Dozens of rescued animals call Animal Rahat’s sanctuaries home, but they are much more than that. They sanctuaries are peaceful places where they’ll receive—often for the first time in their lives—the compassion and care that every animal deserves. Caring for horses, bullocks, and other animals who’ve known only exploitation and abuse is not a simple task, as there’s much more to maintaining a sanctuary than simply providing animals with food, water, and shelter.

Giving retired working animals a place to rest, run, and play means building and maintaining acres of fencing. Ensuring that animals—who were often deprived of access to fresh water when they were forced to work—have access to clean water involves making sure that water tanks and supply lines are kept in good, working order. Meeting the medical needs of animals recovering from the ravages of neglect requires a veterinary facility equipped to address their conditions.

There are also roofs to mend, sandpits and feeding stations to clean, and trees and other plants to nurture. The kitchens must be kept clean and well-stocked. The classroom at the Sangli sanctuary must be ready for visiting schoolchildren. And other major projects arise as the sanctuaries grow to accommodate incoming residents—things like improving roads and driveways, running irrigation systems, and preventing erosion of the Sangli sanctuary pond’s border.

All this is just a part of the work that goes into operating two oases for the animals who so desperately need them. Whether they came to one of the sanctuaries after a lifesaving rescue, retiring from a life of hard labor, or surviving illness or injury, all the residents deserve the best possible environment and care so that they can spend the rest of their days in peace and joy. Thanks to the hard work of the staff, that’s exactly what Animal Rahat’s sanctuaries provide.