Vignesh’s Almighty Animal Sanctuary is based in Tiruvallur, and is home to rescue, sick and abandoned dogs, calves and cows.

A boy plays with dogs at animal shelter
Coronavirus Coronavirus Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 18:15

Sai Vignesh was only 15 years old when he started rescuing dogs in Thiruvallur in Tamil Nadu. At the time, he would often end up keeping them at his home, because unlike the able ones, the chronically ill and disabled ones could not be released again. The resulting complaints from neighbours and landlords forced Vignesh and his family to shift seven houses between 2015 and 2019. In October last year, the 19-year-old finally opened a shelter which is now a haven not just for the rescued dogs, but also calves and cows. However, the lockdown is now posing a hurdle in his efforts to help as many animals as he can.

The Almighty Animal Sanctuary currently houses 29 dogs – many of them disabled and ill – five calves and seven cows that have been rescued from illegal slaughterhouses. The animals live on a two-acre fenced patch from the eight-acre land that was donated by a fellow animal lover for setting up the sanctuary, Vignesh says.

“The monthly expenditure for running the shelter is Rs 50,000-60,000 including the salaries of the staff, feed for the animals, electricity etc. Earlier, we used to manage with donations from a few like-minded persons, the savings that my father would contribute, and my own income from working part time to develop websites,” Vignesh tells TNM. “But since the lockdown, the donations have stopped. I am also not getting work to design websites. The colleges that my father is a guest lecturer in is also shut.”

Despite these difficulties, Vignesh has been earnestly working for the welfare of animals. In fact, he has even taken up feeding an additional 200 stray dogs – which is what he was doing when this reporter first called him. “These dogs were dependent on restaurant leftovers for food, which is no longer available,” Vignesh explains.

When asked if he has thought about online crowdfunding to support is shelter, Vignesh says he may give it a shot. However, when he tried to raise money online last year for the shelter, he was only able to raise Rs 2 lakh out of the target amount of Rs 10 lakh. “The parents of one of the trekkers who died in the Theni forest fire of 2018 came forward to help because their child loved animals. With their help, along with my father’s support and the donation of the land was I able to start the animal shelter,” he narrates.

However, Vignesh had registered the Almighty Animal Care Trust much earlier in 2017. “I thought it would make things easier when I wanted to file complaints against animal cruelty or in court cases. So I registered the trust,” he states. He adds that he wants to study law next year so that he can help animals legally also.

However, at this point, Vignesh’s priority is to ensure that the disabled, sick and abandoned dogs as well as rescued cows and calves do not go hungry in the lockdown. “I don’t have any specific target amount in mind. Any contribution at this point will be helpful in taking care of the animals,” he says.

If you would like to contribute, you may do so through UPI to almightyanimalcaretrust@icici

You can also contribute via online banking to the following current account.

Account name: Almighty Animal Care Trust

Account number: 027505007677

IFSC code: ICIC0000275

To contact the Almighty Animal Sanctuary, you can call  

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