international adoptions, something that we have considerable experience in arranging. Please contact us if you would like to know more about this process.