In Sindupalchowk, we came across Moti, a five-year-old male dog. He was sitting in the shade of what used to be part of a roof. His owners were busy tossing rocks and pieces of wall out of their damaged but still standing home.
The process of rebuilding for some is underway, while others are living under tarps, their former homes and animal shelters completely destroyed. They say they are unsure where to start but living exposed to the elements – fierce winds keep them up at night, while temperatures soar to 30 degrees in the day - is clearly taking a toll.
Moti looked traumatised and it was easy to see why. He and his family lived in the midst of a destroyed village. Aid for people was only just beginning to arrive and we were the only animal welfare organisation operating in the area.
Like the people in his village, Moti is clearly overwhelmed by the unfamiliar and difficult new reality. He was extremely aggressive as a result of his stress so we were only able to feed him instead of examining him.
Hansen Thambi Prem gives Moti some food. May 3, 2015 © World Animal Protection
Some dogs have fared better than Moti, while others are hungry, alone and injured. We are coming their aid as we find them. Kale’s story was a little happier.
The day was ending and shadows were mercifully beginning to snake through the village, offering the residents some respite from the relentless heat. Our team was descending down the foothill, when we came across Krishna Bahadur Jyoti.
Kishna Bahadur Jyoti and Uday Singh Karka, a World Animal Protection volunteer vet beside a temporary shelter in Sindupalchowk. May 3, 2015 © World Animal Protection
Mr. Jyoti was stooped with age, his eyes bleary. He was too young to remember the 1934 earthquake, the last time that the country experienced anything approaching the intensity of the one that devastated Nepal on April 25. He paused to talk to us. He’d been trying to pull plastic sheets over the temporary shelter for his livestock. His voice cracked with tears as he said, “My grandson and his family have gone downhill to bring anything they get as aid. I am too old to walk up and down the hill so I stay at home, my only friend is Kale" as he pointed to the dog beside their temporary shelter.
Kale, two and a half years old. He is octogenarian Krishna Bahadur Jyoti's "only friend" in the daytime. Thankfully both survived the earthquake unscathed but are living in a temporary shelter together along with six family members and four goats. © World Animal Protection
"Hearing his story, for an instant I felt like pouring all the heaviness in my heart through tears," related volunteer vet Uday Singh Karki later.
Villages like these are struggling after the worst disaster in memory. Thanks to your support, we can be there to ease their suffering and take care of their animals. Our rapid assessment is now complete and we’re formulating what to do to safeguard the future of the most vulnerable in the aftermath of this terrible disaster.