Nov 16, 2019

Arunachala Animal Sanctuary's October Report

Welcome..Welcome..Welcome..to our beloved Shelter.
Welcome..Welcome..Welcome..to our beloved Shelter.

Dear Animal Lovers...Dear Supporters...Dear People,

I welcome you all with love.

My Guru...my Teacher...many, many years ago, during his lifetime, would give a short teaching each night. Many people would come. And he'd always begin with, "I welcome you all with all my Heart. This is my most important Practice. Welcoming another Being with love."

I'm really old now. This is my last lap. And what a blessing it has been for me. It isn't often in one's life that you get a chance to be involved in lifting so much suffering...Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I was sent two Treasures in the earliest stages when we first started the Shelter twelve years ago: Vishwa and Dr. Raja.

Things were going so badly for the animals here. The year was 2006. We opened in 2007, and BEGAN.

Many of you know the story, but for those who don't...I was 70 and solidly on the Spiritual Path, the journey to One's own Heart. I was only intending to stay in Tiru for ten days, and then head for the Himalayas. Three days before I was planning to leave, I heard they were going to start killing the dogs street by street, to "cull the population". They had been doing this for forty years, but the homeless dog population had inexorably grown to over 7000 dogs.

It was a real, real battle. We managed, though, to finally, finally stop all those years of killing...with the agreement that a population control program would be put in place (our responsibility).

Tiru was one of the worst places for animals I'd ever seen. Widespread, visible abuse...beating with sticks...kicking...throwing stones...indifference to suffering and starving animals, even to puppies. Rabies. No facility for treatment. No small animal vet within 70 kms. Population out of control. 350 animals, mostly puppies and dogs, dying on the streets. It was awful...awful!

NOW that has all changed. And each year it gets better and better. Visitiors, especially foreigners, are so struck by how good the relationship is between the animals and the people. It's very moving.

In this report, I want to tell you about one of the two Treasures sent to help create this wonderful, wonderful facility: Vishwa, our Director of Operations. He oversees the entire functioning of our beloved Shelter...the hiring and development of the Staff...the physical facility...the rescues...the catching and releasing for sterilizations...the post-medical care of our beloved animals. And much, much more.

In another report I'll tell you the tale of our other Treasure, our beloved Dr. Raja. I sometimes call him 'Schweitzer' after Albert Schweitzer, a famous Nobel laureate philanthropist who after obtaining his MD, left behind everything he had known and travelled to Africa where, for the rest of his life, he built a medical facility that has lifted unbelievable amounts of suffering. (Thank you. Thank you, Dr. Schweitzer.)

But this report is about Sri Vishwa. The foregoing was simply an intro for those of you who don't know our history.

Most of you know that I sometimes call Vishwa 'the Martian', because an Earthling couldn't do what he does. He is like a son to me. (My name is Leslie Robinson. Vishwa's 12 year old daughter's name is Leslie. His 9 year old son's name is Robinson. His 7 year old son, whom I helped name, is Lakshman.)

So now on to the Martian.

When I'm drafting the monthly 'thank you' note that goes out to our donors, I always ask Vishwa for a few stories and select the ones I want. For the note that went out in October, these are the ones I chose to share, the ones Vishwa thought of during our 15 minute exchange.

  • It was about 5pm and Vishwa was 90 kms out placing an adoption puppy when he saw a dog with a massive tumour on his back leg, just above the knee. (The tumour weighed around 2 to 3kg). The dog couldn't move very fast, so with cookies and Pedigree Vishwa was able to catch him within an hour...We strengthened him in the Shelter for three days with good food and good care. Then Dr. Raja operated. I'm writing this five days after the operation. The dog is only 3 years old and doing really well. Very joyful. Running around. Playing. In another 3 or 4 days Vishwa will release him back into his territory, which is a very good place for dogs.
  • The Shelter got an evening call. Two puppies were found in a cloth bag on the side of the road about 45 kms out of town. Vishwa went to get them. They were only 5 or 6 days old and hadn't opened their eyes, yet. Both were females. Their bodies were in good condition but they were  dull and weak...We've now had them for two weeks. They're very healthy, happy, and hanging out playing with five other puppies. Om Namah Shivaya.
  • A 4 month old goat near Vishwa's village was going to be sold for slaughter. Vishwa bought her with his own money for 2300 rupees. (The butcher would have paid 2000.) He found a good place for her with a neighbor the very next day. They're going to use her for breeding and agreed to keep her for life, and if anything changes, they'll give her back. (He told me he lied to them and said this was his boss's goat and if anything happened he'd lose his job.)
  • Late night call from Vellore, 100 kms away. Vishwa got there at 10:30pm. It was a dog with a large wound on his head the size of a hand. The dog was very fast and clever. He would take Pedigree and cookies, but if Vishwa got too close, he'd take off, jump fences and run around corners. It took two hours to catch him. The poor babe was only 7 months old. The wound had hundreds of maggots, with pus coming out of it, and smelled horrible...We've now had this guy for two months. The wound is healed. He's gained weight, and his energy is strong. He plays a lot with another dog. A female. (Maybe he has a crush on her.) Soon he'll be released back into his territory.
  • Another dog from Vellore...Vishwa saw her when he was catching the one above. She was only a year old, and had a big vaginal tumour. She trusted Vishwa and came right to him. Dr. Raja treated her with chemo. She's now completely cured, and will soon be released.
  • Last story...A person called the Shelter at 10am. A large cobra had fallen into an empty tank near the big Shiva Temple, and couldn't get out. He was six feet long. Vishwa used a cloth to confuse him, and then got him by the back of the neck. He released him in the woods opposite the Shelter.

But that's just a few stories. Engaging, tho' not exceptional. So now on to the more gutsy, moving stuff...A series of events that began about two weeks ago.

Vishwa never, never tells me when he's exhausted, but I can see it in his energy. And he always says, "No problem Sir." He would never tell me if he's overloaded, which he always is. When I am aware that he is carrying an exceptionally heavy load I ask him, "Is there anything I can do?" And, he always says, "I will ask you if there is, Sir." But he rarely asks...Or if I feel he's in a money bind..."Vishwa how in the hell can you be tight on money? Payday was only five days ago?" I had to press him, otherwise I wouldn't have found out. He'd run into a guy who was taking four cows and two calves to be slaughtered, and Vishwa bought them for 30,000 rupees with his own money. Four weeks later I found out he had bought four calves under similar circumstances for 12,000 rupees. (They were all very weak, and we were only able to save one.) Last night I found out that a goat he had saved just delivered four babies. And he's supporting all these creatures in a cowshed setup he has behind his house...on his money!!! My beloved Vishwa.

Well, about two weeks ago I could see that he needed rest which he never really gets. But I made him, to at least take four hours off, and rest at my house. I wanted him to take a day or two off--which he always resists, and virtually never does. But I pushed hard. I called him the next morning hoping he was at home, resting. I found out he was 40 kms out of town placing two puppies in their new adoptive homes!

My reaction? "Vishwa...enough! I'm not just asking. I'm your boss and I'm ordering you to take time off." And that's when he told me he couldn't for at least another day.

A couple who had established a sanctuary for 45 puppies and dogs, and 35 cats in Coimbatore, 300 kms away, recently moved to Tiru. (It wasn't a shelter. It was a sanctuary. They didn't have a clinic or hospital facilities, or do sterilizations. They had taken these animals in permanently and basically adopted them. A number of these were adult dogs they'd had since they were puppies. Anyway, they found a place in the Tiru countryside, and fixed it up to care for their 80 creatures here. (We'll support their work medically, giving any advice we can, etc.)

They had just gotten word that all the animals had to be moved from Coimbatore that very night. Vishwa told them he would handle and oversee the entire move.

Transporting 45 puppies and dogs for a long distance is very different than moving two lorries with 6 to 8 cattle. With cows or bulls, if one of them gets agitated, it doesn't spread to all the others. The animal can be reassured and soothed and the others aren't too affected. Cats aren't a problem, they're in cages for the trip. But the dogs are a problem. And we had never done anything on this scale.

With 20 to 25 dogs in each lorry, it seemed that if two dogs got scared and started fighting, it might turn into a riot. Also, none of the dogs had ever been in a motorized vehicle! It would be scary for 20 to 25 dogs to be loaded into an enclosed space of only 9 by 21 feet. It would also be scary when the engine started up. It would be scary when the lorry started moving. And scary when they went over bumps...AND there was no way of explaining to them that it was just a temporary trip that would have an end...and that they were going to their new home. But most importantly, they would experience themselves being taken away from their beloved Girija and Mohan who had lovingly adopted and cared for them.

THE PLAN...To eliminate the possibility of an all-out riot, Vishwa divided (with plastic grating) the truck beds into four sections of 4 1/2 by 10 1/2 feet with only 5 to 6 dogs in each section...Two caretakers who had looked after them for years were coming along, one in each truck. Additionally, Vishwa was bringing three caretakers...The beds of the trucks would be heavily padded with thick cushions of dried grass so the dogs could lay down and be comfortable...It's a long trip, so Vishwa was planning to stop twice for an hour to give the creatures some rest and some milk as a refreshment. He further decided that either Mohan or Girija had to come, so that perhaps five minutes after the lorries started moving, and every so often the lorries would stop so Girija or Mohan could go to each of trucks to reassure their Precious Ones that they were right there with them.

OBSTACLES...Two large lorries were hired in Tiru, and they anticipated being ready to go at around 7pm Wednesday night. But it started raining heavily, and one of the lorries didn't show and had to be replaced. More significantly, around midnight, an emergency call came in that a full-term pregnant cow had been hit by a vehicle near the Shiva Temple. Vishwa had to get three fellows to help with the rescue. And with several other goings-on, they didn't get on the road for the 300 km trip to Coimbatore until 3am Thursday morning. And because of the heavy rains didn't arrive until 10:30am........When they got to Coimbatore it turned out that 22 of the dogs were running loose and had to be caught (which is major)...They were also slowed down by long stretches of heavy rains. So they didn't get started for the trip to Tiru until 6:30pm.

Amazingly, and I do mean amazingly, the 10 hour journey to Tiru went smoothly. (Hari Om, Vishwa!)...And Girija and Mohan's Precious Ones were settled into their new home in Tiru by 6am, Friday...Vishwa said that within an hour of being unloaded, knowing their beloved Girija and Mohan were also there, the joyful creatures were running around happily, chasing, and playing. The cats were fine, but tired from the journey.

Our beloved Martian did all this while having dozens of other things that he oversees going on. I mean he's the Director of Operations of the entire Shelter...The Staff loves him...And he loves the Staff.

At times I am humbled by him.

In a future report, I will regale you with tales of our beloved Dr. Raja.

===================================

The Shelter has been going beautifully...Thank you Dr. Raja, Vishwa, the other Doctors. And our devoted, wonderful Staff.

We've been busy since I've last written.  Our stats for July, August, and September are:

  • Clinic Visits..............................................1,446
  • In-patient Treatments.............................3,583
  • Emergency Rescues..................................164
  • Dogs Sterilized...........................................186
  • Anti-rabies injections................................338
  • Animal Adoptions.........................................19
  • Non-dogs treated.......................................195  
  • (70 cows & calves, 68 goats & sheep, 40 cats, 13 birds, 2 rabbits, 1 monkey, 1 horses)                                                 

  ===================================

This brings us to the end of the Report.

I'm hoping that each of you is doing excellently.

These are such difficult times we're going thru. It's so important for us to try to connect with the Light inside. And equally important to put that energy out into the World.

May we all be unfolding...May we all be getting more and more space inside...May we all be getting closer to our own Hearts.

May each of us, no exceptions, be blessed with more compassionate understanding.

As in previous reports, I've included a collection of photos. Hoping you enjoy them. The overall theme is love...This month there's a concentration on Rescues.

 =================================== 

                  PLEASE...REMEMBER...DONATIONS.

     THE PRECIOUS ONES NEED US...AND WE NEED YOU!

        PLEASE...DIG DEEPLY...AND GIVE GENEROUSLY...

RECURRING DONATIONS, EVEN MODEST ONES, ARE BEST FOR US. THEY GIVE US STABILITY.

 ===================================

With love...From All of Us here, Precious Ones included...To All of You out there...Leslie

*

Again...Welcome to our beloved Shelter.
Again...Welcome to our beloved Shelter.
Four of the Precious Homeless Ones we protect.
Four of the Precious Homeless Ones we protect.
And here are three more into a little mischief.
And here are three more into a little mischief.
Dr. Ramakrishna, and Staff---PROTECTORS!
Dr. Ramakrishna, and Staff---PROTECTORS!
Drs. Raja and Heera...Here for the Precious Ones.
Drs. Raja and Heera...Here for the Precious Ones.
Da' Gang, Protectors, from some years back.
Da' Gang, Protectors, from some years back.
Caring...For each other...Is so, so important.
Caring...For each other...Is so, so important.
Please---Bless...Guide...and, Protect Us.
Please---Bless...Guide...and, Protect Us.
Sw.Satchidananda-Sw.Muktananda..."Om  Sri Ram."
Sw.Satchidananda-Sw.Muktananda..."Om Sri Ram."
Sw.Mukatananda-Satya Sai Baba. "Om Namah Shivaya."
Sw.Mukatananda-Satya Sai Baba. "Om Namah Shivaya."
Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche..."Om  Vajra Satva Hung."
Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche..."Om Vajra Satva Hung."
Lama Shenpen Drolma..."Om Vajra Satva Hung."
Lama Shenpen Drolma..."Om Vajra Satva Hung."
They adore Sugana.
They adore Sugana.
They love to be touched.
They love to be touched.
Touching. Touching. Touching.
Touching. Touching. Touching.
The Outer Veranda...That's Sugana and Elaine...
The Outer Veranda...That's Sugana and Elaine...
This little beauty needs some care.
This little beauty needs some care.
What do you want sweetiepie?
What do you want sweetiepie?
You're so beautiful!
You're so beautiful!
It's amazing how they surrender to his touch.
It's amazing how they surrender to his touch.
Night-time rescue.
Night-time rescue.
Night-time rescue continued.
Night-time rescue continued.
Daytime rescue.
Daytime rescue.
Cattle rescue. Lorry intercepted. Cattle impounded
Cattle rescue. Lorry intercepted. Cattle impounded
One of rescued cows.3 mths later.She was pregnant.
One of rescued cows.3 mths later.She was pregnant.
Other rescued cows. Also after 3 mths in our care.
Other rescued cows. Also after 3 mths in our care.
BUT REMEMBER LOVING AND CARING IS SO, SO IMPORTANT
BUT REMEMBER LOVING AND CARING IS SO, SO IMPORTANT
Yes.
Yes.
In all forms!
In all forms!
We were honored by Global Giving in 2018.
We were honored by Global Giving in 2018.
Dr. Raja on way home after a l-o-o-o-n-g day.
Dr. Raja on way home after a l-o-o-o-n-g day.
Wish you were here!!!
Wish you were here!!!
What else is there to say???
What else is there to say???

Links:

Jul 27, 2019

Arunachala Animal Sanctuary's July Report

"Number 49" welcomes you to our beloved Shelter.
"Number 49" welcomes you to our beloved Shelter.

Dear People. Dear Animal Lovers. Dear Supporters...Namaste'.

I've always loved that greeting. Classically, it's said with the hands clasped in front of the chest. Esoterically, it means, "I bow to your Innermost Self".

And now Dear Ones...Announcing a "biggie", and I do mean biggie. It just happened. (Many of you are very familiar with the intense saga that has unfolded over the last six months involving 37 Rescued Cattle that we were caring for and protecting while a criminal case to save them was litigated---Mafia connected lawyers...police...courts...corruption...threats of kidnapping the cattle...danger. For the many who are not familiar with this, I'll explain after I've made this wonderful, wonderful announcement.)

THE CASE CAME TO TRIAL, FINALLY, ON JULY 8TH. I'm not going to go into the incredible complexities leading to this simple, wonderful ending. But it was a clffhanger fraught with uncertainty and danger until the very, very end.

WE JUST RECEIVED THE OFFICIAL COURT ORDER. The lawyer for the "cattle traffickers" accepted their guilt. A modest fine was imposed (the maximum permitted by law)...BUT THE CATTLE WERE IMPOUNDED AND PERMANENTLY GIVEN TO US...AND FURTHER, WE WERE GIVEN THE AUTHORITY TO PLACE THEM IN ANOTHER RECOGNIZED GOSHALA THAT WOULD GIVE THEM LIFETIME SANCTUARY.

The danger of the cattle being kidnapped by the "mafia" is over...The danger of them being impounded by the Court and given to the Government, who might have given them to someone who wouldn't thoroughly protect them and give them a good life, is over...THEY ARE IN  OUR HANDS, SAFE, AND WILL HAVE GOOD LIVES.

==========================

THIS IS A SUMMARY FOR THE MANY UNFAMILIAR WITH THE RESCUE...AND THE BATTLE:

  • Saturday night, January 12th, a lorry illegally carrying 37 cattle (the legal maximum in one lorry is six) being taken to slaughter in Kerala was intercepted on the road.
  • The conditions inside that vehicle bordered on atrocity.
  • Jammed into two layers, one can only imagine what was done to those poor animals to load them like that. Prodding. Beating. Kicking. Pulling by the nose. Jabbing. And it's difficult to imagine the suffering that would have occurred on the long 20-hour journey to the slaughterhouse had they not been intercepted...Little air (the lorry was fully covered to conceal what they were carrying). No water. No food. Bumpy roads. The moaning. The crushing. The dying. Youngsters separated from their mothers. Awful. Awful. Awful.
  • The police impounded the lorry and the cattle, and criminal charges were filed.
  • The cattle were turned over to us (14 water buffalo, 11 bulls, 10 bullocks, 2 cows) on January 13th to care for them while the case was being litigated.
  • They were traumatized, dehydrated, and depleted.
  • To really care for them, one had to be aware of the total nightmare they'd gone thru. They were suffering and deeply frightened, with no understanding of what was happening. Everything that was dear to them had been ripped away, and they were thrown into this "horror" at the hands of humans who didn't care what they did to them, how much that hurt them, how much they terrorized them, or how much they might suffer...Some of the Precious Ones were only babes that had been taken away from their mothers.
  • Our beloved Vishwa handled the whole thing...Thank God for Vishwa!

When we first got the cattle, we thought we would just care for them while everything unfolded. But there was no one else to do anything, so we carried the full load. Everything: the caring...the strategy...the litigation...dealing wih the unbelievable corruption and indifference involving the mafia. The lawyers...the Courts...the police...and the danger that was always in the background...(We don't have this kind of flagrant, powerful corruption and indifference in the West.)

Here is a link to photos of the cattle after 4 1/2 months of love, caressing, caring, stroking...  Photo presentation of 37 cattle...-converted.pdf  . They are so, so beautiful. (Skip the beginning page of text and go right to the photos.)

The cattle traffickers were just low lifes, represented by mafia-connected lawyers who did everything (legal or illegal) they could to get the cattle back. And they were amazingly corrupt, willing to use violence,  and well-connected at high levels. We did everything possible to bring the traffickers to trial, have them found guilty, and maximize the possibility of the cattle being impounded so we could get them a full, good life. It ended up being one of those fairytale stories where the Forces of Light won out over the Forces of Darkness.

==========================

The Shelter has been going beautifully...Thank you Dr. Raja, Vishwa, the other Doctors. And our devoted, wonderful Staff.

We've been busy since I've last written.  Our stats for April, May, and June are:

  • Clinic Visits..............................................1,645
  • In-patient Treatments.............................3,633
  • Emergency Rescues..................................131
  • Dogs Sterilized...........................................200
  • Anti-rabies injections................................352
  • Animal Adoptions.........................................14
  • Non-dogs treated.......................................243 
  • (73 cows & calves, 65 goats & sheep, 50 cats, 45 birds, 7 rabbits, 1 squirrel, 2 horses)***Note: During this period, additionally, we were completely caring for the impounded 14 buffalo, 11 bulls, 10 bullocks, 2 cows).                                                                              

===========================

And here are some recent Shelter happenings that many of you tell us you really like.

A recent well rescue.

  • Got a call at 8:30pm. A dog had earlier fallen into a well outside a village about 50 kms away.
  • Pondi and Vishwa got there about 10pm. The well was 50 feet deep. It wasn't  near any houses. The landowner became aware of the dog in distress when he was checking his land late in the day.
  • Vishwa went down on a rope. The poor babe was a two year old girl. There were several feet of water and she was hanging on a ledge, partially submerged, cold, frightened, and hungry...She had probably fallen much earlier because she'd by now given up and was no longer crying for help.
  • Tho' she was frightened and a little afraid of Vishwa, she knew she was being rescued and was happy. Vishwa talked to her for several minutes, and gently approached. He stroked her and put her in a bag, and Pondi slowly lifted her topside.
  • She was a homeless dog, and was in good health...so she had villagers around who fed and cared for her. She stayed with Pondi and Vishwa for perhaps ten minutes. They dried her off, gave her some food, stroked her...and then released her.
  • The sweetie was very, very happy to be free. In the morning she would wander into her territory and visit those who cared for her.

A lost pup.

  • We got a call around noon from a shop owner near the main bus station. It's a very, very busy place. Big. Scary. Shops and stands crowded together. Intense traffic-many buses, cars, auto rickshaws, two wheelers. A dangerous place for an inexperienced dog.
  • There was a little puppy with no mother and a bad skin condition...frightened and weak.
  • She was afraid of Pondi when he got there. But he gave her some snacks, gently spoke to her, and she let him pick her up. She was a baby. The poor, frightened, lost sweetiepie, separated from her mother, not really understanding what was happening, was so relieved when she felt the "safety" of Pondi's embrace...and his gentle, loving reassurance.
  • Dr.Raja gave her a vaccination, and she got her first bath.
  • We kept her for a month while treating her mange. She quickly settled into the Shelter and was happy. Vishwa found a really nice home for her in a nearby village. They had a six year old boy who adored her. Om Namah Shivaya.

We got an email from a lady thru our website.

  • The email read, "It's nice to hear that there is an animal centre near Tiruvannamalai. Our dog has some severe injuries inside. We don't even have an idea how it happened to him. He started losing his hair and he was not able to walk. We tried our best by contacting doctors and getting medicines. But there has been no improvement. He is going thru a very bad phase of life. He is not allowing us to touch. We don't know how to take him to your hospital. Now, I found some lumps in his feet. Please do the needful. We believe you are the final option given us by God to save him. We want him back. Thank you. Please reply back to get more details and we need help to save him. Thanks a lot."
  • I asked her to send her phone number. Vishwa called. She sent some photos. Dr.Raja looked at them, and told them to bring the dog in.
  • They weren't able to get him into their car. Vishwa sent Pondi (they were 50 kms away) to help them.
  • Their dog was four years old and a sweetie. He wasn't really biting, just snapping, probably because it was painful for him to be touched. Clearly tho', they loved him, and he, them.
  • It turned out to be a hypo-active thyroid condition, and a pretty advanced case of arthritis. The loss of the hair, and the lumps on his feet were from a thyroid-connected fungal skin condition.
  • He hadn't been treated at all over the last year. The doctors (they probably weren't small animal vets) were just giving painkillers.
  • The owners were deeply, deeply relieved and almost joyful. Dr. Raja gave their dog several injections, and sent them home with medication for both the thyroid and arthritis, along with painkillers, and an ayurvedic oil for the fungal skin condition.
  • Dr.Raja told them to return in one month. (He is expecting a vast improvement.)
  • We received this nice note the next day from the owner..."Belore visiting your shelter, we didn't have any idea of what he was going through. When Dr. Raja checked and explained his condition, we got hope that he will get better soon...The world needs more people like you, inspiring. Thank you so much for the immediate action and help. We'll never forget the help you people have done to us. After visiting your shelter, I believed that humanity still exists in this World.

A baby horse.

  • Several months ago a young female colt was brought to the Shelter by people from a temple  50 kms away. The poor babe was only two months old. She had been hit by a two wheeler and her back leg was severely broken. She was in a lot of pain, so Dr. Heera immediately gave her a strong painkiller. Then she cleansed the wound, gave the colt antibiotics and prepared her to be operated on the following morning.
  • It was a one hour operation...and Dr. Heera inserted a pin.
  • The Little One was still nursing, so they brought her mother, too. Several days later, during the night, the mother removed the pin...and you can only insert a pin once.
  • For several weeks, each day the wound was bandaged, and ointment applied. Antibiotics and homeopathic medicine were given. The bone wouldn't fuse and three weeks later Dr. Heera had to amputate at the fracture site, about five inches above the hoof.
  • The Little One could move around fine, but the wound took 1 1/2 months to heal.
  • The mother was simply nasty with us. She would bite and kick when anyone approached her. Pondi and Dharma were able to form some relationship, but not a close one. It clearly wasn't a good situation for either the baby, or her mother.
  • When the wound healed, Vishwa took mother and daughter back to the temple. It was in a small town. The people adored them, the mother and the babe, and brought little special snacks they'd come to love. The two Precious Ones were overjoyed to be back. They were showered with love. The babe was snuggling and playing.  And the mother--she was as sweet, gentle, and loving as could be!
  • It was such a Heart-warmer...Clearly, they'll both have a beautiful life. Om Namah Shivaya.

 ========================== 

This brings us to the end of the Report.

I'm hoping that each of you is doing excellently.

These are such difficult times we're going thru. It's so important for us to try to connect with the Light inside. And equally important to put that energy out into the World.

My Baba says that the World is as you see it...It's neither positive nor negative...It's important to hold onto the joy.

May we all be unfolding...May we all be getting more and more space inside...May we all be getting closer to our own Hearts.

May each of us, no exceptions, be blessed with more compassionate understanding.

As in previous reports, I've included a collection of photos. Hoping you enjoy them. Remember...the theme is simply Love.

 ==========================

               PLEASE...REMEMBER...DONATIONS.

    THE PRECIOUS ONES NEED US...AND WE NEED YOU!

PLEASE...DIG DEEPLY...AND GIVE GENEROUSLY...THIS HAS BEEN AN EXTREMELY FINANCIALLY STRESSFUL PERIOD BECAUSE OF THE CATTLE...A GREAT DEAL HAS BEEN    COVERED BY YOU, ALREADY (Hugs. And, more hugs.)...BUT THERE'S STILL SOME TO GO.

RECURRING DONATIONS, EVEN MODEST ONES, ARE BEST FOR US. THEY GIVE US STABILITY.

 

With love, blessings, and wishes for all things good...May we All, each of us, do actions that emit uplifting, healing energy...Each of us can help in that way.

With love...From All of Us here, Precious Ones included...To All of You out there...Leslie

 

                  Again...Welcome to our beloved Shelter. 

Two of the homeless Precious Ones we protect.
Two of the homeless Precious Ones we protect.
And three more.
And three more.
These sweeties are just about to be rescued.
These sweeties are just about to be rescued.
Dr.Raja,Dr.Ramakrishna-Here for the Precious Ones.
Dr.Raja,Dr.Ramakrishna-Here for the Precious Ones.
Our beloved Staff--Here for the Precious Ones.
Our beloved Staff--Here for the Precious Ones.
You can't give them too much.
You can't give them too much.
You can't.
You can't.
You simply can't.
You simply can't.
Dr.Raja with his gentle touch.
Dr.Raja with his gentle touch.
A "mini-procedure" on a Precious One.
A "mini-procedure" on a Precious One.
They're so open.
They're so open.
You can tell by the eyes.
You can tell by the eyes.
You can see straight into the Soul.
You can see straight into the Soul.
"Straight in."
"Straight in."
This is a beautiful shot of our Shelter puja.
This is a beautiful shot of our Shelter puja.
Please---Bless...Guide...and, Protect Us.
Please---Bless...Guide...and, Protect Us.
Sri Ramana Maharshi..."Om Arunachalam."
Sri Ramana Maharshi..."Om Arunachalam."
Swami Satchidananda..."Om Sri Ram. Jai. Jai Ram."
Swami Satchidananda..."Om Sri Ram. Jai. Jai Ram."
Sw.Mukatananda."I welcome you with all my Heart."
Sw.Mukatananda."I welcome you with all my Heart."
Dilgo Khyentse and Kalu Rinpoche..."Om Ah Hung."
Dilgo Khyentse and Kalu Rinpoche..."Om Ah Hung."
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj...Just be!
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj...Just be!
Caring and loving is s-o-o-o important.
Caring and loving is s-o-o-o important.
Richard and sweet Google, Vishwa's favorite.
Richard and sweet Google, Vishwa's favorite.
The ladies fussing over Snooky.
The ladies fussing over Snooky.
Sugana and one of her babies.
Sugana and one of her babies.
Vishwa and Radha.
Vishwa and Radha.
No comment.
No comment.
BEGINNING OF MISCELLANEOUS PHOTOS.
BEGINNING OF MISCELLANEOUS PHOTOS.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
The Inner Veranda.
The Inner Veranda.
The Outer Veranda.
The Outer Veranda.
Another shot of the Outer Veranda.
Another shot of the Outer Veranda.
A long time, strong supporter. And we love him.
A long time, strong supporter. And we love him.
The most profound adoption poster I've ever seen.
The most profound adoption poster I've ever seen.
We were honored by Global Giving in 2018.
We were honored by Global Giving in 2018.
Wish you were here!!!
Wish you were here!!!
What else is there to say???
What else is there to say???

Links:

Apr 20, 2019

Arunachala Animal Sanctuary's April Report

Welcome to our beloved Shelter.
Welcome to our beloved Shelter.

Dear People. Dear Animal Lovers. Dear Supporters.

Namaste'. I bow to your Inner-most Selves.

This is a Special Report. It is deep. Moving. Not processed. 

It's the beginning of the Hot Season here in Southern India. It's difficult for the animals. Hoping it rains some...or the water holds out.

These are my closing years of full-time/active work with the Shelter. Dr.Raja and Vishwa are really running things, and I am overseeing and advising. They are s-o-o-o good, it's humbling. At times, I feel inadequate. What a blessing they are.

In this closing stretch I'm focused on getting the Shelter into a much-needed larger facility...and laying a donation base that will go indefinitely into the future. 

In this Report I'm going to talk about "stuff"...deeper stuff...to give you a sense of the Specialness of our beloved Shelter.

Yes, the testimonials are impressive, several of which I'll talk about. And the statistics are impressive. But they don't tell the story of the Specialness. The totally transformed and uplifted quality of the life of animals on the streets shows the effect of the Work, but not the Specialness.  What we do doesn't tell the story.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN OUR BELOVED SHELTER IS HEART!  It's something that you really have to experience. I wish you could see the inside of our Shelter. It would gladden your Heart. Nevertheless, I'm going to try to tell you some of the things that give rise to the wonderful feeling of spaciousness and love you feel inside.

Sometimes when animal lovers are visiting for the first time, I tell them to close their eyes for a minute and just experience the feeling of the energy. I tell them that the softness, the quietness that they're experiencing is Grace. And that it's within this field of Grace that everything is unfolding. 

Sometimes, people visiting for the first time get teary, because they didn't know a place such as ours existed.

Sometimes, early evening, I'll just come and sit in the energy...experiencing the wonderful creatures around me...not focusing on anything in particular. Just...sitting. And it feels s-o-o-o GOOD...and so-o-o PEACEFUL...and it's s-o-o-o HEALING. 

THE DOGS AND PUPPIES ARE NOT KEPT IN CAGES, BUT RUN FREE AND ARE HAPPY. They are not simply "in captivity". They have a life. They have choices.

OUR STAFF IS DEVOTED AND LOVING. From the very beginning, they understood that deep healing would only take place if the animals felt safe, cared for, and loved. That it was they who gave the animals that love and caring. And that the expression of this was different for everyone, and each of them had to find their own way of that expression. They understood that the Furry Ones could tell the difference between someone being just "very nice', and someone who really cared. So it was important to be real.

OUR STAFF ARE SPECIAL,SPECIAL PEOPLE. Most have been with us five or six years, several longer. All of them, with no exceptions, truly care for the animals. But some Special Ones (Sekar, Supervisor Raja, Pandi, and Ramesh) I call the 'Pure Hearts'. And their attention alone can heal where medicine fails...The animals know this. The animals love them.

THE VERY CORE OF OUR WORK IS DEMONSTRATIVE LOVE--HUGGING, STROKING, REASSURING, KISSING. 

Over these years, we have gotten so many beautiful Heartfelt emails from people who have visited and experienced the almost/magical vibration. One of my all-time favorites is from a lady who didn't speak English very well. I want to share it with you--unedited for spelling, punctuation, or language.

  • i hope you understand my english... i want you to know…………..i spendt 6 weeks in india this time. i was feeding dogs everywhere and was very sad how they was treated by people. i cant understand this things, i love animals so much!..........i was travelling to Tiruvannamalai for 3 days to see, and hopefully to feel, this mountain and the ashram from Ramana………….a woman in the guesthouse told me about the animal sanctuary and i wanted to visit it before i leave to Pondycherry………………when i came in the sanctuary i felt, oh my god, i felt LOVE like never before! i felt freedom and coming HOME! after that, this love is still alive and wants to share!..................what i was searching in Tiru and all over the world I FOUND IN THE SANCTUARY!!!.............i love you, i love all of you!..................it is opening my heart like never before. unconditional LOVE! made so easy…it is the easiest thing in the world. one have only to GIVE and the hearts will understand this energy and react and learn how to GIVE. GIVING IS RECIEVING, its the same thing!.................and we learn it from people like you!”

For the first seven or eight years, Vishwa and Dr.Raja were my students. We worked very closely together. Day. Night. It was intense, always. Always. The motivation was pure. But they are no longer my students. They are on "their own legs", moving with their own strengths, and have taken things beyond where I could have possibly gotten them, even in my prime.

Often we moved thru Darkness. Traversing incredibly difficult terrain. "What," one might ask, "are the qualities that enable one to move thru these spaces?" I think the two main ones...the ones that must run deep, deep, deep...are Earnestness and Perseverance.

These beautiful, innocent, vulnerable creatures we serve have such difficult circumstances to go thru. In Eastern terms, it's called karma. Many succumb. It's just too much. Many are crushed. Many become crazed. Many fall into a deep pit of nothingness...depression...immersed in unrelenting pain. Having just to go on.

Our sole purpose for being is to lift suffering from these Precious Creatures. 

When we traverse these difficult spaces in doing the Work, it helps to remember that these aren't just "regular difficulties" we are encountering. This is the unrelenting battle to lift difficult karma from some of the Precious Ones'...to transform the wall of indifference towards them...and sometimes, the outright malevolence. 

As for us...we just have to keep going. It's never total "success". In those spaces, in those times where it's almost overwhelming, where the important thing is to somehow manage just to take the next step, it helps enormously to remember that we really are "lightening" it for the Precious Ones. And to see that we're actually making a profound difference. You can see it getting "lighter and lighter", "better and better" for them.

And it has unfolded here like in no other municipality of size in all of India...THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT HAS HAPPENED IS THAT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE HOMELESS DOGS AND THE PEOPLE AMONGST WHOM THEY LIVE DAY IN, DAY OUT, HAS BEEN TOTALLY TRANSFORMED.

Without that transformation, the impact of whatever else is done is significantly limited--the animals would be subject to the same indifference, the same absence of protection when they are in harm's way, the same unaided difficulties in their ongoing search for food and water. The same absence of affection.

One can experience the change by walking on the streets. Each year street conditions get better and better, and Tiru is amongst the very few municipalities of size where this has happened. IN THE POIGNANT WORDS OF LONGTIME TIRU RESIDENT DEV GOGOI WRITTEN AT THE TIME OF OUR FOURTH ANNIVERSARY PUJA. Public memory is short. Few can recall the rampant stray dogs everywhere, young and aged, starving and diseased, scavenging in the garbage heaps, fighting amongst themselves, ignored and abused by the human population, while remaining a menace to all including themselves. In four short years, the roads are more peaceful, with few strays to be seen, and the naturally loving relationship between humans and animals restored to its true state.”

FROM A PUBLIC LETTER OF ENDORSEMENT BY THE ANIMAL WELFARE BOARD OF INDIA WHO OVERSEE ALL THE ANIMAL SHELTERS IN THE COUNTRY. “In the short span of time that they have been in existence, they have established themselves as one of the very best animal sanctuaries, veterinary clinics, rescue shelters and hospices in the Nation”

===================================

We've been busy since I've last written.  Our stats for January, February, and March are:

  • Clinic Visits.............................................1,659
  • In-patient Treatments...........................15,132
  • Emergency Rescues.................................201
  • Dogs Sterilized............................................85
  • Anti-rabies injections................................264
  • Animal Adoptions........................................13
  • Non-dogs treated.......................................215 
  • (62 cows & calves, 44 goats & sheep, 40 cats, 38 birds, 2 rabbits, 7 horses, 8 bullocks, 14 buffalo)                                                                                                                

 ============================= 

Some Shelter happenings.

  •  A well rescue.
  • We had a well rescue only ten kms out of town. Someone called and said a dog had been trapped for six days. Pandi and Premkumar went. But the well was 80 feet deep, and they couldn't reach the dog. (We don't know how he survived.) The Fire Department got him with an 80 foot rope ladder.  Pandi and Prem brought him to the Shelter. He was weak and dull, but had no significant injuries, and was otherwise in good health.
  • He was a sweet guy. Two years old. He recovered his energy in only two days. (I'm wondering if he was actually trapped for the six days they said.) 
  • He apparently had a good life, and really wanted freedom, quickly. So we set him free in his territory on the third day.

 

  • A puppy rescue.
  • We got a call that there were four 1 day old puppies whose mother had been killed in an accident. Vishwa went to check it out to make sure someone wasn't trying to dump the puppies. 
  • He brought them to a special facility near his house that we've been using for pups the last three months. (It's the parvo and distemper season so there are too many germs to keep pups in the Shelter.)  
  • Pups this young have to be fed every hour, 24 hours a day, and it gradually increases to where they're eating "normally" after a month. (We use special tiny nipples that we get from the States.) Vishwa slept with the pups the first four nights.
  • I just spoke to Vishwa. They're doing beautifully, and they're very active.

 

  • A very recent rescue.
  • Some kind souls brought a 7 month old male dog that they had found lying on the side of the road about 30 kms out.
  • He had been hit by a vehicle and his two back legs were totally mangled. 
  • Dr.Raja gave the sweetie strong painkillers that blocked the pain, and i.v.'s to hydrate him, and operated the next morning. It was a two hour operation, and he had to amputate both back legs.
  • Our Pure heart, Sekar, is taking care of this boy. We've had him a week now, and he's doing beautifully. In another few weeks dogs and puppies will start snuggling him. And in a month or so, he'll start "running around" with some friends.
  • He'll have a good life with us.
  • Om Namah Shivaya.

 

  • Sad news.
  • Lakshmi has passed away.
  • She was the dear, five year old white horse Dr.Raja had been treating for a metastasized malignancy near her eyes. 
  • Her final two months were sweet ones. Annette and Venkatesh had fallen in love with her, and took her on their 1 1/2 acre estate outside of town. It had large patches of green organic grass that she loved. Vishwa dressed her wound every day. Effective painkillers blocked any pain. And she had two months immersed in love and caring...and a peaceful passing.
  • We've put her on several powerful prayer lists. Say a prayer for her.
  • Om Namah Shivaya.

==================================== 

  • Also a problem. Intense.
  • Most of you know about the rescue of the 37 cattle...for those who don't:
  • Late night, January 12th, a lorry illegally carrying 37 cattle being taken to slaughter in Kerala was intercepted on the road. The conditions inside that vehicle bordered on atrocity. One can only imagine what was done to those poor animals to be able to load them like that. (The legal max for transporting is six.) Prodding them. Beating. Kicking. Pulling by the nose... And it is difficult to consider the suffering that would have occurred on the long 20 hour journey to the slaughter house had they not been intercepted...Almost no air. No water. No food. Bumpy roads. The moaning...dying...crushing. Youngsters separated from their mothers. Awful. Awful. Awful.
  • The cattle and lorry were impounded by the police, and criminal charges were brought against the "cattle traffickers."
  • The cattle were turned over to us to care for them while the case was litigated.
  • At best, it's an involved process that can take several months. But, in this case, the mafia is involved and representing the "traffickers". And the weight of litigation has fallen on us.
  • We've found out they have strong connections within the police department, with the prosecutor, and within the Court itself. They may be able to prevent the case from coming to trial...I don't know.
  • At this point we've cared for the dear cattle for three months...but our initial estimate of $2,000 monthly was low. It's more like $3,300. We have them at two sites. If we're in for the long haul, we'll build to increase the capacity at one of the sites, and consolidate. That would bring the cost down to the original $2,000.
  • These are uncharted waters for us. The mafia in this area is powerful. We're not "babes in the woods". We have contact and support from some powerful forces. But it's intense. And always...in the background...is danger. 
  • If you're so inclined, we could really use your help for this alone, over and above everything else.
  • There are 14 young water buffalo, 12 bulls, 8 bullocks, and 3 cows. They are doing beautifully. Gaining weight. Feeling safe and cared for. And becoming affectionate...I'm sure it's the best time of their lives.
  • We couldn't even think of letting them go...and don't care what it takes. We will get these pure creatures to safety.
  • Please say prayers for us...Om Namah Shivaya.
  • Love, Leslie

=================================== 

This brings us to the end of the Report.

Hoping that each of you is doing excellently...And if it's difficult inner-terrain that you're traversing, that it may bear great spiritual fruit. Hoping that you're unfolding beautifully and strongly inside. My Baba said that nothing is gained without some inner austerity. It seems that we have to go thru some inner burning to clear the way.

May each of us, no exceptions, be blessed with more compassionate understanding.

As in previous reports, I've included a collection of photos. Hoping you enjoy them. Remember...the theme is simply LOVE. 

=====================================

                  PLEASE...REMEMBER...DONATIONS.

THE PRECIOUS ONES NEED US...AND WE DEFINITELY NEED YOU!

             PLEASE...DIG DEEPLY...GIVE GENEROUSLY.

RECURRING DONATIONS, EVEN QUITE MODEST ONES, ARE BEST FOR US. THEY GIVE US STABILITY.       

With love, blessings, and wishes for all things good...May we All, each of us, do actions that emit uplifting, healing energy. These are difficult times for our beloved planet…and each of us can help in a major way.

 

 

 

Welcome to our beloved Shelter.
Welcome to our beloved Shelter.
Two of the Precious Homeless Ones we protect.
Two of the Precious Homeless Ones we protect.
A homeless sweetiepie just before her Rescue.
A homeless sweetiepie just before her Rescue.
He LOVED animals.
He LOVED animals.
Our beloved Staff--Here for the Precious Ones.
Our beloved Staff--Here for the Precious Ones.
Dr.Raja treating an in-patient.
Dr.Raja treating an in-patient.
Swami Muktananda...Head of Ananda Ashram in Kerala
Swami Muktananda...Head of Ananda Ashram in Kerala
Sri Mooji, blessing us with His presence.
Sri Mooji, blessing us with His presence.
Such beautiful eyes.
Such beautiful eyes.
What a beautiful face.
What a beautiful face.
And here's another Precious One.
And here's another Precious One.
Our beloved Sekar and Shivagami "simply caring".
Our beloved Sekar and Shivagami "simply caring".
Dr.Raja and Dr.Heera
Dr.Raja and Dr.Heera
Dr.Ramakrishna.
Dr.Ramakrishna.
This babe was brought in by the Forest Department.
This babe was brought in by the Forest Department.
This beauty is coming to see our beloved doctors.
This beauty is coming to see our beloved doctors.
This little one hurt her leg.
This little one hurt her leg.
Never too small for a good old-fashioned splint
Never too small for a good old-fashioned splint
Dear Ranjita...The mange was so bad.
Dear Ranjita...The mange was so bad.
The beginning of her care.
The beginning of her care.
Ranjita..4 months later..Have a good life sweetie.
Ranjita..4 months later..Have a good life sweetie.
Our front veranda.
Our front veranda.
Our back veranda.
Our back veranda.
We have been honored this year.
We have been honored this year.
They all, no exceptions, need more love.
They all, no exceptions, need more love.
Love is so important!
Love is so important!
It's the most important thing.
It's the most important thing.
Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
And it's important that we love each other.
And it's important that we love each other.
There is really not much more that can be said.
There is really not much more that can be said.
 
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