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Endless pawsibilities to volunteer: Easing restrictions in PA allow animal rescues to welcome more helping hands, hold events

From animal rescues to sanctuaries, they're the places that help those who can't help themselves. Now, they're trying to make up for lost time & lack of fundraisers.

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — Like so many organizations, our area's animal rescues and shelters took a hit during the pandemic that was really twofold. 

Not as many volunteers could come in to clean cages/kennels. And two, the important fundraisers many of those nonprofits rely on to keep the lights on came to a screeching halt when COVID-19 hit. 

A number of places, including where Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey visited on Friday, are now welcoming visitors, volunteers, and even kids for upcoming educational camps. 

Ryan visited Indraloka Animal Sanctuary at its new location just outside of Clarks Summit. 

Ryan shared information on the nonprofit's upcoming events and highlighted how people/students can visit the facility or even book a private snuggle tour. Click here for that!

There are even opportunities for youngsters to create a long-term, more personal relationship with a rescued farm animal by becoming a pen pal. See how at this link or sponsor a new furry friend by clicking here.

Volunteer opportunities can be found here. 

Other Rescues To Volunteer/Help

With your help, Ryan shared dozens of other animal rescues/organizations in our area. They too could use your help. Many also have upcoming fundraisers. Head to Ryan's Facebook page to be connected to the actual post that spotlights these other groups shared by our family of Newswatch 16 viewers.

How to verify a nonprofit in PA

To confirm whether or not an organization is registered as an official nonprofit in the state of Pennsylvania, head to this link.

Facts about Indraloka Animal Sanctuary provided by the nonprofit:

Indraloka Animal Sanctuary is a private, charitable 501(c)(3) organization that provides “heaven on earth” for farm animals that have nowhere else to turn. Indraloka informs, inspires, and empowers the community, especially children, on how to better care for themselves and the environment while helping animals in need. The organization advocates for a compassionate lifestyle that protects animals, the earth, and our own health.

Founded in 2005 by Indra Lahiri, Indraloka has moved from its original 30 acres in Mehoopany, Pennsylvania to nearly 100 acres in Dalton, PA (conveniently located two hours from both Philadelphia and New York, and only 15-minutes from Scranton). Indraloka rescues and provides lifetime care for the most at-risk animals in the world – farm animals facing abuse, neglect, hoarding, and worse.

Indraloka, which means “Heaven for the Gods” in Sanskrit (an ancient Indian language), is the only U.S. farm animal sanctuary to achieve accreditation from both the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), earned in 2016, and the American Sanctuary Association (ASA), earned in 2018. Indraloka was the third farm animal sanctuary ever to achieve GFAS accreditation.

Indraloka Animal Sanctuary is creating a kinder, more compassionate world through four key strategies:

Farm animal rescue, care, placement, and protection - Indraloka has saved the lives of thousands of farm animals in dire need. Today, nearly 300 animals of 14 different species are thrilled to call Indraloka home.

Advocacy - Through art, stories, films, education, and speaking engagements, the sanctuary tells the animals' stories and helps people to understand and respect them as individuals who matter. Indraloka reaches hundreds of thousands of people around the globe each year through events, education, speaking engagements, storytelling, and videos. The organization has garnered worldwide recognition, with followers on every continent and in over 100 countries.

Global coalition of farm sanctuaries - Indraloka leads a global network of sanctuaries and offers support to help new or struggling sanctuaries succeed.

Hopeful Heroes Initiative - The sanctuary offers innovative and engaging educational opportunities for thousands of marginalized children and youth.

New Home - Indraloka’s newly renovated education barn hosts events and the organization's Hopeful Heroes offerings, while the new animal barns and pastures are designed for frightened, starved, and sick animals to recover and enjoy comfort and love for the rest of their lives. The new location will also benefit the community by eventually offering informational hiking trails, peaceful meditation areas, a beautiful art gallery, comfortable and convenient overnight accommodations, event hosting space, and much more to be enjoyed by all who visit.

About Indra Lahiri: 

Indraloka Founder Indra Lahiri, Ph.D., has rescued thousands of animals from dire circumstances around the world. She writes and tells their stories and lives amongst them between her travels. In 2014 she spearheaded the creation of the Global Coalition of Farm Sanctuaries (GCFS). She has also taught, mentored, coached, and keynote addressed tens of thousands of people. Her award-winning blog, which chronicles sacred moments with rescued animals, is followed by nearly 25,000 readers on every continent.

 Fully accredited:

Indraloka's Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) accreditation means it meets the comprehensive and rigorous definition of a true sanctuary and provides humane and responsible care for the animals, and meets the rigorous standards for operations, administration, and veterinary care established by GFAS. The federation is the only globally recognized organization that provides a method for identifying legitimate animal sanctuaries, rescues, and rehabilitation centers.

Achieving accreditation from the Animal Sanctuary Association (ASA) means Indraloka does not breed, buy, sell or trade animals commercially. Facilities are ASA-accredited by members of their own peer group. Six of the ASA’s seven board of directors are sanctuary directors themselves.

Both accreditations provide a clear and trusted means for the public, donors, and government agencies to recognize Indraloka as an exceptional animal sanctuary.

GuideStar has also recognized Indraloka with its highest level, the Platinum Seal of Transparency.


Six passionate and dedicated board members govern Indraloka. A staff of eleven full-time people runs day-to-day operations. From a rotating group of 100 volunteers, approximately 10 to 20 people give their time on a regular basis.


Indraloka receives all of its funding from generous donations ranging from $1 to hundreds of thousands of dollars from a single donor to cause-marketing programs with various businesses.

Contact Information:

  • Phone: (570) 763-2908
  • Address: P.O. Box 155, Mehoopany PA 18629
  • Email: info@indraloka.org
  • Website: head here.