Here’s how you can care for rescued animals on your b'day

Welfare for Animals in Goa offers the possibility of spending a day with rescued animals at their shelter in Siolim, North Goa
WE CARE: Kids' parents can now plan to have parties at WAG in Siolim.
WE CARE: Kids' parents can now plan to have parties at WAG in Siolim.Photo: Atul Sarin

You have a birthday coming up and you are an animal lover, what better way to grow older than to celebrate by being surrounded by the warm embrace of cute animals. It’s possible and it need not be just your pets at home.

Today was the 5th birthday of little Radhika and she celebrated it by helping bottle feed an orphaned calf at the Welfare for Animals in Goa (WAG) shelter in Siolim. And just like Radhika did, you too can celebrate your birthday, anniversary or religious festival at WAG, an animal shelter that is open to hosting people to visit and have a fun day interacting with animals around. 

WARM HUGS: A small kid pets a cow and a calf at WAG.
WARM HUGS: A small kid pets a cow and a calf at WAG. Photo: Atul Sarin

Speaking to Gomantak Times Digital about this interesting initiative, Atul Sarin, who runs WAG, says, “With over 150 rescued animals – like cows, goats, cats, parrots and more – kids will experience a wonderful time watching, feeding and playing with them. At WAG, we encourage people to visit our shelter on their birthdays, and bring food for the animals, and spend a few hours interacting with them."

WE CARE: Kids' parents can now plan to have parties at WAG in Siolim.
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Atul, who was feeding one of his rescued cockatoos, named Whitey, as he danced to some Bangra music, adds, “This has proved to be a huge success, especially with children. Amazingly, many say they would rather come to celebrate with the animals on their birthday, than go to the mall.”

For children, its a world of animals to choose from. “The children spend a few hours interacting and feeding our 150 resident rescued animals, which include cows, goats, cats, dogs, parrots and rabbits. We are the only shelter in Goa, where we house 26 rescued rabbits,” says Atul.

WE CARE: Kids' parents can now plan to have parties at WAG in Siolim.
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On many occasions, WAG gets online requests, where a donation is made in memory of deceased pets, or for a celebration and the money is sent to WAG to feed the animals instead of splurging it on a lavish party.

“For people not in Goa, we also arrange online feeding on their birthdays and send them a video. These birthday trips are very important, especially for children as they are our future, and it's important that they learn about animal welfare. Above all, they have a great time too,” says Atul.
WAG also bakes eggless cakes for the cows, which consists of bananas, coconut oil, atta and jaggery.

ALL SMILES: Atul Sarin poses with Whitey.
ALL SMILES: Atul Sarin poses with Whitey.Photo: Atul Sarin

Almost two decades ago, Atul saw many cows wandering around in the village. A stray cow, Tara, was causing traffic jams and that’s when he decided to take the animal home and look after it. From one injured cow to five more strays to now almost 150 rescued animals – all have found a home in Siolim. Most of these animals had been beaten, were acid survivors, and were malnourished but are now cared for by Atul, who relocated to Goa from UK in 2005, and his team.

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