Update on Kindness Farm!
Over the past few months, we talked about VSPCA’s new initiative, The World’s First Gated Dog Park.
In this article, we want to share an update on its progress. The Dog Park is a full-fledged manifestation of at least 25 ready housing units/bungalows for the dogs with their own swimming pools, their sandboxes and recreation areas, and their own burial grounds. We do this keeping in mind the many dogs we lost and pay our respects to them with burial grounds and tombstones. We have banners across the Dog Park indicating NetAP (our partner, Network for Animal Protection) is collaborating with VSPCA on this Kindness Farm project.
This project at Kindness Farm (henceforth, The Farm) is a role-model project that demonstrates human and animal healthy co-existence in cities. VSPCA’s founder, Mr. Pradeep Kumar Nath, has taken on this initiative to showcase to the municipalities across the state of Andhra Pradesh, to adopt similar strategies and tactics. All residents in our rural and urban ecosystems must harmoniously co-exist with each other.
We have many unused open spaces across our city and even our city parks, which remain closed and unoccupied at night times. Our aim with this Dog Park is to have animal lovers, as well as people from municipalities, round up dogs at night that either sleep on the streets or in communal places and have them sleep at such a “Dog Park,” thus keeping the city residents and animals safe, reducing human-animal conflicts. This will thus result in fewer accidents, fewer emergencies to attend to, a decrease in calls from residents about dog fights in their neighbourhoods, and a decrease in dog bites. The Dog Park will also help us continue to monitor new dogs in the area and provide them with spay-neuter surgeries and rabies vaccinations aiding Visakhapatnam in maintaining its status as a rabies-free city.
VSPCA’s Kindness Farm is not simply an animal sanctuary or a rescue facility. It is a bold experiment evolving into an agro-forestry-type landscape with native plants, trees, and shrubs facilitating all the community’s animals, to find ways to increase the biodiversity of the entire region. The Farm’s staff do not interfere with native plants growing in and outside of it. They encourage the native plants as they invite pollinators, reptiles, insects, birds, and even larger mammals like leopards and mongooses back to the ecosystem.
In the last few weeks, a leopard has been spotted wandering The Farm’s boundary. VSPCA is working with a Foundation in Boston, USA, to strengthen the boundary wall of The Farm. The Farm is really about this message: It is important to invite biodiversity back to the region of Kuruvada, just as important it is to protect the rescued animals at Kindness Farm who cannot live in the wild anymore. These are two sides of the same coin. Rescuing animals teaches us about animal cultures. We can then make the link to the region’s biodiversity and begin to see just how many animals exist in human-dominated spaces.
We are also happy to report that we have spotted several mongooses and snakes in and around The Farm and one can hear many different chirps and songs from birds that we haven’t seen or heard from in decades!
Here, we bring your awareness to the fact that even the city is part of something complex. And, VSPCA understands complex ecosystems. It is why it works with animals to try to bring back some of what we have lost about complex ecosystems.