How we started
Pupa is a small non-profit animal sanctuary in The Netherlands.
It all started when I left my parents' home with my rabbit in 2013. My mother and sister gave up their own rabbits to me, so I had a small group of 3.
The first animal I actually rescued was Popcorn, an albino rabbit. I was on my way to the train station when I saw her on the car road. I'm not sure if she was dumped by someone, or if she escaped from someone's garden, but one thing's for sure: she wasn't safe on the road! I started chasing her like a child, on my high heels, which probably looked ridiculous. A guy and his son passed by and asked me what I was doing.
"Um... my rabbit escaped," I lied, because I didn't want to sound like an idiot chasing random rabbits. Before I knew it, the man and his son joined me chasing the rabbit like crazy, while car drivers cursed at us. With their help I caught Popcorn. She was very ill, because domesticated rabbits can't survive in the wild; they aren't resistant to diseases. After isolating and treating her illness, I introduced her to my own rabbits.
Throughout the years more rabbits and rodents joined the group. Irresponsible people especially dumped them during the holidays.
I was still studying, and had a miserable income, but I couldn't get it over my heart to abandon these animals and let them die. Neither of the rabbits are caged: they walk around loose in my garden, because cages are for criminals i.m.o., not for animals.
As someone with a lot of experience on rabbits and rodents, I could see in the blink of an eye which rabbits were wild ones (which I left alone) and which one were domesticated (the latter often sick or injured), which made it easy to avoid accidently taking a wild rabbit with me. Aside from abandoned animals, rabbits from the meat- and fur industry were also brought to me by animal activists who saved them. And now many other animals live in the sanctuary, too, such as a few dogs and ferrets.
Eventually I used my Vegan artbook project to maintain my sanctuary. I still have to add extra money from my own pocket because my sanctuary currently doesn't receive enough donations for these animals, but it's slowly making progress. In emergencies, my boyfriend backs me up. All males are castrated; I never breed animals, because there are already too many homeless animals to count and I won't contribute to the problem.
Most of you know me as the artist of Pupa Vegan (a.k.a. Vegan Artbook) series, but I am also the founder of Pupa's sanctuary. My name is Priya Cynthia Kishna, and I've been vegan since 2013. I love drawing, writing and spending time with my animals. I'm the kind of person who gets happiness out of helping those in need. I spend my free time drawing vegan comics, writing novels, maintaining the sanctuary, playing videogames and hanging out with my loved ones. My family is originally from India, but we live in The Netherlands.
I maintain several pages on social media, which are...
- Pupa webshop (sales support the sanctuary)
- Pupa comics on Facebook (educational vegan comics)
- Pupa's sanctuary Facebook
- Pupa on DeviantArt and Instagram.
You might also see me at some vegan conventions with my vegan charity books and other merchandise I design, of which 100% of the profit goes to the sanctuary. I'm a pretty busy person. I work a normal job to sustain myself, but in my free time, I'm constantly busy working on novels, comics, clothing, and merchandise designs to sustain my animal sanctuary. It's hard work, but seeing a sick, abused, or injured animal fully recover because of this, is - at least to me - the most rewarding form of payment one could ever receive.
When the number of animals rose in 2015, I started a micro sanctuary in my backyard, which I sustained by drawing vegan comic books, of which 100% of the profit went to the animals. It's still itty-bitty tiny, but we're making progress.
If you'd like to help Pupa's sanctuary take its first step to become a larger safe haven for animals, please consider supporting my crowdfunding campaign.
Pupa is a sanctuary in Holland, but I chose to make an English website for it because most of my followers are from other countries.
The name Pupa: origin
Pupa was one of the first rabbits I had, a Dutch lop. I named the sanctuary and my vegan projects after her. You can read the whole story in an interview I recently had with Claire's Mission. (It's Dutch though, so you'll need to translate the page).
Are your animals up for adoption?
The animals who come here will stay here for their entire lives. Pupa is not a shelter: it's a sanctuary where animals can peacefully live out their lives. No animals are up for adoption, except animals I'm not allowed to keep at my current location. The adoption of these only happens after the animal has fully healed from their medical care or treatment.
Are there animals you don't accept?
Yes, farm animals. I do have the knowledge to care for farm animals, but my current location does not allow farm animals. I hope to change this in the future by buying a piece of land where farm animals are allowed. But until then, when farm animals arrive here, I will have no other choice but to take them to other sanctuaries. The same applies to reptiles, except herbivorous ones. I lack the necessary knowledge and supplies to properly care for reptiles, and some reptiles require meat and can't live off anything else. As a vegan sanctuary, I do not take in reptiles for those two reasons. On top of that, I do not support keeping reptiles or other exotic animals in cages or as pets, for ethical reasons. If reptiles arrive here, I will take them to a reptile shelter who can care for them.
And last but not least: chickens and roosters. I'm working on creating space for chickens, but I am not allowed to keep roosters at this location. This is also something I hope to change in the future.