26 April 2008

Animal Shelter Update

At the Arunachala Animal Sanctuary there are seven staff members and a part-time cook (lots of doggie meals to make!). In the below photograph, the two Animal Shelter vets, both with post graduate degrees from the renowned Chennai (Madras) Veterinary College. Dr. Pushpalata (the lady) focuses primarily on clinic duties and Dr. Rajasekaran’s main focus is the ABC Sterlization Programme.

This is a before photograph of a little monkey named Baby, currently resident at the Shelter. You can read more about him at this link.

And now below the wonderful 'after' photographs of Baby. He is sitting with a friend (another injured monkey brought into the Shelter by a member of the public). Baby is in the foreground and see how all those terrible wound have healed -- his new friend is sitting in the back with a very loving hand on Baby's arm.

There is even a third young monkey resident in the 'monkey cage' at the Animal Shelter. So lots of playtime!

Below one of the resident Shelter dogs, checking out all the noise and commotion coming from the 'monkey cage'.

The Shelter comprises two main buildings. One houses a sterile operating theatre, a modern clinic examination/treatment room, a small isolation ward, a small dispensary, a reception verandah, and a large retaining cage. The other building has three large retaining cages -- and a fully equipped kitchen.

A painting on the outside wall of the Animal Sanctuary, shows Mahatma Gandhi with his famous humantarian words: "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

In utilising an ABC and Anti-Rabies Programme, the Animal Shelter aims to control population and eliminate rabies. Homeless street dogs are captured, brought in, sterlized, given anti-rabies injections and allowed to remain at the Shelter for up to six days to recuperate and are then returned to their original territory. Since the opening of the Centre well over a 1,000 dogs have been sterlized and given anti-rabies injections.

In addition to ABC sterlization programmes for homeless dogs, many locals bring in dogs (both street dogs and pets) to the Shelter’s Clinic for veterinary attention. As well as dogs, all small animals (and sometimes farm animals in emergency situations) are provided with care and assistance. The Arunachala Sanctuary is open seven days a week and provides emergency services 24 hours a day.

The Shelter also provides hospital facilities especially in the case of animals who need isolation or have to be kept in retaining areas. For animals that cannot survive on their own, the Shelter offers them sanctuary for the rest of their lives. Dying animals are given intensive loving care at the Shelter; including IV’s, pain killers, antibiotics and lots of good food.

The grounds of the Shelter are now grass-covered and filled with plants and saplings. Around the grounds are coconut leaf huts for dogs to hide during those hot summer days. Lots of space and room for puppy and doggie games and fun.

Below is a photograph of Leslie Robinson, co-founder of the Animal Shelter. A lover of animals who hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S. He worked as an Actuary in the States until he met his guru, Swami Muktananda in 1975. The meeting was to totally change his life and Leslie travelled with Swami Muktananda and spent ten years in Swami’s ashrams in the States and India. Leslie is currently living at Tiruvannamalai.

And here is Gina Suritsch, co-founder of the Shelter. Gina was born in Vienna, Austria. In the late 70's Gina relocated to Findhorn, Scotland where she lived for five years. After several years in Italy living at Ananda Community, Gina started visiting India in 1985. She now spends much of her time at Tiruvannamalai.

If you are not yet a subscriber to the monthly Arunachala Grace News, please check out the facility at the left margin of this site. This month we are featuring information on Wesak, the upcoming Buddha Festival, Arunachala Tidbits, a short narrative on a very unusual Bear, narratives on the Indian Treepie (common in Tiruvannamalai District), and Erythrina Indica and its properties (Indian Coral Tree). As well as some features about the mythology of Arunachala -- Arunachala Grace News will also have a narrative on the history of the Animal Shelter and why Leslie Robinson and his friends felt compelled to create the Sanctuary. Arunachala Grace News, May 2008, issue will be sent out direct to subscribers email inboxes within the next few days -- remember to sign up for your free subscription.


ramanamayi said...

What a relief to see the photos of Baby looking so much healthier and happier! What an amazing transformation. The first photos were so utterly heartbreaking I prayed to Bhagavan Ramana to take the little creature into his care.

May Arunachala shower those dear veterinarians with Grace.

Thanks for all your wonderful posts.

Eileen said...

What wonderful photos and news of the shelter, thanks! When I return to India I want to volunteer in such a place. I really loved my time working in Karuna Society in Puttaparthi.

Anonymous said...

Your photos evokes so much warmth! Please keep up the good work :-)