Agonda is one of the more pristine beaches in south Goa, India where Susan and Dian would have an occasional break from the busy north, where they live and run a guest house. It’s an exceptionally beautiful place, still devoid of the usual concrete blocks, that usually come along with tourism. Instead the guests live in huts and smaller establishments, and open air restaurants line the beach. But as the annual business season waned, Susan noticed the plight of the ever increasing dog population: once the restaurants were closed, there were no leftovers to feed on. Puppies and older dogs nurtured over the season by the tourists, were suddenly left to fend on their own.
So she started a monsoon feeding program and treated individual dogs for mange, and other parasites. They adopted some puppies and re-homed others to friends; but there is only so much they could do as individuals . . . so the idea arose to set up an NGO to help the animals in a professional manner.
Then, after they met Brendy, a veterinary nurse, with ample experience from the renowned Natuurhulpcenter in Belgium, who agreed to be the shelter manager, a charitable trust was registered, and so ASA Animal Shelter Agonda was born on 24.April 2015.
And the search for a site began. But no suitable structure in Agonda could be found, so eventually a beautiful, peaceful 5000m2 plot on a cashew plantation in neighbouring Cola was leased, only 4 km from Agonda beach. But the construction of a purpose built shelter would take time and the animals needed help immediately. So for three years they operated out of a temporary location, and by October’18 the new shelter was ready.