Spring news update and appeal
Hoping you are all well in our challenging world.
Helping us help the animals, 24/7/365
VSPCA has one of the most comprehensive animal shelters in India: dogs and cats, cattle and birds, and wildlife that was being illegally kept to be sold dead or alive. As if that wasn't enough work to do, we also have our ambitiously eco-friendly, 100% organic farming and renewable energy projects to run, plus our medical facilities for the animals!
But frankly, if there is no disaster we get very few donations. Yet how can we continue to feed our shelter animals, rescue distressed animals and reach out towards our community to teach them love and respect for animals without financial help? VSPCA has no cushion of funds, no endowment fund or nest egg. Without your critical, continuing help, we will eventually (soon, actually) run out of the funds we need to pay our daily operating expenses. Please consider becoming a monthly donor.
The ABCs of prevention
One of our most important projects is our animal birth control program (ABC) for dogs and cats. Recently, due to heightened publicity about dog bites, the public's tolerance for any trouble with the street dogs has gone way down. Consequently, VSPCA wants to go full tilt to spay/neuter/vaccinate 10,000 street or community dogs: fewer dogs means fewer bites -- and fewer dogs put down. We need your help to accomplish this and to show the public that we can control the problem so the authorities don't have to start killing street dogs again en masse.
Urgent call for veterinary volunteers
Our new mobile camps require skilled veterinary help and we need ongoing teams to come and assist in these surgeries. As well as donated supplies. Please contact us for further information on these life saving projects.
We have updated our web site with the following pages:
- Our Needs
- Alternative Technologies: Biogas, Vermicompost and EM (Effective Microorganisms) Technology (PDF)
- Sea Turtle Protection for the 2006 – 2007 Season
- And our new sponsor page!
As much as we'd like to take in every needy animal in Visakhapatnam - and trust us, there are plenty – we have neither the space nor the resources. However, there are some truly distressed individuals that we just cannot turn away. Take "Brando" (we had to – look at him, wouldn't you?).
Power and politics have never been good foundations for animal welfare. After a recent election for Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation, the winner apparently wanted to demonstrate his power over his defeated rival, so he called him and threatened to kill his dog! Before Brando's owner could do anything, the new Council member then called the city and falsely reported that he had seen a ferocious dog - Brando! - attacking everyone who walked by! Maybe he thought the city kills ferocious dogs like they used to do. But these days, thankfully, they call us. We picked up a sweet, calm dog, and it is very difficult to imagine our newest shelter dog biting even a cat. The sad part is we cannot return Brando to his owner because we don't know what his rival will do next.
Stray cats becoming meat pies
We have reliable evidence that cats are secretly being killed by poachers who sell the meat to hotels as a cheap meat substitute. Our close investigations and evidence is allowing us, with the help of a network of volunteers, to chase the cat killers away from our city, but they are now operating from several hundred kilometres away from us. We are in touch with local animal welfare organisations and other friends there in these locations in a team approach to prevent these atrocities. And we have to remain ever vigilant at home, as our city of Visakha has now become very large.
Stopping the puppy mills
India has regulations as to how puppies can be raised and sold and we are preventing the abuse of these laws by closing down the "pet shops" selling these "puppy mill" dogs. One does not need any funds to just go out and nab the culprits . But after rescuing we need to facilitate their rehabilitation and that is our ongoing operational expense.
We find that 30 percent of the abandoned pet dogs we take in are sick and 90 percent are not vaccinated, even for rabies, making them easily responsible for spreading disease. Ironically, the street dogs are more protected against these diseases (through our efforts) than companion dogs. We are encouraging the adoption of these neglected dogs over the adoption of new purebred dogs, although it sometimes feels like a losing battle.
On 7th of May VSPCA rescued 6 more endangered star tortoises from the Sri Satyanaryana Temple in Visakhapatnam. The tortoises had been kept in the most unhygienic conditions on concrete without shade. It was unimaginable how the animals could have endured the scorching sun day after day. They had also been improperly fed. After a very bitter 12-hour argument, we persuaded the temple authorities to release the tortoises to us after convincing them they would not survive in these inhumane conditions. They have since been cooling their heels at our shelter. It is a joy to see them scurrying in the grass for a change. We now have a total of 26 star tortoises at our shelter!
Our thanks to you
Our gratitude goes out especially to Mrs. Maneka Gandhi who works tirelessly for us and many other animal shelters. Many thanks to the Animal Board of India Chairman who kindly took the time out of his busy schedule to visit our shelter and recommend us for receiving ABC (animal birth control) funds. We greatly appreciate the administrative help of Animal People News and the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (AVAR). Special thanks to Scott Feldstein for coming across the world to volunteer.
Donations for the past four months: We are so thankful to The Marchig Trust for their "helping the cats" grant, the Compassion for Animals Foundation and The Winsome Constance Kindness Trust. Donated supplies were received from the Animal Rescue League of Boston and Best Friends Society. Ms. Olive Walker very generously helped us fund several vital projects. Thank you as always to Ms. Margaret Gebhard who has been helping us for many years. Additionally, these wonderful people gave contributions: Sharon St. Joan, Jennie Blenkinsop, Jane Courtney, Janice Emich, Judy Hungerford, Jean Bird, Scott Feldstein, Marie and Alan Fowler, Renee Kehr, Mandy of Positive Outcome, J.A. Parsons, S. Vijaya Duraga, Brijbhushan Niralay, A. Liva Prasad, Krishna Rajangam, M.V. Raghunatha Rao. Special thanks to our monthly donors: Syd Baumel, Esther Geisser, Judy Hungerford, Brian Mann, Bosky Ravindranath, Gina Sopwith and Andrew Wells.
In loving memory of Lakshmi - one of the original "founders" of VSPCA (left), and Chinna, who died in our care knowing that he was not abandoned (right).
Kindest regards from all of us at VSPCA.