Animal Liberation Sanctuary

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Every year around the world millions of animals die or suffer needlessly. In countries like Nepal, the care and management of animals is poor. Animal sacrifices are common. Many animals neither live pleasantly nor die peacefully.

In his concern for the welfare of all living beings, Lama Zopa Rinpoche initiated the purchase of land near Kopan Monastery to provide shelter and care for animals rescued from being killed, so that they may live out their natural lives in peace and attain a higher rebirth. The Sanctuary benefits rescued animals not only by freeing from impending death, but also by exposing them to the Buddha Dharma. They regularly hear mantras and are led around holy objects. This way they create merit and gain the opportunity to escape the lower realms. they are cared for by a manager and a veterinary assistant, with an experienced vet on call when needed.

The Animal Liberation Sanctuary is managed on a day-to-day basis by Kopan Monastery and is under the direct care of Enlightenment for  Animals, a project of the FPMT. Currently there are eight cows, two sheep, and 50 goats. Most of the animals at the Sanctuary have been rescued by Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

Moving to a new place

Until 2014 the animals were in temporary facilities at the monastery and nunnery. In January 2014 the animals were moved to the new land, which has more space and proper facilities for the needs of the animals. The purpose-built sanctuary where the animals reside is about five minutes walk from Kopan Monastery and includes over 50 goats and two sheep.

The sanctuary has  a main animal shelter, designed to provide a healthy environment throughout Nepal’s contrasting seasons, it has facilities to separate quieter animals from the main flock, and it is designed to reduce water use and waste. The sanctuary has a quarantine area, a treatment room and there is a live-in caretaker. Internal fencing allows parts of the land to be rested from animal browsing and there are areas kept for growing food and for emergencies.

On his last visit to the Sanctuary in May 2012, Lama Zopa Rinpoche suggested that a Kadampa stupa should be built in front of the main animal shelter so that the animals could circumambulate the stupa directly as they come and go from their shelter. Some years ago, on the instruction of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, four stone stupas were commissioned. These have now been placed around the Kadampa stupa.

Due to restrictions of the land – it is steeply terraced and therefore unsafe for cows - only the goats have moved to the new part of the Sanctuary. The eight cows will continue to stay in the Kopan part of the Sanctuary, with more room for each animal to live healthily and comfortably.

In the shelters themselves, small mp3 players are placed which play mantras when the animals are inside at night. Additionally, every morning a monk from Kopan recites prayers to the animals while they eat.

The sanctuary was established to care for animals primarily rescued by Lama Zopa Rinpoche. There is currently no room for people to bring other animals. While people cannot bring new animals, the existing animals do need your help. The costs of caring for the animals is very high (food, shelter, veterinary care and staffing costs).

The late Khensur Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup explained that the merit of supporting liberated animals is the same as liberating an animal yourself, for without ongoing care and shelter the animals would not survive.

Animals cannot speak out for themselves – they depend on people to care , to help them.  Please give your support to rescue animals from a cruel and painful death and to provide a sanctuary where they can live and die with the proper care and love they deserve


How you can help us taking care of the animals

There are many ways you can help in taking care of these animals. By supporting the Animal Liberation Sanctuary, you are participating in and gaining the merits of the practice of animal liberation.

  • Become a sponsor of the living expenses for one goat – there is not enough space to grow food for the goats, and straw and grass is expensive.  
  • Sponsor the medical expenses of the Animal Liberation Sanctuary: a full time veterinary technician and an on-call veterinarian are helping to keep all the animals healthy.
  • Sponsor the wages of the live-in caretaker of the Sanctuary – a small house has been provided for the family so that there is always someone with the animals.
  • Sponsor one of the cows living expenses on the Kopan part of the Sanctuary.

If traveling to Kathmandu, contact us on what you could bring (e.g.., medical supplies) to help the animals.

Contact us for more information on how you can help bringing Dharma to the animals.    

Donate here

Visit the website of Enlightenment for Animals      

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Kopan Monastery
Nepal Buddhist Mahayana Center Gompa

Kopan Monastery FPMT pending affiliation
Foundation for the preservation of the Mahayana Tradition