„Behind every animal stands an Indian soul who cares about it.“
One of the most touching moments during my travel around Rajasthan was the visit of the Animal Aid Unlimited Foundation in Udaipur. In 2002 it was founded by the former Seattle based family Erika, Jim and Claire Abrams Myers. Their mission is to rescue and treat street animals of Udaipur who have become ill or injured, and through their rescue inspire a community to protect and defend the lives of all animals.
There are not only street dogs and –cats but also donkeys, cows, calfs and pigs. The blind ones, the paralyzed ones, the ones with heavy injuries can stay on the farm forever. Even they who have to die can do this here in peace. The farm serves also as a hospice for dying cows or donkeys. Cows which ate plastic garbage or suffer from road accidents, the hopeless cases can spend here their last days or weeks of life.
Dogs who suffer from skin deseases get cured as well as dogs with paralized extremities find love and peace at the farm. There are about 50 staff members who work day by day as well as volunteers from all over the world.
Stefanie Kaiser-Sicks is one of them. The woman from Berlin spends every year 4 weeks of her holidays in animal projects around the globe. Through Facebook she came in touch with Animal Aid Unlimited in Rajasthan. „What I do really love at this project is the variety of animals, because they also treat cows, pigs and donkeys“, says the 41 year old Vegan lab technician.
She shows me the calfs. „They just got taken away from the mother and ended up alone at the street.“ The Abrams Myers family and its staff are also taking care of them. „Daily we get calls from people who talk about an injured or helpless animal in their neighbourhood.“ And the Animal Aid Unlimited Team drives there with their animal ambulance cars and gets them.
„Behind every animal stands an Indian soul who cares about it“, said Stefanie. „To know this fact makes me happy.“ Because the telephone calls are coming from residents who care about their street animals.
„We get street dogs in terrible conditions with wounds full of worms or bad skin. Actually, that is not the main problem but their terrible weak condition.“ Stefanie shows me some of the skinny dogs. „After only a few weeks of treatment here they are healty again. It is just incredible how quick they recover.“
After their treatments the staff bring them back to the streets again. „Those are community dogs and we let them where we found them. Even if it is sometimes heartbreaking to let them go.“ At the moment there are about 400 animals at the sanctuary.
But that’s the only way to treat new cases which are coming almost daily. Founder Jim joins us and walks us to the two dying cows who are lying on mats and are covered with blankets. „In the night it gets really cold here“, says Jim and adds that the big cow has an open leg fracture too. „We can’t do anything for them anymore, their bellies are full of plastics which they ate in the streets. Here they can die in peace and with some hugs and cuddles from our staff and the volunteers.“
He gets some water in his hand and opens the mouth of the cows. One starts to lick, the other one just looks with open wide eyes when the drops are running into its mouth.
„For me this work is very rewarding“, says Stefanie who owns 2 dogs back home in Berlin. „My favourites are the calves. I start my day with them“, she smiles.
See Videos on You Tube. Check here! And there are much more. Check the web!
Also you can help! Check for voluntary work and donations:
USA: Animal Aid Unlimited is a tax-exempt charity.
India: Animal Aid Charitable Trust is registered as 35Dev Udai2007.
Photos: Enric Boixadós