OUR 400 ANIMALS
The majority of our animals are found, referred, and brought to us by the Paro community, though we welcome anyone in need from throughout Bhutan.
At present we have nearly 250 dogs from all walks of life — orphaned, abandoned, and unwanted puppies, victims of car accidents with severe injuries, burns and maggot wounds, fractured bones, cancer patients, and simply those suffering from malnutrition and parasites to name a few. After recovering or becoming of age, all animals are sterilized, vaccinated for ARV (anti-rabies), as well as against distemper, parvo, and other contagious diseases.
Though we try to return the dogs to the area where they came from, we only do so if and when they are ready in terms of health and ability to survive. However, because many of our “kids” face long-term challenges rendering release not possible if they are to stay alive – such as dogs who survived distemper but remain a bit slow, head trauma victims with permanent brain damage, amputees, those with chronic skin conditions, the elderly, etc – they remain here for life, or until a suitable adoptive family or responsible caretakers can be found.
We have, on average, about 20 or so cats in the family – all of course who are kept inside for obvious reasons! Most come to us with severe illness or injury, or young kittens who have lost their mother. Thankfully, however, cats in Bhutan are very adoptable, as many people are anxious to keep them for catching mice, and thus are generally kept safe and inside. We ensure they too are sterilized and vaccinated before adoption when age appropriate.
It has been said The Barnyard has ‘more fractures than a cheap race track’, and this sadly is the case. Once these large animals are severely injured and cannot function as work horses, they are too often unwanted and left to fend for themselves. This is where we step in – after locating and rescuing the animal, our focus is on treating any life-threatening emergencies since infection is generally present, stabilizing the limb if needed, and then work towards trying to repair the injury to hopefully save the limb, or as much of it as possible. And if amputation becomes the only solution, then we determine how best to keep them mobile for the long-term with any needed apparatus.
We’ve been known to go to extraordinary measures to help these gentle giants – from specialty surgeries by foreign equine specialists to custom-made orthotics and prosthetics. More often though, we improvise at least temporarily with configured PVC pieces, car parts, duct tape, and metal braces we bang out and have fabricated to fit each animal… it may seem archaic but thankfully it helps get the job done!
We currently have 34 equines: nine amputee horses and mules (most with prosthetics), some recovering from wild animal or dog attacks, old but healed limb fractures, ruptured tendons and injured necks, 2 blind gentlemen, 2 cancer patients, young foals who have lost their mother, and several others whose broken legs we've thankfully been able to save and are now most capable of galloping and kicking with the best of them!
And these big kids with permanently debilitating conditions will, of course, be welcome in our sanctuary for the rest of their lives, as will any others that find themselves in a similar in-need situation.
These sweet creatures (cows, oxen, bulls – young and old) also typically find themselves here after severe injury or life-threatening illness – weak newborns and calves that require bottle feeding, hit by car victims, fractured legs, attacked by dogs, or simply unresponsive to normal treatments provided.
Thankfully most of the cows return home since females are wanted milk-producers and baby-makers, but sadly the boys often are unclaimed since they supposedly have less utility.
Currently we have 32 in total, including one female who had been set on fire, 2 amputees, 5 bulls who were attacked by dogs when they were young, several who have recovered from fractured legs, spinal trauma patients who have fallen down steep hillsides, and many others who had been abandoned and then suffered from malnourishment, disease and/or car accidents.
As it is not always safe for strays of their kind to roam freely, they will always have a home here with us.
Mr. Piggy & pigs
A Barnyard favorite to all those that visit, Mr. Piggy, joined the family four years ago when he was a very sick little piglet. After falling in love with this beautiful boy, sending him back home was not an option as his fate was already sealed for slaughter… thus, he remains here with the promise that we will always keep him safe from harm and loved. It’s hard to believe this little guy, who was once in the bedroom in a small basket sleeping with the puppies and kittens is this enormous fellow who easily destroys anything in his path (he can’t see well due to the size of his ears) and gets the truck a rocking with a mere rump scratch on the tires. We adore him, and all of his shenanigans! And did I mention all of the girl goats are in absolute love with him!
13 other pigs joined the family a couple years ago after a kind rescue group from Thimphu closed down the 'farm' by purchasing the mom, 2 sons, and her 10 new piglets.
We are truly blessed with the opportunity to welcome and home more than, at current count, 40 amazingly sweet and funny goats, and most recently a mother and her son rescued from slaughter. All of them over the past few years were literally moments away from death, but miraculously rescued at the last minute by various kindhearted Bhutanese who purchased their freedom and survival just before they met the knives of butchers.
We so grateful for the amazing generosity and compassion of these folks and equally that they trusted us enough to bring their rescues here, to the Barnyard. We promise to always care for them all, and make sure they never know such fear again.