In 1999 Friendicoes was funded by the RSPCA U.K. and other donors to buy land to establish a Lifetime Care sanctuary for animals who could not be returned to a life in the streets for whatever reason of disability, old age, blindness or lack of a caretaker. Many were abandoned pets that still awaited loving homes. We began with the notion of the Sanctuary simply receiving animals from our city shelter cum clinic or rescues from our equine mobile clinic, but very soon we found ourselves rescuing animals from Gurugram district, Sohna and all nearby villages and towns.
We were pushed into starting a small clinic and building large rooms and halls for the tribe of dogs and cats that multiplied each day and by 2018 our Lifetime Care Sanctuary had close to 1200 animals ranging from cows and camels to dogs cats and birds! Today as 2023 starts we have a large dog hospital with operation theatre, Xray and diagnostic path lab facilities as well as a unit of 16 kennels for post operative care. There is both an outpatient clinic with its 10 kennels for the extended treatment of dogs brought by dog owners from the rural areas around us as well as an indoor patient facility with an isolation ward for distemper cases, to accommodate the increasing number of rescued animals in Gurgram, Sohna, Jhajjar, Manesar districts of Haryana. At any given time over 80 animals are under treatment here.
The equines are retired police horses, rescues from riding clubs and farms around us in Gurugram as well as abandoned mules and ponies from Tonga stands and marketplaces. Since Covid 19 struck the number of such equines abandoned by their hapless owners and dumped in fields, parks, on rubbish heaps and left tied to our gates, increased dramatically. We receive donkeys with fractures and saddle sores and often malnourished and dehydrated from overwork at the brick kilns. The silver lining to this cloud is that these animals are at least brought in and do not await harsh deaths along highways and in deserted kilns.
Several cow sheds, stables for our older horses needing geriatric care and outdoor shed for animals under treatment help house over 150 equines and nearly 300 bovines. The number increases steadily as rescues multiply, the brick kiln season ends and many pony and mule owners find themselves out of work.
It gives us the greatest happiness to see an animal, large or small, that has lost hope of love or comfort regain its love of life and enjoy its feed and lay in the sun and enjoy dust baths…!
The Lifetime Care Sanctuary has a huge cat shelter and clinic, thanks to the Marchig Animal Welfare Trust as the primary donor, attached with a room for mothers with litters or orphaned kittens. Close to 200 cats have a home here.
The dogs share large field enclosures and form their own tightly knit groups…those which need their own space are given individual runs but there is a constant need to rent more land, provide more enrichment for exercise and create more safe spaces to give abandoned and disabled animals a better life.
Friendicoes also farms its own organic vegetables for the staff and grows fodder on 21 acres of land for the large animals. Our dream is to be self sufficient for food and fodder. To this end the dung is made into dung logs for fuel and used in vermiculture to create manure.