Animal Welfare

Livestock is intricately interwoven into the lives of the Spiti community and plays an integral role in local livelihoods. Livestock dung is an important source of manure and fuel to keep warm during the winters. Yaks help with ploughing of the fields, milk from dzomos and cows is made into various dairy products, while beautiful handicrafts are made from the wool of Yaks and Sheep. Historically, yaks, donkeys, and horses were the only mode of transport in Spiti. Donkeys still ferry goods and produce while yaks and horses are ridden occasionally, especially during festivals.

The people in Spiti however face a two-fold challenge with regard to their livestock.

Wildlife attacks

The smaller livestock like sheep, goats, donkeys, the young ones of the yaks and horses are easy prey for wild predators such as the Snow Leopard and the Himalayan Wolf. This leaves a huge financial and livelihood loss on the villagers and anger towards the predators.

Stray dogs

There are over 750 stray dogs in Spiti. Most of them are found in urban centres of Kaza and Tabo. Lack of food during the harsh winter months makes them predators. Some resort to eating garbage and feces, while some kill the smaller livestock or wild herbivores.

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated
– Gandhi




Enhanced Herding Practices


  • No livestock deaths

Livestock are most commonly attacked when they are taken out daily to graze. Local communities in Spiti follow traditional practices of rotational herding in the villages, which often leaves livestock easy prey to predators. To enhance the herding practices, we supported the village of Demul to hire a permanent herder who would daily herd the cattle alongwith the village herders.

This intervention helped to prevent any livestock killings during herding. Realising the success of this simple intervention, after 2 years of us supporting the salary of the herder, the village adopted this new way of herding and took on the expenses of the herder.

This practise is now gradually being adopted in other villages of Spiti too.

Feeding the Strays


  • 200+ dogs are fed every year in the extreme winter

Deliberation on the problem of dogs turning into predators led us to understand the root cause of the problem. The answer was simple – lack of food during the harsh winter months.

In order to address this problem, in the winter of 2015 we joined hands with the local administration and managed to motivate a local women’s self help group (Mentok SHG) to feed stray dogs of Kaza during the winter months.

The women now get together every winter to cook food for the dogs and feed them. Thick roti’s (bread) are made by the women which are then fed to the dogs even when temperatures drop to a bone-chilling -30 degrees. Sacks of Pedigree are also distributed to people on the outskirts of Kaza so they can feed the dogs in these areas.

By encouraging the community to feed the dogs, we hope to reduce this conflict and change the community’s mindset and attitudes towards the stray dog population. The current relationship is fraught with misunderstanding and fear. The ongoing feeding initiatives aim to bridge this divide and enable peaceful co-existence between the people and the dogs. If every family feeds the strays, it also becomes easier to catch them for sterilization and reduce their numbers in the long run.

Make a Difference

Join us in helping keep the dogs well-fed!

Your contribution will help buy sacks of flour and pedigree to feed the stray dogs of Spiti, preventing them from killing livestock or in desperation eating each other.


INR 1000 helps pay for 1 sack of flour

INR 5000 helps feed the dogs for 1 week

Sterilisation Drives


  • 50 dogs+ sterilized.

To reduce the increasing number of strays in Spiti, we conducted sterilisation drives in 2016 and 2017 with the help of the Government Veterinary Department and NCF in Kaza. Subsequently, the Veterinary Department and local community with the help of the Mentok SHG to catch the strays, have now been undertaking these sterilization drives annually. These drives are however required on a much larger scale and across Spiti to control the stray dog population in Spiti.

Make a Difference

Volunteer your time and expertise with us in Spiti!

If you’re a veterinarian keen on making a difference, we would love to have you over.
Connect with us if you would like to get involved.

Other Initiatives

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