What We Do

Dogs of the Ganges partners with local animal charities in India to provide medical care to sick and injured dogs, run animal birth control (ABC) and anti-rabies (AR) camps, and provide educational resources about animal care to people in India.

We are an entirely volunteer-run not-for-profit organization based out of Toronto. We raise money in Canada through donations and events, which fund medications, vaccines, veterinary costs, educational material, and other costs related to rescue and care of the dogs.

Our current project is in Varanasi, India. Dogs of the Ganges Society has partnered with the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) to build an animal protection movement in Varanasi and to enable individuals to reduce the suffering of animals in this city.

This project will be delivered by local staff that:

  • facilitate training workshops
  • organize community events to encourage compassion towards animals
  • conduct outreach/education programs in schools, and
  • set up a network of locals who are trained to identify, treat and refer injured or sick street dogs.

Dogs of the Ganges Society and Mayhew International (UK) are the primary funders of this project.


About Varanasi and the Ganges River

Known in the Hindu culture as the Holy City or the City of Temples, Varanasi lies on the banks of the Ganges River in northern India. Varanasi has a population of 1.2 million people; however, with festivals occurring throughout the year, Varanasi hosts 3.2 million tourists each year, many of them from outside India. Locals carry out their daily rituals on the banks of the Ganges. Hindus believe that taking a dip in the Ganges washes away one’s sins and being cremated on the banks of the Ganges River will lead to salvation.

Varanasi is a city of contradictions. It is beautiful and dirty; it is loud and serene; there is the constant peddling of everything from boat rides to pashminas amidst a rich practice of spirituality; there is extreme poverty and wealth; and there are glimmers of compassion among a lot of human and animal suffering.


Dogs in Varanasi

As many as 150,000 dogs live in Varanasi, the vast majority of which are street dogs. Street dogs survive on hand-outs and on scraps found on the streets. There is no government funding for Animal Birth Control or rabies vaccinations, and very minimal support from locals for street dogs in need.

When we (the founders of Dogs of the Ganges Society) visited Varanasi for the first time in December 2012, our hearts were immediately captured by the plight of street dogs there. They were everywhere – in the old alleyways, in the middle of traffic roundabouts, on the banks of the Ganges River, and in the garbage heaps. In a short period of time we witnessed a lot of hunger, malnourishment, injuries, mange, disease, overbreeding, and abuse – and immediately knew that we had to do something to help.

How You Can Help