Lucky Dog!

Photo essay: Revisiting Iran's first animal shelter

by kfravon

I could hardly wait to go back to Hashtgerd near Karaj for another visit with the beautiful dogs and the amazing staff at Vafa Shelter. Most of you may have read the story of my first visit there back in March of 2009 I was thrilled to see Mr. Karam and Mr. Gholam still looking after the dogs, cleaning up, welcoming the visitors and... I arrived in Iran early Friday morning. After settling in at my in-laws home, I called Mrs. Esna-Ashari, the shelter’s director to arrange a visit. I had collected many donations to deliver to them >>> more

* New: Vafa Shelter Fans on Facebook * Thanks to Mehrnoosh Nayak for her contribution to this feature.


more from kfravon
Diana Croissant

Wonderful Report

by Diana Croissant on

I thought I commented before, so sorry if this is a repeat. 

Thanks so much for this report on your second trip to the Vafa shelter.  It's so good to hear that the shelter is thriving and making improvements.  Nothing makes me happier than to see the faces of contented dogs.  I respect all the wonderful people who work and volunteer there--they are angels, as you said before.

I would like someday to see more about the second Vafa shelter and to get some more information about the cats that are being cared for, as I know from reading on the new web site for the shelter there are cats being cared for.

The love of animals and the wish to care for them crosses all political boundaries and all walks of life.

Red Wine

Dear kfravon

by Red Wine on

You are so sweet and kind person ... an angel .

Thank you .


from a dog owner

by Darveesh on

many people adopt a pet and once the newness wears-off the just leave them outside.

In every metropolitan city here in US, if a stray dog or cat is reported to humane society, once they pick them up and feed them for 7 days or so, then if no one adopts them they are just put to sleep.

do not adopt a pet if you are incapable of tending them.


poison to cats

by kfravon on

dear red wine, i don't know if it's the 'people' who do that.

i understand the authorities put out orders for cats/dogs to be removed off the streets, and i suppose that's one way for them to handle's crazy!  

funny story (not too funny for my in-laws though): during this recent trip, i started feeding a couple of their street cats in the backyard--and basically two of them parked right outside our bedroom window during the entire 2 weeks.  Apparently after we came back to the US, one of them found her way in to the house, and had a litter of kittens in my dear mother-in-laws bedroom closet!  they found out after the kittens were born....and put them outside in the backyard in a box. i was too afraid to ask if the mother stuck around, as i understand they don't stay if their litter is moved....

it's so so sad..


i understand a group is working on a system to at least catch the cats and spay/neuter them, so they can control the population of feral is not an easy project though.  again--i promise to keep you posted as i learn more.



Red Wine

Dear kfravon

by Red Wine on

I heard many people in Iran giving to cats food with poison...

Is this true :=( ?!

Thank you for information,God bless you .


kfravon jaan

by Gavazn on

Thank you so much for any update. They are all living creatures and people are always helpful if they are updated and know how to help. 


Feral cats in Iran...

by kfravon on


I understand there are a few groups who are working on establishing a cat shelter-- they are small groups who are already rescuing as many as they can...
Vafa originally started with cats & dogs rescue, but due to lack of space and resources, they had to choose one over the other...

I promise to keep you all posted as I learn more. 



Red wine

by Gavazn on

I agree. My uncle used to feed 9 cats in his garden and since last week they have ALL not returned. He is so depressed. Apparently in Iran they use poisoning as population control for cats and dogs. Poisoning is one of the most painful ways of dying. I hope this didn't happen to my uncle's cats. I hope someone in Iran helps cats too and lobbies for better way of population control of strays. People in other parts of Asia are doing this but I do not think in Iran there are such efforts .

My greatest respect to the people who run this shelter. And the doggies are so cute.

Red Wine

Lucky Dog

by Red Wine on

Yeah ... They are realy lucky dogs but how about iranian cats ?! anybody help them or ... ?!

God !!!

Sheila K

"What Iran Needs"

by Sheila K on teaching kindness and generosity. 

As they say, the proof is in the pudding. I find that countries who are cruel to animals lack progress and and deny human rights for their own people.

What Iran Needs should begin in the very core of their humanity. They must understand and desire compassion. They must believe in God (or Allah) within themselves not up some where in the la la land. If they believe in their inner divine, then they'll feel guilt and responsible for their sins and cruel acts. 




Organic NUTritionist

great pictures

by Organic NUTritionist on

very touching...  what a great lady...


Good work Great people!

by Anonymouse on

Everything is sacred.

Mohammad Ala


by Mohammad Ala on

Thanks for your time and efforts.  I agree with you about Mrs. Lida Esna-asheri.

My family members and I have been supporters from day 1.  Interest is growing and I hope we can open other shelters for more and other creatures.

Mohammad Ala 


maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

the # 7 should say PERSIAN GULF countries.

All the other wish list are reasonable.

For some reason I'm too sensitive about it as to personally buy -cutted from the local Iraqi store here called KHALIJ MARKET !!           Maziar


What Iran Needs

by HHH on

1. Social Security and pension system for the elderly and the poor

2. Fixed-rate Income-Tax for incomes above the poverty level

3. Shelter for homeless and abused women

4. Anti-discrimination law for the physically-challenged including a law forcing all public businesses and organizations to eliminate staires and make buildings accessible to wheelchair users and elderly

5. Animal shelters with veterinarians in location

6. Strict inforcement of reasonable law

7. Tight border control with Afghanistan, Pakistan and Gulf countries to prevent drugs from entering

Just to start!


How to adopt a vafa dog from USA?

by kfravon on

Dear Sheila,

North America is probably one of the easiest countries in which you can adopt a dog from overseas. There are some regulations.
One of the first angels who adopted a dog from Vafa shelter and brought him to US put together a list of items that need to be put together in order to make the transport as smooth/easy as possible and here's her blog:

there will be many volunteers/fans who may travel to iran in the summer, and i bet we can handle the transportation for you.

feel free to email me if you have any further questions:

Sheila K

How do you bring the dogs to US?

by Sheila K on

Do they have to go thru some health check up? what did you do? I'd be very interested to know the process.


Fantastic blog

by sag koochooloo on

What a wonderful bunch of people they are to take care of these lovely animals. Please continue to keep us updated.