2008: Our story so far...
Greetings of the season to you all! How to sum up a whole year of our works? For those who are interested we've posted our annual report on all our activites and the animals we have helped this past year.
Did you know that VSPCA has done animal birth control for over 65,000 dogs and cats since we began 12 years ago?
For those who have enjoyed our email report these past few years, please consider sending us a donation of any amount.
Great progress for our volunteer programme for the endangered sea turtles of the Bay of Bengal coastline in our state of Andhra Pradesh. We are finally receiving recognition from the local government. Pradeep Nath's 12 years of patrolling the beaches, oftentimes alone at night, against all odds in order to create a scientific census will now receive local support. Pradeep recently presented his findings to a local conference titled "Strategies for conservation of endangered/threatened marine macro fauna along the North Andhra Coast with special focus on Sea turtles, Dolphins, etc." For the first time our sea turtles have gotten the nod for a scheduled protection.
Recently we faced the extreme challenge of helping in the Orissa flood project. (See our photos here.)
One family's beloved cow that
VSPCA workers bringing hay to feed people's starving animals
VSPCA worker with a dog
Just this past month we intervened to rescue abused animals from an "animal welfare" group in nearby Kakinanda that Pradeep Nath has been trying to influence for years. The situation was horrendous, and one brave woman, Lisa Warden, a compassionate animal lover who is visiting India, rescued some of the animals (read an excerpt from Lisa's account below). We were happy to accept the suffering ones and save their lives in the nick of time. Please take a moment to watch our short video of the dogs who are now happy residents of our shelter.
Two of the recently rescued dogs – James Blond and Trooper – are up for sponsorship. Did you know you can give a gift sponsorship? Just note in your contribution who you would like the photo and a holiday card to be sent to as a gift from you. Sorry, we cannot send plush toys at this time!
Your confidence in our works has allowed us to progress thus far but we must tell you that we need your support now more than ever. Please consider joining our humble but growing list of monthly supporters. If you're from the United States, the dollar is currently strong against the rupee, so your contribution will go very far! We are also pleased to announce that USA tax deductible donations may now also be sent through our representative in the USA. Please see our donation page for more information.
Sending you all a heartfelt wish for a better tomorrow, on behalf of Pradeep Nath and all at VSPCA, and Eileen Weintraub (USA), VSPCA volunteer for Global Outreach.
Lisa Warden's account of her experience with VSCPA:
"I decided to go and pay another SPCA (the VSPCA in Visakhapatnam) a visit in an attempt to find out what animal shelter standards are in India as desperately wanted to help the animals at the Kakinanda SPCA. Nothing like showing up unannounced to get a glimpse of what a shelter is really like.
"To my extreme relief the VSPCA is the real thing. These guys have almost 1000 permanent resident animals, which include dogs, cats, cows, water buffalo, horses, monkeys, turtles, birds of many kinds, rabbits, and guinea pigs, all on two acres! With the wild animals (monkeys, birds, etc.), they rehabilitate them and release them back into their natural habitat unless they are too injured or mental to return. The rest, and those dogs and cats that have no hope of surviving back on the street, they care for with evident love and devotion. They have an incredible spay/neuter catch-and-release program for street dogs (called 'ABC' in India, for animal birth control). They have a capacity to perform ABC on 60 dogs per day, but they're currently only receiving enough funding to do 40 per day. So they go around and pick up street dogs, bring them in, sterilize and vaccinate them, then feed them up nicely for a few days until they've recovered and regained their strength, then release them in the same spot where they picked them up. Many of these dogs are sort of communally owned in the areas where they live, but the people will never pay to have them vaccinated or sterilized, so this is an excellent way of preventing the dogs from reproducing or spreading rabies and other diseases. Every time I'm at the shelter I see new loads of dogs coming in or going out. From outside the cages on the truck, I look into the depth and beauty in their precious eyes. I wish I could build a gi-normous ranch, clone myself, take them all in, and care, love and play with them forever. But I can't. That's what heaven is for. Here and now, the best that can be done is being done, by these good souls at the VSPCA, although they could do more if they had more funding and more land.
Pradeep Nath, the founder, would prefer to be 'in the field' at the shelter, but he ends up working full-time in the office in town trying to keep the operation afloat, in addition to directing emergency animal rescue work in other areas of India that are stricken with natural disasters. We explain to him our concerns about the Kakinanda SPCA, about the unimaginable despair and dejection of the dogs there, about how some of them appear to be close to death from starvation, about the tormented solitary kitten, about the agony of the cow with the broken pelvis who has been suffering silently, lying in the same spot for weeks on end, about how many of the animals have no water. Pradeep explains to us the sordid history of the place, how they periodically collect funds to perform ABC, drag in some dogs off the street, chain them up on the property for show, and do nothing but subject the dogs to miserable incarceration. He has been trying without success to get the place closed down for years.
"The VSPCA is full to the brim with animals and their head veterinarian has told Pradeep they cannot accept any more. Seeing the photos of the weakest animals though, he agrees to take in five dogs and Mama's six puppies, along with the kitten. It was only out of raw compassion that they agreed to take in these extra animals. Their resources are already stretched very thin, and yet they are still pulling out all the stops to provide these animals with all they need to help them survive and thrive - deworming, vaccinations, high quality food, B12 injections, spaying and neutering, exercise and play, and love and devotion, and a lifelong home. To sponsor one of these dogs costs US $20 per month, or even if you might be willing to give a one-time sum ... even just US $10 makes a huge difference and pays for a lot of food or medicine here.
– Lisa Warden