International Animal Rescue's centre in Goa is known as Animal Tracks. It is located in the town of Mapusa (Assagoa) in the north of Goa. Animal Tracks was set up in 1998 by John Hicks and his wife Jo to relieve the suffering of the local stray dog and cat populations but has since expanded to treat all kinds of animals.
Over the years the centre has grown from a few makeshift cages under a palm leaf roof to a fully equipped vet clinic with a kennel block housing 90 dogs and a purpose-built cattery for 50 cats. The centre has two surgeries, an x-ray and ECG machine and equipment for orthopaedic surgery. We employ 28 full-time members of staff from Goa and other parts of India. The team includes six fully qualified vets under the leadership of Veterinary Director Astrid Almeida, three nurses, ten kennel staff, four office staff and three drivers. From initially treating almost solely stray dogs and cats, the clinic has expanded to treat all kinds of animals, both domestic and wild. Our outpatients department is constantly busy and the centre also has about 200 animals in care at any one time. As well as dogs and cats, we also provide rehabilitation and shelter for injured livestock, birds and wildlife. John and Jo also provide sanctuary for a number of monkeys that have been rescued from captivity or injured on the busy roads.
We try to find loving homes for as many stray dogs and cats as possible and we work hard to promote the benefits of adopting local breeds over pedigrees which don't cope well with the Indian climate.
Volunteers from all over the world visit us at Animal Tracks and help out at the centre. Some come for a day or two, others for months at a time. Many vet students and newly-qualified vets also come to get hands-on experience. Others just come out of their love for animals. Thanks to our volunteers, for almost nine months of the year every dog that can be walked gets taken out every day and the puppies and kittens receive almost constant attention.
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