‘Beauty with brains’ is a win-win situation but ‘Beauty with A Cause’ is a game-changer. Last month we got in touch with Vandana Anchalia, Founder of KAW – Kannan Animal Welfare and semi-finalist at Mrs. India 2020, we at CANdYMAG were truly intrigued by her story. Vandana has
been working non-stop for animal welfare for around 7 years now, it started when she saw her neighbor brutally beat a stray dog for no reason at all – since that day there has been no turning back. “ I kept looking out for animals that needed help, and over the course of a year, I rescued 37 dogs in need of help and sent them to shelters so they could get the care they required. Not a single one survived. I understood for the first time that unlike humans, animals did not have the option of quality care even in dire medical situations .”
Even if you’re not an animal lover such situations can be heartbreaking, eventually, Vandana
began the journey of opening KAW. What initially started off as a small center with around 20 dogs, specializing in critical care for exceptionally sick and injured dogs is now home to 120 dogs, rescued from situations such as accidents, human cruelty or abuse, neglect, or severe health conditions. To know more about animal shelters, Vandana visited organizations in other countries to learn how they function, how they treat their animals, and what they do that allows them to be successful in rescuing and rehabilitating animals.
When you give all your time and energy to a certain cause it sure does take a toll on your health mentally and physically, Vandana reached a point where she forgot about self-care and work was her utmost priority. “ I realized I needed to give myself time to prevent compassion fatigue, and knew that Mrs. India understood the importance of caring for oneself as it promotes confidence, transformation, self-care, and self-expression,” says Vandana. But then again, her main goal for participating was to spread awareness on a cause close to her heart. You can’t deny the fact that the training she went under during this period was eye-opening and has helped her understand the necessity of a work-life balance, “ No matter how passionate you are
about the work you are doing unless you take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others. ” While speaking to Vandana she mentioned how a lot of their rescued dogs have found their forever homes overseas, one such lucky pup is Pihu. In July 2018, 2 months old Pihu was hit by a car, leaving her paralyzed. Her spine was broken and the injury was at least 5 days old, ruling out any possibility of surgery. Within a few weeks, her leg developed an infection and had to be amputated. An already paralyzed dog was now a tripod too, this was slimming down her chances of adoption even more. That’s when Jill came into the picture and decided to foster Pihu in the US, KAW didn’t think twice and sent Pihu with Jill, hoping for a chance at a better life for their baby girl. Once there, problems arose again, and the vet suggested amputating another one of her legs in order to give her a stable life. Despite the difficulty of this decision, Jill and KAW agreed with the vet’s recommendation. Now Pihu was not only paralyzed spine down but also had only her two front legs. Her foster parent Jill felt that Pihu had waited too long for a family, and fate wanted her to keep Pihu. Pihu now enjoys the best of her life by dressing up and moving around in a wheelchair! “ When we rescue dogs like Pihu, we do so with a sense of trust in the world – that one day, we’ll have more people like Jill who can see beyond the disability of a dog. Pihu’s story is motivational for all – it teaches us that any dog if given a chance, can easily overcome adversity. ”
Chatting with Vandana surely did open our eyes to helping our four-legged friends, to know more you can check out KAWs Facebook and Instagram pages.