Sunday, January 18, 2009

Do Indian dogs go woof?

Yesterday I volunteered at the Animal Aid Unlimited, a hospital and shelter a few miles outside of Udaipur. It was founded by an American couple from Seattle, Erika Abrams and Jim Myers, and is an incorporated 501©(3) in the U.S., where they raise most of the $8,000 a month it takes to keep the place running.

And what an impressive place is it. By last count they had 53 dogs (not counting the puppies that were born while I was there), 7 cows, 3 cats, 2 monkeys, 4 horses, a bunch of pigeons, and a few other assorted beasts – all cared for by a team of 3 vets and about 15 support staff who look after the animals. They also do a great job of recruiting western volunteers; the woman from Canada who showed me around was staying for a whole month.

Due to their numbers, dogs are the focus. Every day they get calls from the community about injured or sick street dogs. A team goes out to catch these wounded animals (which isn’t easy – apparently every street dog in town runs when it see the big white van pull up!). They bring ‘em in, fix ‘em up, and, when and if they get strong enough, send them back to the streets. The locals are quite happy to have their neighborhood dogs back.

My job was to walk some dogs (who are often in such bad shape they don’t want to walk) cuddle some puppies, and admire the work that goes on there. It felt great after all my sightseeing to actually get involved, and with such important work.

Check out my photos and also please visit their excellent website. Please consider making a donation to the shelter if you can. I can testify to the excellent work they are doing with very little.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my! I am very proud you volunteered Sean!
    I looked at the pictures. Poor animals :-( It is so nice of you you took the time to volunteer for them.
    I wish I could have shared this experience with you.