India's animals, the sacred and the suffering, the wild and the domesticated, are in dire need of help. Help from within this continent of vastly differing cultures and bioregions is extremely limited in part because of the ever pressing demands and problems of a soon-to-be one billion human population.
There is sufficient feed for only 60 percent of India's 200 million cattle. Veterinary services in many regions lack basic infrastructure and cannot even provide safe and effective vaccines for the half-billion domestic animals in India's 600,000 villages and crowded cities and slums.
India Project for Animals and Nature (IPAN), established in 1996 by Project Director Deanna Krantz of New York-based Global Communications for Conservation, Inc., is based in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in the heart of the 260-square mile Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary.
IPAN has been provided a building and land by the elected local government body, the Panchayat Union Council, in the village of Masinagudi, which IPAN has made into a community veterinary surgery and treatment center for all animals, and serves as the center for village dog and cat spay/neuter program.
On the main Ooty road, a small house in the village of Mavanhalla serves as the IPAN office, medicine and equipment storehouse, emergency clinic, and additional staff quarters.
Located in this relatively wild and remote region in the Nilgiri or Blue Mountains, which is one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, IPAN is a ray of hope for thousands of animals, especially since most of their owners cannot afford or secure adequate veterinary services.
In a region with one of the largest domestic animal populations in India, IPAN's program to treat and prevent diseases in these animals directly protects wildlife in the surrounding jungle from the devastating consequences of contagious diseases, such as rabies, foot and mouth disease, distemper, etc.
In collaboration with appropriate authorities and organizations, future projects will focus on the notorious cattle drive to slaughterhouses in the neighboring state of Kerala; the cattle overpopulation problem with resultant habitat destruction; and wildlife poaching, exploitation and extinction.
IPAN, in this unique locale, is ideally positioned to help reduce and prevent animal suffering, protect and conserve wildlife and the fragile environment, and promote humane and conservation ethics. Donations are always needed and welcome to enable IPAN to continue to purchase vaccines, medicines, surgical supplies, and field equipment, to cover travel costs, provisions for volunteers, salaries for local staff, and operational costs.
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