Meet Animal Rahat’s Latest Rescue And Her Newborn Foal

About two weeks ago, veterinarians with the Animal Rahat retirement center, an Indian sanctuary for “working animals,” rescued a pregnant donkey, now named Rani, from the streets, where she was languishing, hot and weary. Just the other day, Rani gave birth to the little prince pictured above. The two spent their first night together nuzzling, resting, and curiously watching the other Animal Rahat residents. They will spend their lives in peace on the grassy patch of land, playing and getting acquainted with other rescued donkeys, horses, ponies and bullocks. They will never be forced to work a day in their lives. “Rahat” is the Hindi word for “relief,” after all.

But had Rani not been rescued, she and her foal would surely be in the brick kilns, hauling bricks in sweltering heat. In India, thousands of bullocks, horses, donkeys, and ponies are forced to cart passengers around and pull overloaded, poorly balanced carts for miles. Many suffer from muscle strain and painful sores. The ill-fitting yokes they are forced to wear leave wounds that can lead to cancer and infection. The animals are disturbingly thin and dehydrated because they are often not given enough food or water.

To help alleviate the animals’ suffering, the Animal Rahat staff provides free aid to bullocks who work in sugar mills as well as to donkeys used in the brick kilns and horses who pull carts. The small Animal Rahat staff teaches the locals to properly care for their animals; encouraging them to feed the animals a nutritious diet and reduce and balance the animals’ loads.  Because of their efforts, a growing number of people are moving away from practices that hurt animals. Fewer people now leave bullocks out in extreme heat or unprotected through the wet, rainy seasons, and, as a result, fewer animals are suffering from heat stress, cough, and pneumonia.

Animal Rahat employees have installed concrete water tanks in and around the town to provide water to thirsty, overheated animals. They’ve designed simple, portable shade screens that can be attached to individual carts and used as a shelter against the sun. The screens can also be used as blankets for the bullocks in the cold winter months.

The Animal Rahat team has also developed a “stress kit” containing supplements and multivitamins to help the animals handle exhausting journeys.  In addition, the Animal Rahat veterinarians inoculate bullocks against foot-and-mouth disease and vaccinate horses and donkeys against tetanus.

The Animal Rahat program even pays the animals’ impoverished “owners” to rest the animals while still being able to feed their families. It may be hard for many of us to understand, since our lifestyles are so drastically different, but many people in India rely on their animals to make ends meet. Most are not willfully cruel or profit-driven, and they have been receptive to Animal Rahat’s message and grateful for the assistance.

Some receive a small subsidy for allowing animals who are too sick, injured, or old to work to retire and live out their lives in peace, instead of selling them for slaughter. If people are unable to care for their animals at home, the animals may live at the Animal Rahat retirement center, which receives financial assistance from PETA and caring people everywhere.

If you want to help sponsor Rani and her son, and the other Animal Rahat residents, you can make a donation to Animal Rahat via this form.  To learn more about the program and its activities, read the most recent Animal Rahat Update




Animal Rahat

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Elizabeth K.
Elizabeth K.4 years ago

And again we have people criticizing another country, when horrible abuse goes on every day here.

Jennifer, you have a lot of anti-Peta going on. Which groups do you support monetarily?

Marcia Mueller
Marcia Mueller4 years ago

It is just sickening to see these poor animals forced to carry and pull loads beyond their capacity day after day, without the enough food, water, or medical care. It is hard to believe that even poor people could be so callous and cruel. Thankfully, organizations like Animal Rahat and American Fondouk, along with some British groups, are trying to help. I wish there could be more sanctuaries so the animals could just be retired. Maybe there needs to be more loans to people in order to buy cars, trucks, etc.

Luis J.
Luis Miguel J.5 years ago

I try to understand to the poor people than dont have money to buy a car or other vehicle to do the work, but why be so inhuman to kill the animal doing more work than it can do for all the day, all the week tirelessly?

Jewels S.
Jewels S.5 years ago

I have read some comments of those that don't like PETA. They tell of the terrible things they do. PETA is radical in some ways but this article shows that most, MOST of what PETA does is done with the best interest of animals at heart. Some of their methods concern me too but in a world like ours I pick those that at least have good intentions first. Pick your battles. You can not fight or win them all. Thanks PETA for the work you do.

Inez Deborah Altar

I have just donated to the programme for saving dogs from sadisitic butchers in South Korea, Akbar already pioneered animal rights in India but please someone to help Donkey Mother and Others!

Jennifer S.
Jennifer S.5 years ago

For real animal lovers who think that PETA does good for animals:

Mrs M.
mrs m.5 years ago


Elgrit B.

Thank god there are some places where animals can go and livein peace. While they are far too few, at least it is a start. What has been done to animals since earth began is just heartbreaking. We were given dominion over them but to me that means our responsibility is to care for them and make sure their wants and needs are met. It is high time that the world should learn the importance of this.

Cherida Hivale
Cherida Hivale5 years ago

It is time our government banned the use of animals for labour - it is really heart-breaking to see bulls and mules and horses struggling to carry back-breaking loads in the heat. This is one area where our country has failed to protect animals.

Nellie K A.
Nellie K. Adaba5 years ago

Are these some types of horses? I never saw or heard of them I think. Animal cruelty and abuse must stop right now.