August 2008: Things you might not know about VSPCA
Did you know that VSPCA is much more than an animal shelter? We are an environment of peace and an oasis of nature in a hectic, often hostile sea of development.
If you've watched our recent videos on our home page – especially the end of part III when the "cows come home" – you've witnessed this tranquility and beauty.
But perfect peace for the animals is something we can only keep striving for.
Yes, we are a haven for 600 rescued cows and buffaloes. But did you know that only 400 of them have adequate shelter due to lack of funds?
Or did you know that our highest paid staff members – our four hardworking veterinarians – earn salaries of just $300 USD a month and that our shelter workers earn an average of $100 USD a month? Our vets work at mobile ABC (animal birth control) camps with street dog surgeries of 40 per day. Besides looking after nearly 900 animals in the shelter and up to 1100 animals daily including the ABC dogs, the vets attend to all domestic and wild animals, large and small, as well as emergency SOS calls every day.
Did you know our US-based global outreach is entirely voluntary? 100% of every donation goes directly to India.
The scope of our efforts is so great but we have no money in reserve – and in fact are running with a debt – but not without the faith that your support will keep us going.
Did you know that, to date, we have not turned away any animal in need? And that as a true no-kill shelter we only euthanize animals who are beyond hope of recovery from serious illness? It's essential that we gain control over our debts and have a stable operating fund to maintain these high animal care standards. Quite frankly, not being able to do so would crush our spirits and our promise to the animals of our region.
Here in Visakhapatnam, we are trying to engage the entire community to help the animals. We ask the hotels to donate their leftover food for our shelter animals. We show the local farmers how to treat their animals more compassionately. By teaching them how to collect and process their draft cattle's dung for fuel (biogas), we help them keep the animals alive and well-treated until they die a natural death.
Our goal of financial solvency remains just outside of our reach, especially during these challenging times. In India, as everywhere else, fuel, wages and food costs are reaching new heights. As we all know, it is the animals who are the first to suffer.
Would you like to help us? We are raising funds to better clothe our workers. Did you know they have no boots, even though it is a hardship to work without them? Our challenges will never overwhelm us so long as generous donors continue to value the work we do.
Since our last report in May, La Fondation Brigitte Bardot has very generously given us a grant to buy a new ambulance which will help us during disasters. (Please help us pay for the petrol!) We would also like to thank the following major contributors for their gracious assistance: the Marian Norbury Fund for the Animals (sponsorship of vet salaries), WSPA (for helping our humane education efforts; The Marchig Trust (support for our cats), The Animal Rescue League of Boston (vet supplies), Olive Walker (innumerable projects), Jane Courtney (help for our horses and veterinary horse camps), Margaret Gebhard, and The Animal Rescue Site where you can click every day to help feed animals and the Visakha Gowrakha Samithi (for monthly cattle feed).
We are also indebted to the following kind contributors:
Karen Atkin, Monica Amesty, Catherine Joan Blackburn, L. M. Hussen Bux, Lucie Farrow, Pradeep Khanna, Amy Lerner, Susan Q. Mcclung, Kathleen Nurena, Linda Powers (in honor of Dr Khare), M. K. Pradhan, Arun Madhava Rao, Marianne Reeves, Cdr. H.K. Sharma, John and Sue Shaw, Oliver Sohm, Amanda Stevenson, Priya Subramaniam, Rob de Valera, Victoria Windsor, Jackie Woelz, Ellie Zapata.
As well as cherishing our monthly subscribers:
Syd Baumel, Lynette Bevan, Jean Bird, Judith Embry, Renee Kehr, Melanie Freeberg, Esther Geisser, Rob Holland, Judy Hungerford, Glynis Jennings, Amy Kauffman, Kumar Kakarlapudi, Lek Hanshin, Brian Mann, Bosky Ravindranath, Sandi Passmore, Momemaneni Radha, Gina Sopwith, Margot M. Stoffels, Venkata Tadimeti, Andrew Wells.
Finally, Animal People News, Maneka Gandhi and Phil Wollen continue to be our guiding lights.
P.S. Please read our new Sea Turtle report online.
With kind regards from VSPCA,
Eileen Weintraub (USA)
VSPCA Global Outreach
Founder and President