On 11th June 2016, the Sai Animal Advocates Committee met to plan activities consistent with the Serve the Planet project 2016 theme, “Love for Animals.” The committee resolved to work to raise animal awareness and provide education on animal welfare for developing greater love, respect, care, and freedom for animals. It was considered important to first understand Swami’s teachings and precepts in relation to animals. A Sathya Sai volunteer had amassed a wealth of information in printed booklets, digital media, and videos on caring for animals, which was further utilised. On 15th September, the SSIO launched a media campaign on their website, and subsequently published two presentations, titled “Animal Welfare and Sai,” on Sathya Sai’s teachings in relation to animals, and “5 Freedoms,” a guide to the loving care and responsible guardianship of farm and domestic animals.
On 3rd July 2016, a team of 13 SSIO members eagerly set out to Animals Alive, an animal sanctuary in South Trinidad, which shelters homeless, abandoned, and abused dogs and cats. The volunteers interacted lovingly with about 400 dogs and 24 cats that had been rehabilitated, spayed or neutered, and were ready for adoption. The volunteers played with the animals and bathed and cleaned many of the dogs.
On 6th July 2016, during the school break, a summer camp was held at the Easwaramma Sathya Sai Centre. An official from the Animal Welfare Network (AWN) conducted an animal awareness session that was very well received by the young participants. The AWN was founded in 2000 with the goal of reducing the number of stray animals by promoting spaying and neutering, and improving the treatment of animals through education. The AWN provided informative booklets that were distributed at SSE classes. A teacher also brought her dog to take part in the activities, to the delight of the children.
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