Nila is hard to miss for anyone visiting Humane Animal Society in Coimbatore. One can either find her lazing around under the shade of a bougainvillea plant in the compound or playing with volunteers. “Nila was found in a ditch in the city six months ago. She was weak, dirty and in severe pain. But now she has recovered and is a happy soul,” says Mini Vasudevan, co-founder. Nila is one of the animals featured in EveryLife 2021, the annual fundraiser calendar brought out by the NGO. “We have been bringing out calendars since 2013. It helps us find money to maintain the shelter,” she explains.
The tabletop calendar also features 19 other dogs and cats that are ready for adoption. “The number of animals abandoned has increased by around 10% after lockdown,” says Mini. All photographs have been clicked by volunteers of the organisation. Five-year-old buddies Jimmy and Heckle are the poster boys for November. Both of them are Indie dogs around five years of age. “Jimmy takes time to get close to humans and Heckle is partially paralysed. Both of them love each other’s company and so we decided to feature them together,” she says. The backside of each page of the calendar is a planner. “You can jot down your reminders or meetings on the space given. The calendar is now at the press. We believe that these happy pictures of the animals will take away the lockdown blues. It will be out by December,” she smiles.
A portrait with your pet
Another calendar is by Chennai-based pet photographer Eshita Prasanna who runs Tailshots. “My calendar features dogs, cats and birds that belong to people in the city. It is difficult to choose from the photographs I have. I kept going back and changing them till the last minute,” she says. Eshita also does customised calendars for pet parents. “It is always fun to photograph animals. Some are great posers. All you need is a little patience,” she says.
In addition to photographs, animal illustrations are also a common feature in many calendars. The one by Besant Memorial Animal Dispensary (BMAD) in Chennai features digital drawings of cows, horses and donkeys rescued from the city. “There are 25 art pieces done by upcoming artists from the city. There is a drawing on both sides of the page,” says Dr Josika Navukkarasu, veterinarian at BMAD.
Most of the animals featured have already been adopted. “We have four puppies for January. They are all victims of road accidents and have had amputatations. All of them now live with their loving families,” she adds.Mambazham and Valapazham, also featured in the calendar, are two ponies who were found in Chennai’s streets eating mango and banana peels, respectively. “Valapazham’s hoof was in bad shape and she was limping. It was cracked and infested with maggots. He took three months to recover and now loves nothing more than being around people,” says Dr Josika Navukkarasu, veterinarian at BMAD.
Permanent residents of animal shelters also find a place in the calendars of organisations. Bengaluru-based Charlie’s Animal Rescue Centre (CARE) and Chennai-based The Blue Cross of India have in-house residents as their models.“They have been through severe trauma and so we like to keep them with us,” explains Sudha Narayan, founder trustee of CARE. The theme for the calendar is Super Heroes and it features caricatures of the animals done by artist Bindu Desetty.
- Charlie’s Animal Rescue Centre’s calendar is priced at ₹300. Visit www.charlies-care.com to make a purchase
- Humane Animal Society’s costs ₹250 exclusive of postage. Call 9366127215 or email email@example.com to order
- Besant Memorial Animal Dispensary’s will be available at the dispensary for ₹500. Online orders can be made through their Instagram handle, @besantmemorialanimal dispensary
- The Blue Cross of India’s will be available at No 72, Velachery Main Road, Guindy, Chennai or through their Instagram handle, @blue_cross_rescues for ₹550. Call 8220460054 for details.
- Tailshots’ tabletop calendar is for ₹750 and wall hanging at ₹950. Call 9940070163 or visit https://www.instagram.com/tailshots_petphotography/ to order
“We started work last month. The animals are given superhero tags for the different qualities they have. For example, we have Sniffles, a piglet who loves vanilla ice cream and belly rubs. She was attacked by street dogs and was wounded when we rescued her. Five-and-a-half-year-old Roo is a happy dog that loves to run around despite having a deformed leg.” The proceeds from the sales go towards maintaining the shelter. In addition to calendars, they also have Super Hero gift boxes with a calendar, coaster, notebook and socks with caricatures of the animals. “This will make a perfect gift for the upcoming festive season,” she says.
The Blue Cross of India’s tabletop calendar with space to mark important dates also has illustrations of animals done by Alamelu Annhamalai, who is a volunteer with the organisation. “One of the animals is a two-month-old piglet called Vellayan. He was rescued with wounds all over his body after being attacked by animals and humans. Now, he is learning to trust people again. He is one of the most huggable animals in the shelter and loves to munch on fruits and slurp his health drink,” says Vivek Venkatraman, volunteer coordinator.
Other than Vellayan , there will also be cows, squirrels and dogs, featured. Chutki is a three-month-old squirrel who was rescued after falling from a tree, three days after his birth. “He was so tiny with pink translucent skin. We fed him with a syringe for a while till he had the energy to eat by himself. He is very friendly with humans and loves to munch on nuts and fresh corn,” he adds.