The Fifth annual Kagyu Monlam Animal Medical Camp has begun and will run until 29th January, 2018.
This year the camp operating theatres, storage and administration are being housed in the new kitchen building within the Kagyu Monlam complex, though dogs and other animals receiving on-going treatment are kept outside the building. As previously, there is a walk-in veterinary service provided near the main entrance for local people to bring any ailing domestic animals or pets for advice and treatment free of charge.
The camp was inaugurated by Lama Chodrak, CEO of the International Kagyu Monlam, on the morning of the 20th January.
This year’s team mainly comprises the SARAH unit from the Sikkim Animal Husbandry department who have run the animal camp since its inception in 2014. In addition there are three volunteer vets from Australia who have also volunteered at the camp previously. Finally, Dharamsala Animal Rescue has also sent a vet. The programme is jointly funded once more by the Brigitte Bardot Foundation and the Kagyupa International MonlamTrust.
The programme started well with 24 dogs being surgically sterilised on the first day. In addition, the outreach programme is flourishing. Every day, an education officer from Australia is visiting schools and teaching hundreds of school students about dog bite and rabies prevention, kindness to animals and responsible pet ownership. Meanwhile, a team of vets and para-vets are driving to rural villages in the Gaya district treating all the village animals and teaching farmers about proper management and health care of their animals.
After a day resting and recovering from their surgery, deworming and anti-rabies vaccination, the first batch of 24 dogs was ready to go home on 21st January. The dogs are well-fed while resting in their hospital cages on a thick bed of straw, warm against the outside winter cold weather.
Over ten days, the camp will perform hundreds of ABC-AR (Animal Birth Control Anti Rabies) surgeries on the street dogs in Bodhgaya, run school education programmes, and continue the treatment of village animals and the outpatient department outside the Kagyu Monlam Pavillion.