June 2011

Founder’s Note

       

Dear Readers,

I learnt two very important words two months ago, BACK-UP. My laptop crashed and I had lost four months worth of work. It has taken me a while to put everything together and we are finally back on track. In addition to that, there has suddenly been lots of activity and new developments happening at Happy Foundation and this newsletter will be a little longer than usual. This is also why we haven’t sent out a newsletter in the past two months.

There are lots of different stories and I hope you take the time to go through them patiently. We have added one more beneficiary and that has expanded the type and number of animals we are reaching out to. We are now supporting organizations that help dogs, cats, cows and horses. They all need your help and feel free to help out with whichever cause that touches your heart. The newsletter ends with a human-interest story on animals used in experiments. Millions of animals in India lose their right to life in the name of science and research.

These past two months, I have had the opportunity to visit some of our partners and this has only reinforced in my mind how important it is to share these stories with all of you. In India alone, there are 900 million animals that suffer cruelty on a daily basis. It does sometimes feel that what we do at Happy Foundation is not even a drop in the ocean. However, when we see that one animal that is able to live a life free from cruelty and with dignity because of us, it all makes it worth it. And if we are able to help out step by step, I hope that eventually, we are able to make a huge difference.

Animal Aid – Volunteer Udaipur

We took a short trip to Udaipur in April and spent some time at Animal Aid Unlimited Hospital which is an animal shelter set up by an American family who have made Udaipur their home. After visiting several animal shelters around the country, and feeling extremely helpless by what I was seeing, I was more than pleasantly surprised with the daily operations at Animal Aid.

We spent a fun day brushing donkeys, feeding calves with baby bottles, helping a paralysed dog run and showering lots of tender, love and care on all the sick puppies. We just didn’t want to leave. What stood out most to me was its cleanliness and how content the animals were over there and that’s what matters at the end of the day.

Animal Aid offers volunteer opportunities from a day to several weeks. Volunteers do not need prior experience working with animals and will be safely supervised as needed.

If you are interested to go on a volunteer vacation where you are able to help out and learn more about the animals and explore a new city, you can visit their website www.animalaidunlimited.com for more details.

This calf lost its mom and needs to be hand fed through a baby bottle.       Donkeys love being brushed. (From personal experience, you will enjoy the brushing more than they will).

SAMABHAVA Bangalore

Happy Foundation sponsored two field visits last month at SAMABHAVA (www.samabhava.org) which works for the protection, well-being and welfare of working ponies in Bangalore. These ponies are extensively used to transport goods, mostly pipes and other construction materials from the core commercial areas of Bangalore to various parts of the city.

SAMABHAVA conducts field visits every Sunday where they reach out to the caretaker and the animal at their doorstep. Most commercial establishments are closed on Sunday and so the caretakers are more receptive to listen and learn how to better care for their ponies. The ponies are made to work the remaining six days of the week and business always comes ahead of their well-being.

SAMABHAVA’s mobile veterinary care not only includes giving some of the medicines free of cost, but also involves educating the caretakers on the importance of feed quality and knowledge of good practices for their bread-winner. The progress of the animal is tracked over several weeks and the aim is to reduce the number of cases per given set of animals with the passage of time.  Happy Foundation had the opportunity to accompany SAMABHAVA on a field visit and it certainly was an eye-opening experience.

On the day of the visit, we visited four different sites, and the one common feedback that I heard from all the caretakers was that they were all very grateful to SAMABHAVA for visiting them every week and helping them take better care of their animals.  Healthier ponies could mean better work output which translates into more money, however, our concern is that the ponies are getting the healthcare they deserve and are able to work without too much discomfort.

The photos below tell some of the stories SAMABHAVA experiences on their weekly field visit. Each field visit costs Rs.3,000 (US$70) and this covers the Vet’s services, medicines and transport. Between 11-15 working equines are attended to or undergo intensive medical treatment per visit. If you are interested in sponsoring a field visit, email us at info@happyfoundationforanimals.org

Horse carts compete with small trucks for business in this busy commercial area in Bangalore. This horse has been loaded with pipes and will deliver them to the site. The owner earns Rs.300 (US$7) per delivery.     New shoes: This horse is having its shoes changed. This process does not hurt them and its feeling is equivalent to when humans cut their nails.
       
This horse has been treated by SAMABHABA before, hence his suspicious look at the para-vet.      SAMABHAVA founder follows up with the treatment of this horse at its home.
 
Radha Surabhi Goshala Mathura

The Happy Foundation is trying to raise funds for a cow sling for the paralysed cows at Radha Surabhi Goshala. A cow sling offers some sort of quality of life for these cows who are otherwise unable to stand on their own. Sudevi will not put any cow down as she believes that all living creatures have the right to live out the rest of their natural lives and does not want to interfere with the natural order of life. We are also helping them raise funds for a cow ambulance. This will enable Sudevi to quickly collect injured cows off the streets in the Mathura area and provide them the care required as quickly as possible. This link is a 40 minute video on the Radha Surabhi Goshala. It gives you a very good idea on the daily running of it. You may need to copy and paste the link on to your browser to watch it. http://krishnatube.com/video/699/Indias-Holy-Cow-Becoming-Extinct
In most goshalas (cow sheds), injured cows wait several hours until they are treated. At another shelter visit last month, I saw an injured cow being brought in for treatment. It had been hit by a truck and its front leg was broken completely in half and its broken bone was jutting out and blood pouring out of its leg. I just did not have the heart to take any photographs. The ambulance brought the cow in and literally threw it into a small shed. As the shelter was short-staffed, no one looked at the cow for 3 hours because they were all so busy attending to other emergencies. The cow was just lying there in what must have been agonizing pain with a broken bone, no pain-killers nor any treatment whatsoever. It was put to sleep several hours later. The only way I am able to find peace in this situation is that it was finishing off the last of its bad karmas. This is a shelter that has a cow ambulance so just imagine what the situation must be like where there is no ambulance service available.

   A lift has been installed on to this truck to make it an ambulance for large animals. The lift makes it easier to put the animal on and take it off the truck.     This cow’s legs are paralysed and so it is unable to stand on its own. The cow sling keeps the cow in a standing position for several hours a day ensuring better blood circulation and greater comfort.

Animals used in Experiments

Animal experimentation is perhaps one of the most ignored areas of  animal welfare as they are all conducted behind closed doors. Millions of animals in India are sacrificed each year in laboratories and research institutions with the exact numbers not accounted for. The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) is working on a research paper to understand the current status and then plan a further course of action towards phasing out toxicity testing in India.

 

Mice like these are cut up on a daily basis so that scientists are able to understand the human anatomy and how different substances affect our bodies.
    Rabbits are bred and made to live their entire lives in these tiny cages while experiment upon experiment is tested out on them. Some of which are quite painful.
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