A.A Milne rightly said, “Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though…” 

But, every so often, we come across a few handful people who don’t just listen to animals; but, even understand them and let their stories be heard. One such group of individuals are the souls behind Peepal Farm; an animal shelter nestled in Dhanotu village, in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. 

Founded by Robin Singh (an ex-hacker and co-founder of Ejunkie), Joellen Anderson (an ex-dog trainer in the US) and Shivani Bhalla (co-founder of Ejunkie), the animal rescue-cum-organic farm started back in December 2014. 

Peepal Farm

Together, the trio replaced a swimming pool with a cow shed, a media room with a clinic and master bedrooms with rooms for volunteers and good samaritans who visited to experience life in an animal shelter. 

The idea was to involve and inspire. Something that they continue to do, to this very day. 

At any given time, the rescue center has approximately 30 animals being cared for or treated. They carefully document the lives of these animals at Peepal Farm, in a bid to get their stories out to the world. But, that’s not all they do.

From ensuring the animals get adopted in good homes across the globe to ensuring the right kind of medication and surgery is provided to the wounded animals, Robin, Joellen and Shivani are like angels giving second life to these animals. 

Peepal Farm

“Our clinic and recovery center is a safe place for injured animals which need space to heal, animals looking for a new home, and permanent residents who are retired from the road,” says Robin Singh. “We give them medical care and love, and they return our love back ten fold. Animals who can’t be brought in due to contagious conditions are treated on street.” 

Peepal Farm Facebook Page

The idea stemmed when the founders were realised the limitations of animal welfare.

Ever since, they have been working towards sheltering stray animals, healing the injured ones and ensuring that the dying ones are in a comfortable atmosphere so they can pass on peacefully, being among people who genuinely cared for them. 

Peepal Farm

The people at the farm sustain themselves entirely through organic produce that is grown and cooked at Peepal Farm itself. “Life on Peepal farm gives people an opportunity to spend time with dogs, cows, and mules, and experience farm life and animal welfare for a bit,” Robin further explains.

Peepal Farm

“It gives non vegans a taste of vegan life and lets them experience how their body feels on a vegan diet, and it gives vegans a sanctuary for a few days where they are surrounded only by people who want to help animals.” 

Peepal Farm on Facebook
Peepal Farm

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated,” said Mahatma Gandhi. 

While we’re no one to judge large scale progress of a nation, as human beings, the folks at Peepal Farm are proof that there is a difference in being human and being humane. And that’s what makes them so divine. 

Peepal Farm

All in all, Peepal Farm is a place that exemplifies peaceful coexistence of human beings and animals. It is a place of relationship building when nothing can be spoken, except through innocence and suffering.

It is an ode to one of the oldest friendships in the world – that between human beings and animals. A bond that seems to be diluted in the modern day setting. 

Peepal Farm

You can visitvolunteer or even adopt from Peepal Farm, in Dharamshala and add to the life of these animals whose stories of suffering and salvation are at the heart of this safe haven.