Vaishnavee Suresh

I have always loved animals from the time I was a kid. I still remember my mom telling me that when I was around 3 years old I had sneaked to the kitchen and stole all the potatoes to give them to the pigs that strolled behind my house. Twelve years ago I moved to Coimbatore but little did I know there was an animal shelter here. I think I came across HAS in a newspaper article and the first time I visited the shelter was for my cat’s operation. That time I never knew I would be devoting most of time here with the animals. 2 years ago on my 18th birthday I made up my mind to start volunteering despite my difficulty in talking to new people easily and that was the best decision I have ever taken. The people working there were very friendly and I found myself quite easily getting along with everyone gradually. Rhea Nair who was at that time working at HAS encouraged me to participate more in activities like outreaching and creating awareness to the public which has immensely increased my knowledge on lots of things regarding lifestyle, animals and compassion.

I never realized there were so many dogs in Coimbatore. There are lots of dogs who are paralyzed or can use only their forelegs like Henry, Buddy and also few cats which was very surprising to me. I often feel sad for them or even get angry on those reckless drivers but then seeing them with such spirit and hope in life and the will to survive and live, always lifts my mood. It is good to see that lots of people are coming forward to adopt rather than shop. I often visit the shelter on Sundays and help the animals and the staffs in every possible way, be it bathing, de-ticking or just cuddling with animals. This cuddling session led me to adopt the cat Mennu who has now become a part of my family of humans and my other pets. During vacation, the shelter becomes my second home where I often spend my time there. I have met so many overseas volunteers from whom I have learnt a lot of new things. Now I know how to provide some basic treatment or first aid for animals and the important thing that I realized was that animals also go through psychological or emotional problems, thus making them; either be aggressive towards humans or go into deep depression and this can only be cured through patience, faith and trust. As long as I can spare some time for the animals, I’ll keep volunteering at HAS. It is place where I have made lots of friends; furry and non-furry!