India, Visakhapatnam: A bull almost sold to butchers

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This bull was brought from a village in Vizianagaram, Andra Pradesh district headquarters, to the Simhachalam Temple in Visakhapatnam. The village people brought him to the temple to be blessed so that they could take him back later as a sacred bull, called “appanna” in Telegu.  Their intention was that he would then be released in the village, where he would live peacefully in freedom, wandering where he wished, fed by the villagers, and in return, sharing God’s blessings with the people.

A great many bulls and calves are brought, in this way, to the Simhachalam Temple as offerings, but they are not always as safe as the villagers hope.

Visakha Society for Protection and Care of Animals (VSPCA), who, for a number of years, has kept an eye on the calves and bulls offered to the temple, caught wind of negotiations underway with butchers to buy the bull for Rs 8,000 (U.S.$ 200).

They immediately obtained custody of the bull, brought him to their shelter, investigated the facts of the situation, and then signed an adoption agreement with the village authorities to ensure his protection in the future.

Now he has been released back in the village where he belongs, where he’ll be loved and cared for, and will shower the village with divine blessings – following in the tradition of India’s long reverence for the bull and the cow.

To learn more about the work of VSPCA and other Indian animal organizations, or to donate, visit the website of Help Animals India.

Photo: Courtesy of VSPCA

Chennai, India: A calf saved at Pongal.

the calf with Sheela
the calf with Sheela



During the festival of Pongal, having just returned from successfully rescuing a cat who was down a 35 foot well, Dawn Williams, General Manager of Blue Cross, set off again immediately, as soon as he heard about a calf in dire straights.


Three Blue Cross volunteers, Mr. Anand, Mr. Murali and Ms. Jennifer, had come across the calf under the Dr. Ambedkar Bridge, near the big shopping center, Chennai Citi Centre. Sadly, they had been heading home following the funeral of their dog, Shearu.  They spotted the calf lying on the road, weak and sick, looking just about a week old.  The male calf had not seemed very useful to whoever his original owner had been, and now, having been abandoned, he could be found by a passerby and sold for slaughter.


In fact, a person claiming ownership of the calf did show up, around the time that Dawn arrived, demanding payment, and insisting that he would not allow the calf to be taken away until he was paid first.


Dawn, who could see clearly that the calf was not being cared for by anyone, stood up to the man, threatening to have him arrested.  Seeing that he would get no payment, the man left, leaving Dawn to rescue the calf.


Dawn rushed the calf, who was very weak, to Madras Veterinary College, where he was put on an IV and stabilized.


In the meantime, Ms. Sheela, a Blue Cross volunteer, was preparing a feeding bottle with milk for the calf to feed him just as soon as he arrived back at Blue Cross.  With such good care, the calf was soon feeling a little more energetic.


Thanks to quick action by Dawn and Ms. Sheela, the calf is expected to recover.  The festival of Pongal is all about the protection of cattle.


To visit the website of Blue Cross, click here.



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Photo: Courtesy of Blue Cross