Shining a Light on Compassion: The Inspiring Work at Animal Aid Unlimited

Written by
Murali Krishnan
Partner, Retail

A personal transformative visit to Animal Aid Unlimited in India highlighting the sanctuary's profound impact on animal welfare and the universal power of compassion.

In February 2024, my family and I took a trip to Udaipur, India, that opened our eyes in ways we hadn't anticipated. We were there to visit Animal Aid Unlimited, an organization we've supported since 2019. This wasn't just any trip; it was a chance to see up close the incredible work being done to help animals in need. The experience gave us a new perspective on what compassion, resilience, and dedicated action can really mean.

On arriving at Animal Aid, we were filled by a palpable sense of purpose, immediately sensing that this place was more than a shelter—it was a sanctuary. Greeted by the Animal Welfare team, we were quickly introduced to Soumya, an enthusiastic staff member who would be our guide for the afternoon. As we made our way through the facility, we navigated through thoughtfully segregated areas. Some housed animals with physical and spinal issues requiring specialized care, while others were reserved for those under quarantine due to infectious diseases. There were spaces for geriatric animals living out their golden years in safety, and sanctuaries for those with lifelong conditions that prevented their return to the streets.

Finding Happiness in the Face of Resilience

Our visit transformed into an immersive experience as we bonded with the animals. The ones with vibrant personalities boldly sought our affection, engaging us for pets and belly rubs. These moments were pure joy, highlighting the unshakeable spirit within these creatures.

The atmosphere lightened as we stepped into the enclosure home to goats, pigs, sheep, and chickens. The goats, with their cheeky demeanor, playfully vied for our attention, even going as far as to use my cousin as a makeshift ladder—a scene that brought comic relief and a welcome reprieve from the day's earlier emotional moments.

A Heartfelt Meeting with Founders

The highlight of our journey was a heartfelt visit to the home of Erika and Jim, the founders of Animal Aid Unlimited. Over cups of delicious masala chai, Erika shared the origin story of the sanctuary, rooted in a deep belief in compassion and action. From its humble beginnings to its vision for the future, we were moved by their dedication and the tangible impact of their work. A touching moment ensued when Erika placed Petunia, a baby goat with a spinal condition, into my niece's lap—a symbolic gesture of the mission and connection at the core of Animal Aid Unlimited.

Reflections of a Profound Journey

As we bid a heart-felt goodbye to Erika and her team, it was clear to us that we would return. The silent trip back was a time for reflection on the empathy and commitment we had witnessed, affirming that our visit was more than just that. It enhanced our comprehension of compassion and underscored the value of embracing a purpose-driven approach, even in our professional lives in the West. Through sharing our journey, we hope to encourage others to back Animal Aid Unlimited, showcasing how collective compassion can drive profound change.

By sharing this story, I invite you to join us—whether by offering support, volunteering your time, or spreading the word about Animal Aid Unlimited's incredible work. Together, let's champion a future marked by empathy and kindness, demonstrating that shared efforts can indeed make a significant difference in the world.

To learn more visit / Watch Erika's TedX Talk on YouTube