Barnyard Bhutan Animal Rescue and Sanctuary challenged with space crunch

Old, injured and abandoned animals in and around Paro and other districts have found themselves a new home at Barnyard Bhutan Animal Rescue and Sanctuary at Lamgong Gewog in Paro. Close to seven animals are rescued in a week. And with the number only increasing, the sanctuary is challenged with a space crunch. Today, there are more than 550 animals in the sanctuary.

Located about 30 minutes drive towards Sangchoekor from Paro town, the two-acre shelter houses scores of animals. And most of these animals are sick, injured or old.

Common rescues include animals hit by cars, bitten by larger animals, stabbed and abandoned among others. And for the animals, Banyard Bhutan is a haven.

“If we are talking of all species of animals, I would say a very minimum of six to seven animals a week. Sometimes it can be 20-30. It depends on the weekend and especially when there are holidays, there are car accidents, so then more. We ask people to bring them here, sometimes the police or drivers who see the accident will bring the animals here. So, all the animals we reach are not just our efforts, it is a community effort,” said Jamie Vaughan, the Executive Director of Barnyard Bhutan Animal Rescue and Sanctuary.

Started 15 years ago, the shelter home was founded to provide rescue, care, treatment and sanctuary to all animals in need.  Running the facility has not been easy.

After an arduous process, Barnyard Bhutan finally became an official Civil Society Organisation in 2021. From feeding to housing the ever-increasing number of animals, the facility faces a host of challenges.

“Now the primary challenge is lack of space. We have been trying for about four years to get leased land and unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet. So, right now even though we are completely overcrowded either we take the animals or they are left to die. So, we are trying to accommodate everybody as best as we can,“ added the Executive Director.

Despite the challenges, the sanctuary hopes to keep the shelter afloat as animals continue to come in. They accept donations such as worn-out clothes, blankets and mattresses for the animals.

Namgay Wangchuk, Paro

Edited by Sonam Pem

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