margot wiburd - minimalist australian still life artist

The Man Who Saved A Thousand Dogs: the remarkable story of the world's most spiritual animal shelter

In February 2014 I spent two life changing weeks at the Arunachala Animal Sanctuary and Rescue Shelter in Tiruvannamalai, at the foot of Mt Arunachala in South India, researching a book on the extraordinary work of American Leslie Robinson and his small, dedicated team. I shall release this fundraiser book in the near future.

Margot and Shelter Dogs

The Shelter has at its core demonstrative love, and the moment you walk through its doors and see the happiness of around 150 dogs, relaxed and mixing with other dogs and humans, you know you are in a very special place. Chants play softly over the loudspeakers to soothe both animals and staff, and if Leslie is there, usually cradling a puppy or a new rescue dog, you will hear him whisper, "Yes, yes, yes, you're safe now." It truly is the most loving animal environment I've ever experienced!

All is not rosy, however, as the Shelter receives government assistance only for its Animal Birth Control program. Yet this is only one small important area of its work. At present, there are around 100 serious animal rescues a month. All injured animals receive top veterinary treatment from Dr Raja, and depending on what is needed, this can include not only ayurvedic medicine, but Western medicine, any operation that might be necessary, vitamins to bolster the immune system, herbal treatments, flower essence remedies from American animal communicator Sharon Callahan and other alternative remedies. As many of the dogs have skin complaints, they are often fed, housed and healed over the course of many months, until they are well.

The Shelter is open 24/7 and no animal is ever turned away.

There is so much more to say, but it will all be in the book, together with the dramatic circumstances in which the Shelter was created...

Meanwhile, financial assistance to keep this Shelter going is sorely needed! The Shelter is really struggling in this respect and our money goes a long, long way in India. If you can afford to donate even the small cost of a cup of coffee each month, ongoing, this would make an enormous difference to the Shelter. If enough of us committed to doing this, we could ensure that the Shelter could continue its work instead of frequently being under threat of closure - which would have unthinkable consequences for the street dogs and so many other animals.

The book has now been written and is in the process of being reviewed and edited. Please contact me at if you would like to be informed of its release or would like any other information about the Shelter. (I will bedonating all author proceeds to the Shelter)

I invite you to watch this very moving video which so beautifully illustrates the work of the Shelter.

With sincere thanks,


Published Writing:

2008 - Co-Author of "The Path to Success" by Sandy Forster, a collection of inspirational true stories featuring an autobiographical chapter on my transition from film person to artist, spanning Australia, the U.S. and France.

2000 - Challenge “Against the Odds” Children’s non fiction article – Longman

1999 - Explore “Eaten – Dead or Alive!” Children’s non fiction article - Longman


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