How we started


About me

My name is Priya. Although my family originated from India, I was born and raised in The Netherlands. I've been vegan for 7 years because I care about animals and the planet, and have published several vegan artbooks. I also work on several fantasy comics and novels, maintain a charity webshop, and work a normal job on top of that. Yes, I am a very busy person... I never have a day off. What makes me happy in life is putting a smile on people's faces, or seeing the joy in the eyes of animals when I help them get back to health. Many people in my life don't understand my passion for helping others without expecting anything in return. But this is just who I am. I have dedicated my life to helping and protecting others, and I am not afraid to speak up to their oppressors.

Combined strength saves lives

On Pawpaya's Facebook page, you can view more photos, updates, and videos. If you'd like to buy merchandise to support the animals, please visit my fairtrade Pupaya giftshop. All sales go directly to the animals their feed and medical care. If the number of donations increases with time, more animals can be saved than by relying on solely my own income. I hope I can one day buy some farmland, so I can take in more animals who need help. Your support can make that difference.

Thank you 

I want to thank everyone for supporting the animals with their donations and purchases. I'm able to save so many more animals with your help than I could do by myself. Your support literally saves lives. Therefore, I'm eternally grateful.

Are there exceptions up for adoption?

Exceptions are animals that I can't provide shelter for: large dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles (sometimes idiots dump them here, but I don't have the space/equipment/environment to provide them the best care). These animals are either brought to colleague sanctuaries that specialize in them, or are put up for adoption on my social media pages. I am very strict about finding new homes for them, so don't you even think this is an easy place to get your children a new toy!

Pawpaya is a small non-profit animal sanctuary in The Netherlands.

The moment I found an abandoned rabbit on the road in 2013, I knew that I wanted to save her. Catching her was harder than I expected, but eventually, I succeeded. Because domesticated rabbits can't survive in the wild, she was very ill, but with the help of my local vet, she became healthy again. She was given the name: Popcorn.

Popcorn was my first rescue. No longer living with my parents (who would never have allowed it), I was finally free to save as many animals as I could handle. And I quickly came to realize that there were many animals who needed a safe haven. In the Netherlands alone, over 10,000 rabbits are being dumped in nature every single year. These domesticated rabbits don't have the strong immune system wild rabbits have, and also lack the survival instinct. They die in car crashes, are killed by cats/dogs/foxes or other wild animals, and are very vulnerable to diseases. I have made it my mission to save these animals from death. On top of that I also provide permanent shelter for former pets, and for animals saved from abusers (like fur or meat farmers). The animals that come here stay here permanently; they live out the rest of their lives in peace at my sanctuary and are not up for adoption. 

Name change: Pupa > Pawpaya

Recently I have changed the name of my micro sanctuary. The old name used to be "Pupa's sanctuary". The name of my beloved pet, Pupa is also my artist name. But in order to avoid confusion, I wanted to keep "Pupa" (a.k.a. "Pupaya") for my art, and have a similar version for my animal rescue work. So the new name of the sanctuary is PAWpaya. Still part of Pupa, just got nothing to do with the artwork I make.

Speaking of art: I'm maintaining this sanctuary with both my own income and the sales of my vegan books and merchandise. This gives me the opportunity to provide shelter for about 50 animals. I sadly cannot take in more than this due to limited income. I hope to become a non-profit foundation soon. In the meantime, if you want to help me support the animals, please choose a project to support by clicking on one of the orange donate buttons below.

Animals matter

Or should I say: non-human animals matter. Because many people often forget that humans are animals, too, even though they often think they're something better. As someone who opposes all forms of discrimination based on things one cannot choose or change (gender, skin color, sexual orientation, species, etc.) I view and treat other animals as equals. I therefore not only oppose their exploitation, objectification, and killing, but also treat them as I would treat myself if I were in their shoes. To summarize: all animals in my sanctuary are viewed as individuals, not numbers. I will never put a sick animal down, thinking I can use the money for their medical care to save multiple other animals. No. Because by that logic, we might as well deny terminally ill people medical care without even trying to save them. As I said: all animals value their lives just as much as we do. So if sick animals are brought here, I fight for each and every one of them. I have seen many animals on the brink of death completely recover because I didn't give up on them. Sadly some don't make it, even after I fight hard to save their lives. But at least I won't be able to say that I hadn't tried. Experience has taught me to never give up on anyone's life. A slim chance is still a chance, and if I were the one in their position, you can bet I'd take that chance! So I will give them that chance as well.

Can I work here?

At this moment, I can't afford to pay a helping hand. Pawpaya simply does not receive enough donations for this. I hope this will change in the future. Due to the Corona crisis, Pawpaya is also temporarily closed for visitors (guinea pigs can get sick when a sick person comes too close), so you can only come over to surrender your pet at the moment. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Rabbits, guinea pigs, dogs, ferrets, and hamsters. Those are the animals I currently provide shelter for. I hope to expand this to farm animals as well in the future.