Help Animals India was founded by Eileen Weintraub in 2008 to make it easier for people around the world to support the Visakha Society for Protection and Care of Animals (VSPCA) in Visakhapatnam, India. Although the VSPCA is still the principal beneficiary, Eileen expanded Help Animals India in 2010 to help provide support to other Indian animal protection groups that she'd visited (see list here.)
Help Animals India is an all-volunteer organization - none of the volunteers receive a salary and all pay for their own travel expenses. All contributions go directly to help animals.
I first learned about VSPCA and Help Animals India from Susmitha of artbysusmitha, who donates part of the proceeds from her shop to the VSPCA Cow Sanctuary. After signing up for the VSPCA newsletter (highly recommended!), I got to know Eileen, who also serves as VSPCA's Volunteer Representative for Global Outreach.
Like many of us, I regularly donate to animal charity, but cannot afford to make large contributions. I was very happy to find out how far my small donations could go to help animals in India. As Eileen says, "Typical monthly salaries are the equivalent of $500 USD for a veterinarian and $100 USD for shelter or office help. Dog and cat spay/neuter operations average just $12 USD."
VSPCA is a sanctuary for cows, dogs, cats, turtles, horses, buffalo, many kinds of birds and other small animals and also has programs for span/neuter, animal protection, and disaster relief both in the city of Visahapatnam and surrounding areas of Andhra Pradesh. It's difficult to describe everything that VSPCA does to help animals in one blog post, so I urge you to check out their website, or follow the links in the photos below. Abigail Cromwell from the U.S. recently volunteered at VSPCA and kindly allowed me to use some of the wonderful photos from her "Bussy Go" blog to illustrate this post.
If you'd like to get involved with Help Animals India or VSPCA, here are some things you can do:
- Consider contributing either directly or through your Etsy shop to Help Animals India or to VSPCA. No donation is too small! And if you do plan to contribute through your shop, please leave a note in the comments.
- Sign up for the VSPCA newsletter on the VSPCA home page.
- Check out Help Animals India/VSPCA on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VSPCA - you do not have to be a Facebook member to view updates)
- If you are in the Washington DC area, Help Animals India will be at two animal welfare conferences in the Washington DC this July: Animal Rights 2010 (Eileen will be speaking about India's animals here) and Taking Action for Animals.
- Learn how you can sponsor a cat, dog, duck, cow, monkey or other animal at VSPCA for $20 USD here.