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Jan 31, 2017

Lucky Jimmy

Jimmy with her winter sweater.
Jimmy with her winter sweater.

Dear DAR Friends, 

Since Valentine's Day is coming up, I wanted to share the heartwarming story about Jimmy, 

Jimmy, lived in the main market of Dharamsala her whole life. She was treated kindly and always had chicken for dinner provided by the local chicken shop. 

Many people in town know her because she is so very friendly and sweet. 

Six months ago, we started getting calls from locals saying she was not looking very good. We went to visit her and noticed her coat was looking horrible and that she was very skinny.

We were confused at her condition as people were telling us they fed her and she was still friendly. We decided to bring her into to DAR to do some tests. We also observed that could not seem to relieve herself not matter how long she was in the "squat" position. 

After x-rays, blood tests, and various consultations, she was diagnosed with canine spondylosis, basically a spinal issue that occurs in elderly dogs cause. It was causing her lots of pain and putting pressure on her abdomen and making it hard for her to poo. 

Her treatement consisted of pain killers, lots of enemas, a liquid diet, and of course lots of love. We knew that she would never be able to live on the street again due to her condition, which required daily care, medication, and observation. 

We put some posts on Facebook to see if anyone would be willing to take an elderly street dog with medical condition into their home, something we can barely get for healthy puppies!. 

We had not only one, but two offers! We could not believe it! 

The best offer came from a lovely Australian Tibetan Buddhist nun, named Lozang Khadro. Khadro is in Dharamsala studying Buddhism and wanted to give back to the community. Not only does Jimmy now live a wondeful life in her first home ever, but Khadro volunteers at DAR every Saturday to help even more animals.

A dream come true!

Not every dog at DAR is so lucky. We have many dogs that end up living here forever due to the fact that no one wants to adopt them. We have Snowy and Marvin with a chronic skin conditions, Muffin with only one leg that works properly so she bounces from place to place, and Cookie, Coconut, and Khalu all on three legs. 

DAR provides all our permanent residents daily hikes, special diets for chronic conditions, grooming and lots of hugs and pets to make sure they know that DAR is their home....however, we need help funding this. 

If you can help us provide sponsorship for each permanent resident that lives at DAR, we can guarantee their continued quality of life. Any excess funds will go to help our long term recovery patients who are suffering from broken bones, mange, rickets, malnutrition or any other health issue needed 24/7 care at our clinic.

As Valentine's Day is approaching, we can't think of a better gift for your loved ones than sponsoring a DAR dog in their name. 

You can learn more about our Sponsoship Program though our MicroProject on GlobalGiving by clicking HERE. 

If you would like to send someone a Valentine, please do the following: 

  • Enter a donation amount
  • Click donate
  • On the landing page, under the donation amount, there is the option, “Make your donation in honor of someone” 
  • Click on that and you will option to send a photo of one of dogs to your loved one. 



Happy Valentine's Day from Jimmy and all of us at DAR. 

Jimmy in her new home.
Jimmy in her new home.
Cookie our 3-legged leader.
Cookie our 3-legged leader.
Sandy-our 16 year old that keeps on going!
Sandy-our 16 year old that keeps on going!
Coconut - 3-legged wild girl.
Coconut - 3-legged wild girl.


Dec 19, 2016

Meet Snowy.. just in time for the Holidays


Dear DAR Supporters. 

I can't think of a better story to tell today then the story of Snowy.. wishing in the Holdiay season. 

Snowy was born on the streets of Dharamsala with a view of the snowy Himlayas, as dogs here are. Snowy was luckier than most because she given loving care from birth by a local Tibetan women. She had a nice calm and quiet place to sleep, and many friends. Her sweet friendly disposition shows she was loved. 

Unfortunately, Snowy has chronic skin problems that led to demodectic mange, a condition caused by low immunity. For 2 years in a row, during monsoon season, Snowy would come to DAR red, scabby, losing fur, skinny, and itchy. It would take two months of medicine and a high protein diet (the mange mites feed on carbs) to get her back to her beautiful self. 

When the same thing happened year 3, we decided to make Snowy one of our permanent residents so we keep a close eye on her diet and overall health. DAR has 14 permanent residents that we keep because no one will adopt them and they cannot survive on the street. 

Snowy has thrived at DAR. She has become a true femme fatale. She is such a sweetheart that everyone, dogs included, fall in love with her. However, if you step on her foot by accident or another dog growls, she will have an utter tantrum.. howl, moan.. which of course, just gets her more attention : ) 

How do we afford to keep Snowy and her friends at DAR in good health while providing lots of love you ask? We offer Sponsorships! For just $100 per year, you help us help Snowy...then you receive a Welcome Note, and 3 Updates per year on how she is doing.. on New Year's, Valentine's Day and Summer.

 Can you think of a better gift for you dog loving friends and family? 

How does it work?

  • Click the $100 option on our GlobalGiving page
  • Then we email you for details on who the gift is for
  • DONE

Click the link below to see just how happy Snowy is at DAR.

If you have any questions, please just reply to this email and I will get back to you. 

Thanks for helping us keep Snowy warm and loved. 

Happy Holidays, 


Nov 10, 2016

Ruby Survived Distemper and More Dogs Can too!


 Dear friends of DAR, 

Ruby, is the DAR CEO and is a distemper survivor.. A deadly disease for unvaccinated puppies. She has a story to tell: 

'There is a t-shirt out there that says, "All I want to do is rescue dogs and drink wine."

Sounds too good to be true.. and it is. There are many times you may be drinking wine because of animals you cannot save or mistakes you made and lives were lost. 

Luckily, lessons learned make our protocols and procedures better in India, a country that more stray dogs than anywhere else in the world. A place where veterinarians only go to vet school if they cannot get into human medical school.. not because they love animals. 

There are no Government run mass vaccination programs for rabies which kills more humans in India than anywhere else in the world... nor are their mass vaccination prorgrams for highly contagious diseases like Parvo and Distemper... two deadly diseases for puppies and dogs with low immunity. Luckily because of DAR, I was saved. 

Every year, twice a year, it is puppy season. We do our best to spay and neuter the streets dogs, but as there are thousands of them, it will take a life time to sterilize them all unless one day we get a HUGE influx of money, to have more space, find many more animal loving Indians and are able to hire more vets. 

Since that is not the current case, what does this mean?  Two times a year pups are born on the street. None are vaccinated against diseases, like parvo and distemper. Many of these pups are hit by cars, or dumped at our clinic by locals that do not want more dogs in their villages. Our clinic becomes overrun with puppies that have been taken away from the moms too soon and therefore have weak immune systems. Basically, prime candidates for these two diseases. 

Two years ago, we had a disease protocol in place. We vaccinated every puppy against parvo and distemper upon entering our clinic. Some were too young for the vaccination but vet studies have shown that early vaccinations then boosters are beneficial in preventing the disease.

Unfortunately, one puppy started showing signs of parvo but we had no way of knowing for sure. The puppy was lethargic and had lost its appetite. We were not positive that is was parvo so we waited a few days to just monitor the pups behavior.

This was a huge mistake. Instead of assuming the worst and isolating this puppy he remained near the rest of the pups while we were monitoring his health. By day three 6 other puppies were showing early signs of parvo.

Now we were in a state of emergency. We needed to get any puppy not showing signs of parvo out of our clinic! Problem, in Dharamsala, not many people like street dogs, so we had to bring most of them to our own homes!!

Next, we needed to get every puppy still with us on treatment for parvo. As there is no cure for parvo, all we could do to treat the puppies is to do whatever we could to boost their immune systems to be able to fight it off.

Every single puppy died. It was awful. 

Some puppies died right away and some after 10 days. We were all heartbroken and beating ourselves up for our failure.

To pick ourselves back up again, we closed the clinic for two weeks, the minimum amount of time needed to kill off the parvo disease.

We instituted new cleaning protocols to prevent disease from spreading.

We discovered that we could order snap tests kits for both parvo and distemper. This way, if any symptoms arose, we could immediately test the puppies to see if they had the disease, and if so, handle everything with a sense of urgency. Our new motto was “assume the worst,” and do the test, as opposed to wait a few days and see.

This is unfortunately commom place in many shelters in India. With limited funds, space, and people who care, and a diseases uncontrollable with the amount of pups born on the street. 

When we reopened the clinic, everyone was so fearful that a similar thing would happen and changing habits can be hard. Our management staff kept at the team until the new processes became second nature.

I am happy to report that in the past two years, since this incident and we have not had this situation again.. Not to say that there has been no disease, but with our new sense of urgency and protocol, we can save healthy puppies from contracting and dying of awful diseases.... just like me. 

Our new systems do cost money! Each kit costs $3.50. During the two puppys seasons or 4 months per year, we will use on average 60 kits per month costing DAR $840.

We also provide 50 vaccinations per month for parvo and distemper prevention. Each vaccination costs $2.70 or $1620 per year. 

It is a lot of money, but we think it is worth it to keep dogs safe and healthy from disease. If you can contribute to help cover these costs we would be so thankful. 

Luckily Giving Tuesday is approaching and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be matching eac donation by 50%. 

Yes, you heard that right, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be matching all donations to Dharamsala Animal Rescue on Giving Tuesday:

  • The 2016 #GivingTuesday campaign will begin November 29th, 2016, at 00:00:01 EST and end at 23:59:59 EST on November 29th, 2016.

Thank you so much as always for supporting our work.. to End Suffering and Increase Compassion for the stray animals of Dharamsala. 

 Thanks, Ruby


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