Welcome. Welcome..to our beloved Shelter.
Dear Animal Lovers...Dear Supporters...Dear People.
These are such difficult times for our beloved Planet. We are being so critical of each other and the issues are many. Yet no matter what's being debated on the outside, we must uplift our Inner State. It is a time for healing. For lightening.
We must reach inside ourselves. The Light, the Joy, is within us in the form of memories, thoughts, and feelings. This is the time to connect with those "Heart things", thereby uplifting ourselves. When we project this higher energy outwards, it affects those we come in contact with. And they, in turn, pass it on to those they come in contact with. And on and on.
We are all connected and affecting each other. The awareness of that INTERCONNECTEDNESS was given to me by my teachers - that everything we do ultimately affects everything else. It’s easiest to understand in a physical sense. The simplest event, even a pet hamster squeaking to call you over to him, affects everything else you do. From that moment on, you’ll physically be in a different place than you would have been. You’ll run into different people, see different things, think different thoughts. It’s almost mind boggling to see how everything affects everything else.
Sometimes when I'm walking around, I send "good thought waves" to everyone I see. I don't know if it helps. But there's a part of me that believes it does.
During his lifetime, my Guru would always begin his evening talks with, "I welcome you all with all my Heart. This is my most important practice, welcoming another Being with love."
Most of you know that he told me over thirty years ago that the physician heals with the Heart. That's why the energy suffusing all our Work here is demonstrative love--touching, stroking, reassuring, hugging, and yes, kissing. Our belief is that deep healing will only take place if an animal feels safe, cared for, and loved.
Our Staff has been told how important their work is. It's been made clear to them that it's not just Dr. Raja, Vishwa, or myself who give the animals that love. It is them, the ones who are with the animals continuously, who must give them that love, and it is vital to what we do. They've been told, too, that no one can tell them how to express that love. They have to find the way from their own Hearts. The animals can tell the difference between someone being very, very nice to them and someone who is real and really cares.
This is a special Report. It is deep and raw. Heart is the most important healer, and this Report is about love.
I'll focus on two things: the love that one experiences INSIDE THE SHELTER, and the wonderful transformation that has taken place in the relationship between the animals ON THE STREETS and the people amongst whom they live, day in, day out.
INSIDE THE SHELTER. It isn't an atmostphere that is contrived, with everyone being "nicey, nice". The relationship between Staff and animals is close and real. Everyone cares for the animals differently according to their own essence. Things ebb and flow quite naturally. The animals experience that, are a part of it, and feel safe and secure. They have choices. They have lives. They're not just in captivity with people "being nice to them".
These creatures - almost all street dogs - are territorial. Most have gone thru some pretty intense experiences and most have known hunger. One would expect all these creatures running free to be in a constant state of conflict with intense encounters and continuous unrest. Anything but What Is. That these freely-roaming creatures should live so comfortably with each other, so affectionately, feeling safe and secure, borders on astounding. That they should share space, people, and food the way they do is miraculous.
We have a devoted Staff of 25, plus three full-time veterinary doctors each of whom is a qualified practicing surgeon. Dr. Raja, the head doctor and our President/Trustee, is believed to be one of the best surgeons within 150 kms. The Government Veterinary Hospital that treats only large animals has him do all their complicated operations. The Forest Department brings all their difficult cases to him. He does long, complicated operations that most other surgeons wouldn’t dream of doing! Vishwa, is the overall Director of Operations, and is sometimes called "The Martian" because he can do things that Earthlings couldn’t do.
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 that field of Grace that everything is unfolding. Often, 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.
It truly is a special shelter…We have 24/7 emergency rescue. If an animal is hurt during the night we will be there in 20 to 30 minutes. The doctors are on 24 hour call. We have students going out up to 100 kms looking for good homes for puppies. Vishwa then goes out to check them. About 40 to 50 percent are good. He then usually places the pups within a week. At this point in time we have placed over 1300 dogs and puppies in good homes. We have lifetime sanctuary for animals that are not strong enough to make it on their own. We have taken in over 6,000 animals thru emergency rescues since opening.
We will treat any creature in need. We have treated over 7,000 animals other than dogs—cats, over 1,400 cows, monkeys, horses, goats, pigs, peacocks, eagles, birds, snakes, mongooses, reptiles, and others.
The following link will take you to a 3 minute video taken inside the Shelter. (ALERT: TO GET BACK TO THE REPORT AFTER WATCHING THE VIDEO, YOU HAVE TO CLOSE THE LINK!!!!) I rode up on my two wheeler as a lady was taking videos outside the Shelter. I invited her to come in with me to get a good clip inside. This is a copy of what she took. It really shows the "life and love" that I'm talking about.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4on7cvbMhE
ON THE STREETS. There was so much suffering when we first opened fifteen years ago: over 7,000 homeless dogs, and the stray population was out of control. There was no small animal vet within 75 kms, and no treatment facility. There was rabies, and widespread abuse. There was unbounded misery: around 350 suffering and dying animals on the streets--mostly dogs and puppies, but monkeys, cows, birds, squirrels, peacocks, horses, and goats, too. It was awful!
Gradually, after we'd been open for five or six months, we started noticing that the animals seemed better off even tho' we hadn't seen most of them. And we realized that the community of 170,000, generally, were being nicer to them - and that if we wanted to really uplift their quality of life, this better relationship between the animals and the people had to continue.
So we started focusing on transforming that relationship: giving talks, having spots on TV, signs, ads in newspapers, and so on. But nothing seemed to work. A week after people heard a talk, or saw a video, they pretty much forgot about them.
Then came the illumination. We noticed that when we treated an animal in a crowded place, such as a railway station or market, people would gather around and watch, as many had never seen anyone giving such love to a homeless animal...nor had they seen that love being returned. The difference was, now they saw it with their Hearts...and they didn't forget! It subtly changed their awareness....And so we became aware of the TEACHABLE MOMENT!
There were many Teachable Moments when catching dogs for sterilization. Our people did it with a lot of love. Some dogs were caught just with the promise of good snacks. If a chase ensued, as soon as the dogs were caught they were given a lot of love--stroked, hugged, and told that we were very good people, and that we would bring them back to their familiar place. There was always someone in the van to stay with the dogs and reassure them. So much of the catching in other places is often brutal, and when people see this, it negatively affects the way they treat dogs.
We go into almost all areas to catch dogs for sterilization so almost everyone sees a catching. The tenderness affects them, and they start being more tender with dogs. And that slowly and steadily spreads thru Interconnectedness.
It's no longer awful on the streets. It feels so good to walk around and experience the difference. The Community's Heart has opened to the animals...AND THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO THE WHOLE COMMUNITY--PEOPLE AND ANIMALS. When the Heart opens, it doesn't open in just one direction. When people's Hearts open to the animals, people start being nicer to each other, too. You can't see it, but it's the nature of the Heart, and it's happening.
We humans are such complicated creatures and it's so hard to get us to be nicer to each other directly. This is such a simple way to uplift the entire community: just get it to open their Hearts to the animals.
Many of you like to hear about our emergency rescues. We have about 10 to 40 a month. Here are some of the more recent ones.
****Mother monkey and her baby: A policewoman from Pradakshina Road called the Shelter about 6pm. A mother monkey had been hit by a vehicle. Ravi went out. The mother was unconsious. The babe, a male about 2 months old, was huddled against her. By the time they got back to the Shelter, the mother had died. Sugana will care for the babe about four months. She has named him Vaaly and he's with her 24 hours a day. She carries him in her sari. He goes home with her, and sleeps with her...well he did for the first seversl weeks. She's now had him two months, and he stays up much of the night and wants to play. He gets milk in small nippled bottles throughout the day. And slowly Sugana added grapes, bananas, and pomegranite seeds, which is his favorite. He's starting to spend several hours a day (increasing) at the shelter in the large monkey cage--He's made friends with another baby monkey and they wrestle, play, and eat together. (Sekar or Raja stayed with him the first month.) He's gradually being introduced to all the other monkeys, and in another two months, he'll be weaned and spend all his time with the others. If he ends up in a small family group, they'll be released. (We keep track of them to make sure they're doing okay.)
****Baby goat: Vishwa got a 7:30pm call at home from someone he knew. A baby goat had fallen into a 30 foot well about 23 kms out. Vishwa went with the van. There was 4 feet of water, and fortunately a dry plot of land where the babe could stand. Ten people were standing around, three with flashlights. They were calling to her sweetly. She was scared. Vishwa went down on a rope with a cage. The sweetie wasn't afraid of him and knew she was being rescued. She was about three months old. She must have fallen into the water because she had no wounds. He sent her up first. The owner was there. She immediately ran to him.
****The Forest Dept. called the Shelter about 10am. A young female deer, 2 or 3 years old, had been hit by a vehicle about 25 kms out. She had bad wounds on both back legs, and an injury on her shoulder. Prem, Dharma, Venkatesh, and Pandi went. She was along the side of the road when they got there. She ran into the forest, and it took 1/2 hour to catch her. They took her to the Shelter. A guy from the Forest Dept. came along. Dr. Raja gave her an i.v., a pain killer, anti-biotics, and cleaned and bandaged the wounds. We kept her four weeks while she healed. Vishwa then called the Forest Dept., and they told him to release her in the nearby forest. He checked back several days later to make sure she was okay. .
IF YOU'VE WONDERED WHY YOU HAVEN'T HEARD FROM ME...
I've been flattened by Covid 19 for 5 1/2 months, and fully bedridden.
I HAVEN'T SAT, STOOD OR WALKED THE ENTIRE TIME.
I had no pain, and am cared for beautifully by people who love me and whom I love--my family, primarily Sugana, Dr. Raja, and Vishwa. (Sugana is here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and Vishwa is here a lot, and always available within a half hour.) Dr. Raja is amazingly handling all the high level stuff.
I've good doctors, and an excellent physical therapist, and I started practicing sitting up for short stints about three weeks ago, and am making steady progress. Within two months I hope to start practing standing...Om Namah Shivaya.
Thank you, thank you, thank you...for the steady support...It was critically important...
The Shelter is going beautifully, totally run by my beloved Dr. Raja and Vishwa.
Our stats in the months of July, August, and September were:
- Clinic Visits............................... 1,592
- In-patient Treatments................ 8,656
- Emergency Rescues................. 180
- Dogs Sterilized......................... 188
- Anti-rabies Injections................ 454
- Animal Adoptions..................... 20
- Other Animals Treated.............. 196
- "Other Animals Treated" includes: ( 67 cows & calves, 55 goats & sheep, 37 cats, 6 birds, 8 rabbits, 1 parrot, 8 monkeys , 114 horses, 1 eagle,1 owl, 9 chickens, 2 deer, 1 peacock...)
- Sometimes it's stunning for me to see the stats...But the most important thing is HEART...HEART...HEART. It really is uplifting to experience it inside the Shelter. And it feels so good to see, on the streets, how the Precious Ones' lives have changed and how the whole Municipality has been uplifted.
This brings us to the end of the Report.
Hoping that each of you is doing excellently...That you're unfolding beautifully and strongly inside. My Baba said that nothing is gained without some inner austerity. I sometimes think of it in wordly terms for myself as, "Growing up ain't easy!"
As in previous reports, I've included a collection of photos. Hoping you enjoy them. Remember...the theme is simply LOVE.
THE PRECIOUS ONES NEED US...AND WE NEED YOU!
RECURRING DONATIONS, EVEN QUITE MODEST ONES, ARE BEST FOR US.
With love, blessings, and wishes for all things good...May we All, each of us, act in a way that emits uplifting, healing energy.
Leslie, the Ageing Expatriate Warrior
Arunachala Animal Sanctuary & Rescue Shelter has earned the following badges on GlobalGiving:
Enjoy...With love from Us and the Precious Ones.
Two of the Precious Homeless Ones we protect.
And six more.
Our beloved Staff...Here for the Precious Ones/
Drs. Raja and Heera and their magical hands.
PureHeart Sekar and Sivagami-what a blessing.
It's important to like each other.
Sw. Muktananda..Head of Ananda Ashram in Kerala.
Well rescue...Sometimes I worry about our guys.
The Quter Veranda.
I thought the extra chairs were for us..
Now that is what I really call snuggling.
Some photos don't need words.
Here are some sweeties.
You can tell by the eyes if they're happy.
Doing puja on our anniversary.
My Baba(Sw.Muktananda) as a young man.
My Baba some years later.
The Shelter puja.
Honored by Global Giving in 2018..7th out of 4000.
Dr. Raja on way home after a l-o-o-o-o-ng day.