Key Projects – Help Animals India - Saving India's Forgotten Animals

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Key Projects

Saving Elephants from a Life of Abuse

We are major funders for them at WRRC Bangalore, India! L to R: Rani, Janumani, Aneesha and Gowri. (Durga and Lakshmi are grazing elsewhere!)

Captive elephants live deplorable lives of neglect and abuse, whether they are in the working industries, tourist industries, or living in a temple. The problems which beset these gentle giants in captivity are many and varied: the psychological torment of being without freedom and without social bonds, outreach abuse & beatings, poor housing food, water, and exercise. Help Animals India supports the rescue, treatment, and lifetime sanctuary for these beautiful beings.

Learn more about our project here, and learn more about the WRRC Captive Elephant project here.

Here is one of the most recent rescues: Durga’s story. She is 22 year old Asian Elephant had lived two decades in a cloistered shed in the middle of the city's busiest traffic area. She had never been left free of chains and had managed to pass two decades without having access to grass, dust, mud, rain and everything important and natural in an elephant's life.

Durga had forgotten what it was to be an elephant...she was scared, disoriented and distraught when she first came...but with the current rescued residents Gowri and Aneesha's patience in reaching out to her and helping to soothe her fears, Durga is now a important part of the trio!

The dynamics are a delight to watch ... she has started to eat , walk and graze with the seniors and also making shy overtures, wanting to be their friend ! Her pads are in bad condition living for decades on concrete floor which was often wet with urine.

She loves chattering and squeaking to humans as you can see in this video just after rescue and is very tolerant of foot care.

Please help us support these six rescued sweeties, your donations go very to help elephants in India!

Caring for abandoned equines during lockdown

All across India/Nepal Help Animals has been supplementing food for street animals suffering due to 2020 Covid lockdown. Now “working equines” abandoned by their owners join the ongoing need. Help Animals India has risen to the call to help many thousands of animals during “lockdown” and help secure their safe and secure future in sanctuary for life.

Hundreds of horses, donkeys & mules have been abandoned on the streets by their owners. They are unable to care for them on account of rising unemployment in the mining, tourism & pilgrimage industry. The lockdown has impacted this sector, leaving the animals disproportionately affected.

Animals have been left on the streets with no access to food, water or shelter, they are being found in a pitiable state of neglect. Most of them are extremely dehydrated, starving and too weak to even walk to fend for themselves.

To grapple with the ongoing animal welfare crisis, People For Animals Uttarakhand has been steadfastly raising funds to set up a rehabilitation centre for deserted equines. We have been receiving a regular intake of severely malnourished donkeys & horses (some even pregnant!) at our shelter. The animals are provided with immediate relief via a thorough medical check-up by a qualified veterinarian and fed a vet-recommended nutritious diet. Responding to a flood of rescue calls, this translates into efforts of securing a proper rehabilitation centre that acts as a sanctuary for animals in need.

Building Compassion in Sarnath

Help Animals India is helping to transform the relationship between monasteries, villagers and dogs into peaceful coexistence in the city of Sarnath — a sacred pilgrimage site where the Buddha first taught. Thanks to an aggressive program of animal birth control, rabies vaccination and community consciousness-raising, compassion is increasing for all sentient beings — animals included.

Learn more about the transformation here and here.

Community Cat Sterilization, Care, & Shelter

Just like street dogs, countless free roaming street cats live across India. Help Animals India support cat sterilization projects, feline veterinary training, cat rescues, and cat shelters to worthwhile organizations. Our feline projects have ranged from rescuing cats from the horrific cat meat trade to building feline shelters to TNR (trap-neuter-release) community cats. Through our grantee organizations we successfully spay, vaccinate, and treat hundreds of community street cats each year.

Special Kennels for Special Animals

Since 2012, Help Animals India has provided outstanding support for the betterment of lives in Dehradoon at the Rahaat shelter. Help Animals India, PFA Dehradoon’s current largest supporter, has provided the construction of an isolated puppy nursery allowing puppies too young for vaccination to stay farther from adult dogs; a cat shelter that allows the cats to be far removed from the stress of barking dogs; a paraplegic/special needs dog kennel where special needs dogs can remain safe and provide easier access to vets for their daily care; an equine / bovine shelter for PFA’s rescued 3-legged mule, horses, and buffalo; various shelter renovations and improvements, including the small improvements that make life nicer for the dogs, such as dog houses and benches; as well humane dog-catching training workshop, animal birth control projects, and rescue and treatment of street animals.

Just a few small ways Help Animals India’s donors have made a big difference!

Read the full reports in PDF: Part One and Part Two

Modern Medical Equipment that Saves Lives

Help Animals India provides modern veterinary equipment to our partner charities, including gas anesthesia machines and pulse oximeter anesthesia monitoring devices. This equipment enables our veterinarians to perform surgery to the highest standards of safety.

Street Dog Shelter

Help Animals India funded this large street dog center in East India. This new facility allows the organization to provide a home to as many as 200 dogs who are ill, blind, old or otherwise at-risk to survive on the streets.

When Disaster Strikes

Your donations have saved countless animals from the grip of disaster. From the Indian tsunami of 2004, to flooding in the states of Assam and Orissa, to the numerous cyclones of Andhra Pradesh and the 2013 “Himalayan Tsunami” super floods, to the super cyclone in the Bay of Bengal in 2014, the 2015 floods in Chennai, the 2015 major earthquake that wreaked havoc upon Nepal, the 2017 NE India floods, the 2018 Kerala floods, Cyclone Amphan in 2020 and of course the devastating India/Nepal “lockdown” making life more difficult for all! Your funds and outreach have relieved so much suffering. And helping animals is helping people too!

A note on our natural disaster relief philosophy:

We believe that no animal should ever be used for food, profit or any other purpose detrimental to the animal's life and well-being. However, in disasters, we believe the best ethical choice is to do as much as possible to prevent the death and relieve the suffering of farmed animals and other "livestock." Unlike high-profile development agencies who buy "new" animals, we try to save every life-threatened farmed animal when disaster strikes, not abandon and replace them. Feeding and caring for abandoned and injured dogs, cats, and birds during this time also sets examples of kindness. Through our interventions, we strive to show others compassion that will bring better conditions to animals today and in the years to come.

The ABCs of Compassion

A veterinary technician administers a rabies vaccination to a community dog. Each shot costs only $1.

One of the main missions of Help Animals India is to foster humane handling and high quality veterinary care for India's abundant street animals.

An inevitable focus is animal birth control, or ABC, and vaccination to prevent disease and overpopulation among homeless community cats and dogs and other street animals. Animal overpopulation not only leads to tremendous suffering, it promotes the spread of diseases like rabies which are devastating to animals and humans alike.

Funding from Help Animals India also trains animal handlers to humanely use nets to catch cats, dogs and other street animals for ABC or rescue. The default method in India – a noose – is as brutal as it sounds.

Your support for Help Animals India also empowers veterinary clinics to employ best medical practices in safe, sterile operating rooms. These advanced clinics – compared to the norm in India – make a life-and-death difference for thousands of street animals every year.

Veterinary Training

Help Animals India has provided one of India’s first feline veterinary training courses. The concept of pet cats is still fairly new in India, thus feline surgery is rarely taught in Indian vet schools and previously no advanced training was offered. Help Animals India, dedicated to improving India vet standards, set out to fulfill this urgent need, and in partnership with Worldwide Veterinary Service organized India’s first feline medical training course. Professional veterinary instructors from Europe and Australia convened to teach veterinarians, vet techs, and vet nurses from across India in surgical, anesthesia, and other life saving techniques. Training is particularly directed to those working in animal rescue NGOs, but is open to all veterinarian practitioners.

This invaluable training will save the lives & suffering of countless cats across India and will continue annually.

Animal Abuse and Rescue

The poor donkey aboveis a victim of the brutal brick factories of Nepal. His horrible back injury is the result of being saddled with heavy bricks, day in day out, until he finally breaks down and is abandoned to survive or perish on the streets. We support sanctuaries where rescued working donkeys can live the remainder of their life in peace.

The beautiful ladies above are “Chang and Chung.” They were rescued by Animal Nepal after they had been abandoned by a nearby brick factory.

They are the picture of health now, but their condition was so serious when Animal Nepal picked them up in July of 2013 – weakness, malnutrition, saddle wounds – they required emergency veterinary care.

With your support, donkeys such as Chang and Chung are given a new lease on life.

Getting from A to B

Day and night, groups we support are called upon to rescue animals of every kind (this is India) from emergencies: injuries, abuse, illness, neglect.

One way we help is by paying for clever, cost-effective ambulances like the one on the left. Its owner (and designer) is HOPE and Animal Trust, a shelter in the bustling eastern city of Ranchi, capital of the province of Jharkhand.

A nifty motorcycle ambulance like the one above can carry even fairly large animals. Of course, it's perfect for collecting community dogs for animal birth control.

On the other hand ...

This ambulance used by HOPE and Animal Trust in Ranchi rescues animals and then some. It's a multipurpose vehicle for education and awareness activities, ABC (animal birth control) camps in rural areas and mobile veterinary services and vaccinations.

The posters on either side of the Help Animals India logo illustrate in Hindi and in pictures (for illiterate viewers) appropriate ways of interacting with street/community dogs. Many people in India are afraid of street dogs and don't know how to interact with them.

Our partner JBF (Just Be Friendly) in Guwahati, Assam has also upgraded its ambulance service to a whole new level, thanks to your donations.

Above is is the “before” shot: ingenious, but limited.

And here's the "after."

What an impact this full-featured, modern ambulance makes as it combs the busy, chaotic streets of Guwahati.

PFA Chennai needed an ambulance to rescue injured street animals from across the city and rural areas. Help Animals India funded a new emergency vehicle, large enough for street dogs, cows, horses, and any other animal who needs their help.

Many more vehicles bought below is for PFA (People for Animals) Kollam, Hachiko was a famous loyal Japanese dog! Other similar vehicles like this were bought for PFA Hoogly and PFA Kalimpong.

What an impact this vehicle makes while in the city of Aurangabad (Maharashtra state) or going to work in the nearby rural villages. This is a rescue vehicle but also is a mobile spay/neuter camp!

#MobilizeEmpathy is a slogan of our beneficiary, the Magic Marble Foundation. Its partner in Nepal, Heart to Help, has already performed hundreds of dog and cat sterilizations thanks to this new ambulance made possible by your donations to Help Animals India.

From a very different part of India in W. Bengal, Goutam Tantia of Uttar Dinajpur PFA (People for Animals) writes:

Respected Madam, Our Animal Ambulance has just been delivered. From all the members of Uttar Dinajpur PFA we convey our heartfelt thanks and are grateful for your kindness and generosity. It will greatly help us in rescuing animals and provide treatment with three cages, one oxygen cylinder stand, and one saline stand. We are so happy to get the Ambulance.

Left: At the dealership with the giant key! Right: All members gathering for the blessing ceremony of marigold garlands. This is traditional for all new vehicles.

Left: Bangalore's Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre's first vehicle! Here it is in action, rescuing an injured kite bird. Right: And here, WRRC staffers bring special treats for the elephants and monkeys

Feeding the hungry

Vegan school lunches fed impoverished young students in the villages of Nepal. For some kids, it might be the only warm meal of the day. In addition to receiving healthy vegan food, schools with the school lunch program experience higher attendance rate and improved grades. Plus, the program provided a job for the local cooks and supports the local economy as food is purchased from local farmers.

Give Me Shelter

This animal sanctuary in Varanasi, Varanasi for Animals, is funded through donations to Help Animals India. Help Animals India also funded HOPE Animal Shelter in Ranchi, the is the first animal shelter in the entire state of Jharkhand.

Supplying the supplies

India is a fast developing economy but many products needed to help the animals are not available there, we try and send over as many medical supplies as we can.

Protecting ”Plastic Cows”

Pollution threatens animals no less than it does humans. The photo at left illustrates an extreme example unique to India. Believe it or not, that mass of brown material in front of this scrawny street cow is plastic that has been surgically removed from her gut.

In India, cows roam the streets by the millions, scavenging for food wherever they can find it. Inevitably that includes garbage wrapped in plastic bags. As the cows eat the garbage food scraps, they swallow the plastic too. Gradually the plastic accumulates into a hard mass in their intestines, with painful and potentially fatal effects.

The Plastic Cow project is an effort to rescue as many cows as possible from this predicament. We are privileged to sponsor the life-saving contributions to this nationwide project by the Karuna Society for Animals and Nature in Andhra Pradesh.

Read more about the Plastic Cow project here …

Awareness through Advertising

Billboards like the one above in Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand in northern India, are an affordable way to raise public awareness of important animal issues.

This is one of 40 placed (so far) in the city by the Dehradun branch of People for Animals, with funding from Help Animals India. The billboard states:

“Compassion for Animals is enshrined in Article 51 A (g) of the Indian Constitution. Let us work towards a more humane community.”

PFA's billboard campaign aims to sensitize the public to three major issues: 1. Prevention of cruelty to animals. 2. Animal birth control (ABC) to prevent stray dog overpopulation and the inevitable tragic consequences. 3. Adoption of homeless dogs instead of buying from breeders.

Funded by Help Animals India, this billboard in the heart of the rapidly growing East Indian city of Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand, urges people to phone HOPE and Animal Trust (a group we support) to report cases of animal abuse. It also is a plea to adopt homeless dogs instead of buying “purebreds.”

Think of the change we can accomplish with more of these billboards, educating the public to spay/neuter their companion animals, to adopt dogs instead of breeding them and to report animal abuse!

Humane Education Brings Harmony to Communities and Street Dogs

Help animals India sponsors humane education programs in both India and Nepal. Dogs’ behaviors — whether good or bad — are very much a reflection of how people treat them. Our humane education programs teach adults and children how kindness and consideration for animals' needs can help them live in harmony with street dogs. For safety sake, they also learn how to respond to a dog bite — and how to prevent them from happening in the first place.

In communities with humane education programs, the results are immediately evident — people are kinder towards street dogs, feeding and sheltering them and seeking veterinary attention when necessary. In turn, the dogs are friendlier to people, and the risk of bites decreases drastically. It’s a win-win situation for all.

Help Animals India was able to help JBF (Just Be Friendly) expand to another area in the state area of Assam to Jorhat to bring help to the dogs with a training program and ABC (animal birth control).

Having an international charity like Help Animals India fund these activities brought inspiration to the many officials including the Chairman from the Municipality board, veterinarians & officials from District Administration who attended. It was their first time to learn the whole procedure from humanely and skillfully catching the street/community dogs to performing the operation and then releasing the dog back to the same location from where they were picked up. Around 22 trainees attended the course; 16 of them were from the Municipality itself. Certificates were distributed to them.

With your generous support Help Animals India can continue our vital lifesaving programs like this in Assam.

Saving Camels from Slaughter and Abuse

Captive camels in India have a hard life as they are used and abused for labor, are used and abused for their milk, and are slaughtered for their meat. Help Animals India supported the PFA (People for Animals) SIROHI Camel Project The Camel Rescue Centre to treat and admit to hospital camels in the rural areas around Sirohi where there are no veterinary services for them. Many hundreds of camels have been rescued from all over India in the past few years Help Animals India has even built a new shed for the most vulnerable old and disabled camels.