Fall 2007 Urgent Update
A home for 1050 animals can't run on compassion alone!
Before we tell you what's been happening, we need to tell you about a problem we've been having.
Here in India the needs of animals are extraordinary, and in our part of the country, Visakha SPCA is the only organization ready, willing and able to help. That means we usually find it impossible to stand by when we see animals in need. This has resulted in a high rate of growth in all of our programs (like the mobile animal birth control units for dogs you'll read about in a moment).
Fortunately, grants and donations have been received to fund these highly specific programs and projects.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the day-to-day running of our animal shelter - currently home to 1050 cows, cats, dogs, monkeys, horses, parrots and other wonderful animals - we are constantly battling to pay our bills. This month, we are 800,000 rupees ($19,000 USD) in the red. Our dedicated staff have had to forgo their wages now for two months. (They have grown used to living hand-to-mouth during these periods.)
So, we are asking that you consider making a generous donation today so we don't have to struggle every month to stay afloat. If every one of our VSPCA update subscribers donated $10 USD per month, our operating expenses would be covered! So please review our donation options or sponsor one of our animals (we are now accepting credit cards).
As always, we are so grateful for your support and your interest in reading our reports and sharing our vision of a kinder world for all. And now, here are some of the things we've been up to since the last update!
More ABCs - fewer unwanted dogs
We were very excited this summer to step up our dog ABC (animal birth control) program with three new mobile camps in the Visakhapatnam area.
The inauguration ceremony for the first mobile camp in our dog ABC program on July 12. The ceremony was held at Scindia, a town near Visakhapatnam, with the support and participation of the Greater Visakha Municipal Corporation (similar to a city council in the West).
On July 23 we had the inauguration ceremony for our third mobile camp at Pendurthy near Visakhapatnam. Among the officials in attendance were the Deputy Mayor of Visakhapatnam, the municipal veterinarian Dr. Karnakaran, the divisional health officer Dr. Girish and our special guest, Sherry Grant, WSPA Consultant. Ms. Grant and her team helped teach us the ABC one-day release technique when she visited us in 2005.
This is our driver Srinu in action with Darga the expert dog catcher. Help us pay them!
And below is one of our new mobile ABC camps. We have done approximately 30,000 dog operations so far! Operating on the anesthetized dog are Dr. Neeraj (left), Dr. Manish Verma (right) and a veterinary assistant. VSPCA currently has five full-time veterinarians and one part-time–each capable of fixing 20 dogs a day–and one part-time. They alternate between the mobile camps and the animals in our shelter.
VSPCA to the rescue!
This baby parrot was recently seized from one of the "astrologers" (fortune tellers, really) in our area who keep parrots cruelly in boxes and use them to pick cards to tell people's fortunes. Our vets say the bird has a skin disease that will improve with care.
One of two kittens recently rescued from being dumped on the roadside. Many kittens are just thrown away like this. Both are now recovering in our shelter.
This lucky dog was dramatically pulled up from the bottom of a 40-foot well at Palayam, near Visakhapatnam. It took a full week before we were called to help him. Srinu, our driver, and Ramu, the animal helper, used a simple method: they lowered a basket down the well, and the dog jumped right in! By then he was in a very weak and emaciated state, but he has since recovered. He is a community or street dog and will soon be returned to his village where the people are good to him (even though it took them a week to call us about him!).
Along with the Forest department staff we raiding over six markets in a 16 hour day. This is a followup of the previous Sunday raid. We almost caught the culprits but they jumped the wall and ran away. We seized many birds. The positive news is that there is no more sale of the tortoises due to our efforts. The Entire District is devoid of these sales and like our cobra campaigns, we have 100 % success. We now want to totally stop the hunting of monitor lizards.
Pet shops that are springing up all over our city, with no understanding of proper treatment of animals. After proper warnings, we frequently raid and rescue them from cruel conditions like above for these poor puppies with many animals crammed together. Afterwards we explain the Animal Welfare Rules and if they are not followed these places must be closed down.
Rescued horses - new residents of our sanctuary
We are seeking funding to start a horse camp education campaign as the working horses in our area are very poorly treated. The horses suffer from malnutrition, skin disease, abuses, injuries, soft foot, colic pain and indigestion. We have had to rescue some sick and blind ones that were completely abandoned and they are with us now enjoying some good care. We need to rescue more and are left with no choice but to take them in, we urgently need donations to help take care of them.
This cutie (above) is enjoying some good fodder at our sanctuary and relieved to be off the street having to fend for himself.
Event: India Independence 60 year anniversary - August 15th we were happy to host the feeding of our cows by 70 people in honor of this day. One donor remarked that she wished her country (USA) honored their Independence Day by helping other beings!
We are very grateful to WSPA (World Society for Protection for Animals) for giving us a humane education grant and are busy preparing for a fresh approach to schools and the public to teach them how to respect and take better care of animals. The cat quarantine room built with Ms. Olive Walker's donation is now finished and is allowing us to help more cats.
ABC on space station dogs – In Sullurpeta we have done 100 dogs in the Sriharikota Launch facility colonies in three days time and another 300 are yet to be done. We are also negotiating the care of about 300 half wild cattle in the area which are creating problems straying in the space station facilities!
We completed phase two of dog animal birth control at our local Visakha Steel Plant - almost 400 dogs. Another 230 dogs remain to be done along with the revaccination programmes.
WSPA is planning a National Disaster Preparedness Program to help animals for our cyclone prone region and VSPCA looks forward to leading the way in our area. Ms. Sherry Grant and Mr. Peter Williams are coordinating this and we will be quite relieved when, with WSPA's help, we can be ready to rescue animals if disaster strikes.
On behalf of all of us at VSPCA, thank you!
This update is reported by Pradeep Nath, VSPCA Founder and President; written by Eileen Weintraub, VSPCA Representative/Global Outreach (with help from Syd Baumel).