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The Animal Care program runs a free veterinary clinic for domestic pets and stray animals. The clinic is staffed by foreign volunteers who are practicing veterinary surgeons and nurses. A number of trainee vets also do an internship here. There is one native veterinary nurse, Vishnu, employed by Tibet Charity, who assists surgeries. In addition, a local veterinarian, Dr. Arvind Sharma from Shahpur, comes twice a month when there are emergency surgeries to perform.
There is a large population of stray dogs in McLeod Ganj and the surrounding settlements of the Kangra district, whose numbers need to be kept under control. Packs of stray dogs running wild pose a danger to the local population. Not only do they bite people, but they spread diseases, including rabies. What's more, these dogs live by scavenging rubbish on the streets. To deal with this problem, Tibet Charity has opted for the compassionate response of sterilization rather than extermination. The Animal Birth Control Program sterilizes stray dogs, both at Tibet Charity and in temporary clinics in the surrounding settlements including Norbulingka, TCV, Sarah and Bir. They get a full check up and medical treatments. They are also vaccinated against rabies and looked after until the cut is healed and danger of infection has passed.
In recent years, the number of cases of rabies due to dog bites has increased, killing many, including young children. While it is not possible to eradicate rabies entirely, vaccinating stray dogs can significantly alleviate the problem by preventing the spread of the disease. The Animal Vaccination Program aims to vaccinate as many stray and domestic dogs as possible through a series of outreach drives. A team of vets and helpers visit a settlement on a particular day, vaccinating the dogs in that area. The team also informs the general public about the dangers of rabies and how to stay safe. The vaccinations are repeated every year. On World Rabies Day held annually in September, Tibet Charity offers free rabies vaccinations for domestic pets at its main site.