This animal shelter at the Tibetan Buddhist Monastery of Kopan1 is a place where animals that have been rescued from the butcher or from Nepalese animal sacrifices can live out their lives in peace. Lama Zopa Rinpoche, in his concern for the welfare of all living beings, has rescued many animals from being killed or neglected so that they may live out their natural lives in peace and also, according to Buddhist beliefs, attain a higher rebirth.
Until 2014 the animals were in temporary facilities at the monastery and nunnery. In January 2014 the animals were moved to the new land, which has more space and proper facilities for the needs of the animals. The purpose-built sanctuary where the animals reside is about five minutes walk from Kopan Monastery and includes over 50 goats and a sheep.
The sanctuary has a main animal shelter, designed to provide a healthy environment throughout Nepal’s contrasting seasons, it has facilities to separate quieter animals from the main flock, and it is designed to reduce water use and waste. The sanctuary has a quarantine area, a treatment room and there is a live-in caretaker family. Internal fencing allows parts of the land to be rested from animal browsing and there are areas kept for growing food and for emergencies.
In Buddhism liberating or supporting animals liberated from death not only helps the animals but it also gives people the chance to create merit and purify life-obstacles.
Unfortunately, there is currently no room for people to bring other animals to the Animal Liberation Sanctuary. While people cannot bring new animals, the existing animals do need your help. The costs of caring for the animals is very high (food, shelter, veterinary care and staffing costs). The late Khensur Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup, Abbot of the monastery who passed away in 2011, explained that the merit of supporting liberated animals is the same as liberating an animal yourself, for without ongoing care and shelter the animals would not survive.
Animals cannot speak out for themselves – they depend on people to care to help them. Please give your support to rescue animals from a cruel and painful death and to provide sanctuary where they can live and die with the care and love they deserve.
1. the Animal Liberation Sanctuary and Kopan Monastery are affiliated with the FPMT (Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition).