• Sunil poses alongside Yang, one of the many dogs who have lifelong sanctuary at TOLFA
  • One of our 2 animal ambulances ready to start the days busy rescue work
  • A puppy being examined by one of our vets

Who We Are

Founded in 2005, TOLFA is a charity with animal welfare and people’s empowerment at its heart.  We currently operate an animal hospital and related educational and support programmes in Rajasthan, Northern India. Since 2005 TOLFA has provided medical care, vaccinations, veterinary treatment and spay/neuter services to more than 200,000 animals.

Our Vision

A world where animals live free from disease and are valued as our equals

Our Mission

To provide vital and preventative healthcare to India’s ownerless animals and those belonging to low-income owners, as well as educate communities in their welfare and value

Our Founder

From TOLFA Founder Rachel Wright

I love animals. It’s as simple as that! I love their diversity, their loyalty, their mischievousness, their cunning, their intuition, everything about them fascinates me. I don’t think that it came as a surprise to anyone when I became a veterinary nurse after a childhood spent bringing home every waif and stray that I could find. After working several jobs in the UK, including at the Royal Veterinary College, I could no longer contain what was to become my second passion in life and that was to travel. For 8 years, I travelled the globe doing volunteer work along the way but in 2001 a seed was planted that started to grow and has been growing ever since.

Sitting on a beach in Sri Lanka, I was visited by a stray dog in a very bad condition. She had an old fracture of one of her legs and was absolutely emaciated. I examined her and found that she had a stick across the roof of her mouth that was preventing her from eating. Once removed, she heartily tucked into my breakfast! Each day after that she came back to visit us and every time she would bring another dog with her, all with problems of their own. With my skills learned as a veterinary nurse, a small first aid kit and a bit of time, all of them got better. A month later sitting on a park bench in Pondicherry, India, I had a light bulb moment – this is what I was supposed to be doing, setting up a hospital and shelter for stray animals living in a developing country that have no possible access to veterinary services. I set a date there and then. The 4th October 2005, that is when I had to open our hospital and the challenge had begun.

After visiting many more countries looking to find the perfect place, 2004 brought me to the right place. Having been shown a photograph of 4 stray dogs tied together to a wooden post and left out in the desert to die, as the local method of stray dog control, I knew that I had found what I had been looking for. In April 2005, a land had been purchased and construction started for the Tree of Life Animal Hospital (TOLFA) in Kharekhari, a small village situated between Ajmer and Pushkar in rural Rajasthan. As hoped, we opened our doors in 4th October 2005 and our services to animals and people have been expanding ever since.

I would like to thank all the people, all over the world that have helped to make a dream become a reality. With such a huge project, it would have been impossible to do it all by myself and so for that I am truly grateful. Every time we are able to release an animal back to their territory and watch as it skips away back to meet its old friends, every time we are able to release an animal from its suffering and pain and every time we are followed down the road by an animal who is tugging affectionately on our hands, that remembers us from a stay at the shelter, I know that what we are doing is making a huge difference to both animals and people in our community.



TOLFA founder Rachel Wright receiving the 2012 CEVA Welfare Nurse of the Year Award

TOLFA has provided compassionate care to thousands of animals

Since TOLFA’s inception in 2005, two acres of arid agricultural land has been transformed into a thriving veterinary hospital, shelter and sanctuary to the thousands of animals that it handles every year. It is a place that combines veterinary knowledge with love, compassion, healing and hope to every animal in need of its assistance.

TOLFA and its services are highly valued by the community and not only is it an oasis in the desert for animals but also to many local people as well. There have been numerous challenges and hurdles along the way but we have learn’t and grown from them and we always strive to do our best in often difficult conditions.

Click to see a list of all the animals we serve
Animals we serve as part of our rescue project:
Dogs, cats, cows, donkey, peacocks, birds

Animals we serve for owners or rural villagers:
Dogs, cats, rabbits, rats, cows, goats, buffalo, chipmunks, ducks, peacocks

Animals we serve on behalf of the Forest Department.
Nilgai (local type of deer), monkeys, birds of prey, birds, desert hares

PLEASE NOTE: We do not admit any wildlife without Forestry Department permission.

Among our achievements:

  • Our dedicated animal ambulance has provided rescue for more than 38,000 sick and injured ownerless animals.
  • We are HUMANELY reducing the un-owned dog population by having spay / neutered more than 22,000 dogs.
  • We have helped to save animal and human lives by having vaccinated over 28,000 ownerless dogs against rabies and teaching more than 6,000 children about rabies prevention.
  • We have become a valued member of our village community by providing free veterinary treatment to more than 70,000 rural working animals.
  • We have taught over 6,000 children about rabies awareness and animal welfare.
  • EVERY animal that comes to TOLFA regardless of species, size or temperament has been treated with love and compassion.
  • We provide permanent employment to 45 local people from marginalised societies.
  • Our founder Rachel Wright has been awarded the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) International Award for Animal Welfare 2018, for the tireless work that TOLFA does.

All these animals have found shelter and compassion under the branches of the Tree of Life. Please help it grow into a giant forest. Donate Today.

Staff & Board

  • TOLFA employs 45 local people who work at the hospital
  • Our staff make a great team, many are related, and we often offer rewards and engage in team-building activities
  • TOLFA employ 2 local women who works as large animal nurturers

TOLFA employs 45 local people at our hospital and shelter. Many of our staff are from disadvantaged communities (or ‘low-caste’) and TOLFA offers great training and employment opportunities that would be hard to find elsewhere. We have 4 vets along with animal assistants, drivers, cleaners, groundworkers and our nurturing team.

TOLFA UK Trustee Board

The TOLFA UK Trustee Board are passionate and relentless in their goal to support the hospital, for it to grow and help more animals in need every year.

James LowmanManaging Trustee

Terri CostainTreasurer

Kerry WilkinsSecretary

Paulette Hamilton

Naomi Steward


Clara NowakExecutive Director

TOLFA India Board

We are blessed to have found so many local people who feel strongly about the continuance, growth and success of TOLFA.

Kamlesh Khatri – Managing Trustee

Dhairya SoniSecretary

Surendra Singh Shekhawat

Rakesh Jain

Amar Singh Rathore

Facilities & Map

  • A visitor at our puppy kennels
  • TOLFA's dispensary is open every day for our villager's goat clinic and owner pets clinic
  • There are over 250 kennels at TOLFA including separate mange, quarantine and puppy kennels
  • We have a separate cattery for our feline friends

Building the Tree of Life

Since the first foundations were laid in 2005 we have, through the kindness and generosity of our supporters continued to grow into the shelter, hospital, sanctuary and place of healing that we are today.


TOLFA is located on Kharekhari Rd. in between Pushkar and Ajmer in Rajasthan, India. From Pushkar start near the Brahma temple and follow Kharekhari Rd (kuh-ray-kuh-ree) 7km to Kharekhari village, then continue (don’t make any turns) for 2km more and you’ll see TOLFA on the right. From Ajmer take Foy Sagar Rd. 8km from Ana Sagar and look for TOLFA on the left. Our facilities are easily recognized from the main road.


See Our Facilities from Above