A 2006 survey conducted under the auspices of Nepal’s Veterinary Public Health and District Livestock Office estimates that more than 30,000 stray dogs are living in the urban areas of the Kathmandu Valley.

Most of this unwanted canine population comes from animals that are abandoned by their owners because of age or illness. Since dogs are only valued in the Nepali culture for guarding property and livestock – and enjoy no special "pet" status – they are easily discarded.

With every abandoned dog, the breeding cycle continues. Thousands of new pups are born every year. The lucky ones are either dead at birth or die soon after, either the victims of disease and starvation or run over by automobiles. But thousands of pitiful survivors are left to fend for themselves – and reproduce.

Municipalities use bait laced with strychnine to kill an estimated 10,000 of these forgotten dogs each year. But this kind of death is unspeakably cruel. Dying from the inside out, poisoned dogs suffer agonizing seizures for up to 12 hours before finally succumbing. Those that stubbornly cling to life are beaten until dead. The remains are then dumped in piles and left to decay without thought to nearby watersheds or streams.

The survivors wander the streets and alleys of Kathmandu, desperately scavenging for food in piles of human garbage – while trying to dodge the cruel blows of a shopkeeper’s broom or the wheels of a passing car.

Without a human hand to give them comfort or a human voice to give them praise, these dogs grow wary and unsocial. They move as though they are targets – darting in out of the shadows, looking for a safe place to rest.

While their skinny frames, festering wounds and diseased coats make them "untouchable" to many, you only have to offer a hand in kindness to these pitiful street outcasts to witness a simple miracle. Despite their obvious misery, these poor animals respond with wagging tails and pleading eyes that say, "Why am I here? What did I do to deserve this?"

Sneha's Care is the hand that is now reaching out to these suffering dogs - by running the largest, full-service comprehensive animal shelter and adoption facility in Nepal. Staffed by Veterinary professionals, local, dog loving Nepali workers and volunteers from all over the world, Sneha's Care is:

• Dramatically reducing a new generation of unwanted dogs through extensive and targeted sterilization programs- following the World Health Organizations Animal Birth Control (ABC) protocol

• Managing the injured and diseased population through on-site Veterinary treatment as well as clinical Veterinary treatment in severe cases of injury or other disease

• Conducting mass vaccination campaigns to stop the spread of rabies from dog to dog and dog to human

• Conducting outreach programs in the schools to educate children about animal welfare and expose them to some of the wonderful dogs at the shelter

• Coordinating adoption placements both locally and internationally for dogs in their care

• Working with local officials to coordinate sterilization and vaccination programs in specific areas

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