Dharamsala Animal Rescue
1168 Church Street
Sheila Sedgewick, Raja Sahota, Elise Noel
We seek a humane environment for animals with direct benefits to the communities of Himachal Pradesh, India. We work to end human deaths by rabies, provide humane animal control programs and community education.
Dharamsala Animal Rescue was founded in order to humanely help stray dogs and
protect the people of Dharamsala from rabies. There are thousands of homeless dogs
living on the streets of Dharamsala, many of them sick, injured, or starving. To address
this issue, the Government of India implemented a mass kill program in 2006. In 2008, after visiting Dharamsala for the first time, Deb Jarrett, founder of DAR, decided to raise funds to support local initiatives to implement humane methods called ABC (animal birth control, sterilization and
vaccination). With the financial support of DAR, organizations were able to put this into practice
In addition to humanely managing homeless dog populations, DAR works to protect the local population from rabies. In India, a reported 40,000 people per year die of rabies, 95% of who contracted it from a dog bite. Most of these deaths are among impoverished children. In 2008, right after DAR was founded, three
members of the community died of rabies, including a four-year-old girl. The local population reacted by beating and stoning dogs to death. As a result, DAR funded Community Awareness programs, to provide rabies education to the people of Dharamsala.
Dharamsala Animal Rescue (DAR) was founded in July of 2008 to stop the unnecessary
suffering of street animals in Himachal Pradesh and to prevent unnecessary human deaths
by rabies. While there is still much to be accomplished, we have been very successful in raising $150,000 to help local initiatives purchase ambulances, employ and train staff, and supply necessary medicine and medical equipment.
Our accomplishments include:
No more reported human deaths by rabies since 2008
Funding the building the only small animal clinic complete with kennels and an
ambulance in the Kangra Valley
Performing hundreds of ABC
Rescuing and healing hundreds of injured and sick animals
Providing education to the community about our ABC (Animal Birth
Control) programs, rescue, rabies prevention, and compassion towards
Funded the first sanctuary for disabled cows, donkeys and horses.
On a personal note, I travel to India once per year to visit the project on the ground. I am
continually amazed by how much the population of the street dogs has diminished. I am
also happily surprised at their health and how I see much fewer litters then in previous
years. I also see more people adopting pets and making sure that they are sterilized and
vaccinated. However, this just means we need to further our work into other communities
where there are no projects like ours.
A new project that we are currently starting will provide a home for dogs that can no longer live on the street. This will include older dogs, dogs that are permanently disabled, and puppies who will die on the street if not taken in and given 24 hour care. Please stay tuned for more information about this project.