We frequently get asked this question- and we have several answers!
The VOSD Sanctuary is a magical place- it is home to over 900 dogs. Additionally, VOSD is an open, clean and green environment where no dogs are chained or caged. As much as we want everyone to have access to it and see it for themselves, we can’t allow it to happen.
There is a reason why the VOSD Standard Operating Procedure 3.1- which is a public document that binds the handover of EVERY inbound dog- prohibits visitation rights to these dogs. There are actually three reasons and none of them are about the ego of any VOSD office bearer.
The VOSD Sanctuary is in a remote area 60 km outside downtown Bangalore. There is no phone access. Should anyone visit, there is no way to tell the staff who they are, when they are coming, how, and why. We can’t give you Google Maps directions because there is no data. Any visitation is, therefore, possible only on prior information. Someone then has to wait in the data range area on the highway 7 km from the Sanctuary. It is a huge load on everyone concerned and simply not manageable for us.
Effort and time of VOSD staff
Managing over 900 animals is a difficult affair. It includes cooking four tons of wet weight in food every day in two servings- food has to be carried over several acres. Furthermore, we clean all enclosures, medicate dogs when required, pump water to over 15 overhead and underground tanks each day, and ensure the supply of rice, chicken, kibble, medical supplies, and firewood every day. It is hardly possible for any staff to be assigned to show any visitors around and answer queries. We simply do not have the bandwidth.
VOSD has been a subject of multiple attacks- legal and physical. Various instances of people trying to shut us down are part of our everyday struggle. Many animal activists themselves have tried to eradicate the work done by VOSD, but we have not let that stop us from doing the work we do. There are two criminal FIRs against VOSD/VOSD’s Founder, several civil cases and three arrest warrants against him at different times. We have two High Court petitions in order to operate. Seven different government administrative orders/showcase notices have been passed to close VOSD or surrender the land. There have been three different incidents where our staff has been thrashed (including once inside the sanctuary after the fence was breached). Three of our vehicles have been vandalised to the point of destruction and there have been four incidents where our dogs have been poisoned, causing over 15 dogs to die.
The local police station maintains a register for the VOSD Sanctuary and does a daily check to see if everyone is safe inside. It is to a point that there is a curfew on our staff- nobody can go in or out after the lights come on. Our Founder does not move without being armed. Under no circumstances are the gates open for anyone 24 hours a day. Almost all of this that VOSD has been subjected to, has come through self-professed dog lovers and other well-wishers.
We would love to have you, but…
While you may think that you or your dogs’ circumstance is special, please understand we manage a tense and tightly-run operation. Exceptions simply can’t be made any more since the cost of these is very high. If an exception is made for you, it will have to be made for anyone else who asks. Most of all- we are not in the business of running a background check on everyone in case they don’t have our best interests at heart. So we keep everyone away.
The safety of the staff and the dogs is our biggest priority
Please understand that we are just trying to keep our dogs and our staff safe. We reiterate that there was, and is, no access to VOSD Sanctuary directly. All dogs that come in the future will only be via one of our two partner NGOs in Bangalore, which you learn as your requests to surrender a dog comes in.
There is a silver lining
However, this does not mean that there is no visitation at all. From time to time, we announce Open Farm Days. Here we not only request you to come, but we actually get you some nice local food as well. Keep your ears and eyes peeled for the next announcement!
If you wish to volunteer, intern, or if you have any questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also always keep up with our latest updates from the VOSD Sanctuary on social media. We share stories of our VOSD family here- and regularly share progress and the work we do.
Thank you for your understanding!