"I visited and evaluated the present headquarters of the VSPCA in Visakhapatnam, India, on January 19-20, 2007. It scored 93 on my 100-point scoring scale. This is the highest score I have ever given to a dog/cat shelter outside the U.S. ... and is in the top 10 overall."
–Merritt Clifton, Animal People News
"I and my family visited the shelter of SPCA Vizag today. The shelter manager in charge Shri Rajasekhar was there and he showed us around the various enclosures and the animals housed there. It was very touching to see the abused, abandoned and sick animals being taken care of so well. SPCA Vizag is doing a great job. We are very much moved and also inspired by what we saw. At least you are all doing something good for the other beings around us which also share this planet along with us. Hats off to you for doing a very valued service."
–N Gopi Krishna, Asst. Commissioner of Income Tax, Visakhapatnam
"I would like to give my appreciation to you that VSPCA is one of the finest in explaining an evacuation plan in case of a disaster. You are always in our high profile. Greetings on behalf of WSPA. We are proud of you."
–Dr. Ditul Barman, Divisional Liason Officer, India, WSPA
"It was a pleasure being with a volunteer with VSPCA. We look forward to many more such experiences with animals and nature. People like you make the world a better place and a first one too. May god give you the strength to carry on!"
– Sajita Nair, Sea Turtle Volunteer, Visakhapatnam
"It's touching and inspiring to see so many animals of every kind being treated with such loving care and defended from abuse in a country where millions of humans still struggle with extreme poverty and want. All creatures deserve human kindness: that's the message in word and deed of the VSPCA. It's my privilege to be a monthly donor, because I know every dollar goes a long way toward elevating the relationship between human and animal in the state of Andhra Pradesh and beyond."
– Syd Baumel, writer, Canada
"This summer of 2008 I was fortunate enough to travel to India and volunteered for two weeks at VSPCA along with two of my classmates. I am interested in a career in Shelter Medicine and International Disaster Relief Work so this was a great opportunity to be exposed to a different side of veterinary medicine and to see how the veterinarians manage with limited resources and difficult environmental conditions. The main function of VSPCA is to provide a spay, neuter and release program for the street dogs of the city. The skill and speed of the workers during the whole process of handling, pre-medding, and anesthetizing these dogs was impressive to see, and the veterinarians performed the fastest spays I have ever seen - 7-8 minutes! The VSPCA has worked wonders with limited resources and the cats have two large beautiful enclosures. The cats themselves were healthy, alert and had beautiful glossy fur.
During my stay in India, I was able to travel a little and appreciate what a great job the VSPCA program is doing. The health of the street dogs and the attitude of the people towards animals were noticeably better in Visakhapatnam than other cities I visited. The people seemed less afraid of dogs knowing that they were vaccinated, and there was less aggression amongst the dogs themselves. There were also far fewer dogs! Overall it was truly an informative and amazing experience, and I was greatly inspired by the dedication and tirelessness of the people who run the shelter."
–Louise Graham, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Class of 2010
"I had the privilege of travelling to Vizag, along with two classmates, to volunteer at one of the leading animal shelters in the region. The animal shelter, located on the city outskirts, offered a reprieve from the chaos of the city. Founded in 1996 by Pradeep Nath, an inspired visionary who has worked tirelessly on the behalf of animals in the region. It is home to hundreds of rescued animals, including dogs, cats, cows, water buffalo, parakeets, primates, and star tortoises. Pradeep’s inspiration came early in life. As a young boy, he fed biscuits and scraps of food to starving street dogs. His early acts of kindness are now shelter tradition. Each morning, on the way to the shelter, we accompanied employees as they delivered biscuits and parcels of turmeric spiced rice to dogs throughout the city.
Prior to 1996, the incidence of rabies was increased and the city used inhumane methods to decrease the dog population. Since then, the shelter’s core program, the Animal Birth Control Unit, has sterilized and vaccinated almost 70,000 dogs and over 200 cats."
Although the shelter has limited resources and offers only basic medical care, the health and body condition of the animals was much better than anticipated. I was impressed by the dedicated shelter staff, who are working diligently to change an entire society’s perceptions of animals. I was fortunate to make a small contribution and while there were numerous challenging cultural differences, the goal of everyone involved was singular –the well being of animals."
–Jennifer Lawler, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Class of 2010
"From my personal experience of the past three years I am observing how despite being a poor shelter without resources and yet without any built up endowment, nevertheless, it is still trying to maintain its activities, working hard under Mr. Pradeep guidance, commitment and endless energy, to make all of its programs alive and running.
More and more people in the city and the nearby and distant villages are now aware the VSPCA is not the only animal welfare organization who exists in the greater Visakhapatnam area, but is the only one which is serious about animal care. Therefore, they will call the society day and night for any injured or abused animal they encounter. Needless to say the VSPCA is responding to every call.
As a witness, I can confirm that the people -- from the upper management level, down to the most basic animal care giver -- how serious and compassionate they are about giving and doing the best they can for the welfare of the animals in their care."
– Bosmat Gal, DVM
Animal Rescue Leage of Boston
"Having known the VSPCA and Pradeep Nath, the Founder and President, for several years, four of us from Best Friends Animal Society were able to visit the sanctuary in January 2007. The sanctuary is filled with trees, plants, and flowers; all the buildings in each animal area were freshly painted and immaculately clean. All the workers were very gentle with the animals.
Driving through the city of Visakhapatnam, we saw that most of the street dogs had notched ears--a sign of the effectiveness of VSPCA's spay/neuter program throughout the city, over many years.
The several hundred cows and calves, rescued from illegal slaughtering operations, are all taken out during the day to graze and are also fed a healthy diet. Rescued cats have a lovely inside/outside area filled with plants and many places to sit, hide, or play. Star tortoises rescued from the illegal wildlife trade roam in an enclosed grassy area. Monkeys are in large, clean, caged areas and receive individual attention. Birds move from smaller, secure areas to large flight aviaries as they recover, to be eventually released, when possible.
A biogas facility, which operates with cow manure, provides energy for running the sanctuary. The VSPCA conducts extensive awareness/humane education programs in schools. Well-trained response teams conduct wide-ranging flood rescue operations, when needed, throughout the district. Regular clinics and free veterinary care are provided to many villages. The VSPCA has halted snake abuse during religious festivals, has eliminated the poaching of endangered sea turtles along the beaches of Visakhapatnam, and has worked successfully with village people to stop poaching in bird refuges.
The Forest service relies on Pradeep Nath to help with wildlife smuggling cases and most recently to travel along the coast to investigate the deaths of sea turtles.
The VSPCA, Pradeep Nath, and his staff, run one of the most outstanding sanctuaries in India, in terms of the breadth and scope of the work that they do for animals and in terms of the profound changes they bring about in attitudes and behavior towards animals. They are exceptionally effective and dedicated, and we would give them the highest possible recommendation for support."
– Sharon St. Joan, Best Friends Animal Society
"It was truly a very great pleasure meeting you all and visiting the VSPCA. And those are not just empty words! They come with real feeling and enthusiasm for what you are doing. In my mind the VSPCA is truly a beacon of compassion and love, and also a physically beautiful place."
– John Fripp, Best Friends Animal Society
"Please know that we were all duly impressed with everyone's commitment, knowledge and compassion at VSPCA. I loved your program and have been telling everyone about your innovative work."
– Amy Hogg, Best Friends Animal Society
"I salute Mr Pradeep Nath and his team at VSPCA for their good work and unconditional love towards the animals. They are very very dedicated / deligent. I was there for 3 days and was really touched by their work. All the street dogs are left free in the compound and look so happy. The way they are attached to Mr Pradeep and his other colleagues Madam Sharada and Mr Rajshekhar was very touching. Finally my return to Mumbai with sweet memories of VSPCA which I shared with all my family members, friends and colleagues
I feel so that Mumbai Animal Welfare Organisations should visit VSPCA Vishakhapatnam for crash course."
– Vishaya Kumtekar , Mumbai
"I have visited your shelter today and really liked the place. I have been an animal lover since childhood but now I have seen people who are really to the meaning of those words... I was overwhelmed by my visit and I wanted to thank all of you. The visit was fun and meaningful and I wish some of my friends who share the same interest do visit. I will definitely do all that i can for the animals there and quench my urge.. god bless all you good people who are doing such a great job ... great deeds make great people .... thank you for everything ..."
– P.Rohith, Visakhapatnam
"Jennie and I wish to express our huge thanks for your great hospitality while showing us your inspiring work at VSPCA. You are doing an amazing job."
– Dr. John Wedderburn, Asian Animal Protection Network
"Without a doubt, my visit to the VSPCA shelter was the highlight of my 3-week trip. I was thoroughly impressed by every aspect and detail of the shelter and by the dedication and hard work of everyone there. The dogs at the VSPCA sanctuary are not only happy and loved, they're downright spoiled."
"I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and it was great to see the wide variety of work that the VSPCA carries out. I was very impressed by the standards of animal welfare that you maintain at your shelter and I am pleased that the funding that was provided by the RSPCA has been put to such good use."
– Coralie Farran, RSPCA-UK