Ayna Agarwal

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/23/art.ayna.jpg caption=”Ayna Agarwal, 15, founded Stop Animal Overpopulation Together Globally.”]

Ayna Agarwal will never forget the day she was visiting her family in New Delhi, India and she saw a helpless dog in the street. It was like so many she had seen there with infections, disease and missing paws. But, it was the last one she wanted to see without doing something about it.

Ayna started SPOT, or Stop Animal Overpopulation Together Globally, to spay and neuter cats and dogs worldwide, specifically in third-world countries. She sits on the board of The Humane Society’s youth division, Humane Teen, where she represents her passion for animal population control with other young people who are concerned with different issues like animal cruelty and fighting fur production. Trying to impart the issues she discusses there with others in her hometown of Edison, New Jersey, Ayna is now running a summer camp called Paws and Claws to educate kids in grades 3-5 about animal welfare and protection.

At 15, Ayna knows exactly what she wants to be when she grows up — a veterinarian and animal activist. She says she would like to eventually “speak for the animals because they can’t speak for themselves.”

Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview

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82 Responses to Ayna Agarwal

  1. Blair says:

    I’ve read that 3-4 million dogs and cats are put to sleep each year in the U.S…. what can teens do to help stop this?! It’s sooooooooooo heartbreaking because many are healthy, lovable pets with sad eyes who deserve a chance!

  2. billy says:

    I am glad you did this. I’d like to start an animal club in my high school. Can you give me any advice on doing this?

  3. Zach says:

    Cool, i really liked to hear about your trip and everything. Keep up the good work and you’ll go far.

  4. Rani Massi says:

    This is a very noble work you have started. This is a huge undertaking. We are very proud of you.

    My question is:
    How will you handle animals that are roaming around on the street in India?

  5. regina says:

    what do you suggest putting ban on owning a bull dog , you rock in doing such good work towards animal rights keep up with your voice for innocent pets good luck

  6. Tamra says:

    What you are doing for a person in your age bracket is truly remarkable. I applaud you and your efforts and know that if you continue on this path you will have a real impact. I would love to help you if you need another voice. I, too, love animals and can not believe what is happening not only here in the US, but globally. I have two wonderful animals who I love with all my heart and soul. They were both rescues and therefore I can appreciate what you are doing even more. Best of luck to you and let me know if I can help out.

  7. Mac says:

    Admirable goal to reduce animal overpopulation, but shouldn’t she be concentrating on human overpopulation first? Most third world countries are nothing more than extraordinarily densely populated slums, which have per capita incomes that are staggeringly low. I fail to see how childbirth is a wonderful thing in these countries when a child’s parents can’t even feed themselves. The starvation, squalid living conditions, and suffering of humans should be considered, too. Or, is birth control in the third world not encouraged so that corporate America will have a plentiful supply of cheap labor in 20 years?

  8. Preeti says:

    This is an amazing cause and I am so glad that you have taken the time to give this animals a voice! I would love to help in anyway we can, please let me know!

  9. neeru says:

    This is great idea. Everyone supports you with your great work. You can count on me if you need any help.
    Keep it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Rob says:

    Lets look at what’s happening in our own country before we start helping other countries. We have people’s houses and lives being swept down rivers in the midwest, energy costs going through the roof, and people starving and unemployed. And we are happy to see someone working for another countries animals? We need to reprioritize.

  11. Shruti says:

    It takes a lot of courage to stand up for your beliefs at such a young age…so congratulations!

  12. Ritu Jalan says:


    Your community service effort is one of the most noteable I have ever seen for someone in your age group. I am not too familiar with the veterinary organizations / associations out there, but as a pet owner, I am interested in knowing if there are organizations that exist which do quality control checks on the vets out there. I recently took my dog to a vet and was not too happy with the type of service that was provided as she did not diagnose my dog with having a dislocated hip until 5 months later. At least with doctors, I feel there is a way to report or do some type of search on the quality of vets. Do you know if this exists? If not, have you heard of similar complaints or know of anything being done about this issue?

    Thanks and keep up the great work!!

  13. Sandy says:

    What you are doing is great, however…
    What about the stray animals in the United States??????

  14. Andy says:

    Hey, how about fixing the HUMAN overpopulation while you’re at it?

  15. wanggo says:

    Hi. What is the official website of SPOT? I’d like to know more about and donate money too. Thank you for making such a huge difference in this world. Keep up the good work!!

  16. Sherry says:

    Ayna, I have been doing animal rescue for 10 years. You are a remarkable young woman with tremendous leadership and skills to lead your generation to help stop animal overpopulation and the related suffering.

    You should be very proud that you’ve accomplished at 16, more than most people have in a lifetime.

  17. Raj says:

    Keep up the good work ! It is good for humans and pets, win-win for everybody. Third world countries badly need to control animal over population and reduce stray animals on the streets.

  18. Vikas says:

    I’m a huge supporter of all your efforts. I would be interested to know what you think are some things young people can start doing today in their local neighborhoods to help raise awareness to control the animal population of the future?

  19. Manish says:

    For making such an impact at an early age is truly amazing. I like the fact that you are so committed and passionate about your work, it is an inspiration to other people, young and old, to fight for what they believe in.

  20. Veena says:

    Hi Ayna,
    I was wondering what countries your organization goes to and how their national/local governments respond to your efforts? Are they resistant or grateful? Helpful or aloof?

    Keep up the moral conscience!

  21. Jaime says:

    The world needs a million more young people like Anya!!! What a great story!

  22. Zaphod says:

    Rob, Ayna’s priorities are fine. She is busy trying to help animals and she needs and deserves all the credit in the world. There are many others helping people less fortunate. This is about her work for the animals of the world who cannot speak or take care of themselves.

  23. Joel says:

    The easy solution is to eat the animals…helps with world hunger too…two birds with one stone.

  24. Cristina says:

    Truly amazing what you are doing at 16! Some of us might have grand ideas but very few do something about it. Good luck with your efforts and hope you don’t take to heart some of the unsupportive comments…amazing what a self-centered world we live in, ehh?

  25. Cristina says:

    Sandy, which part of “Globally” is throwing you off? Last time I checked US was part of it.

  26. Sishya says:

    To Mac, Countries like India cannot force population control because it is a democracy. However, India has a good population control program which advertises population control quite aggressively using all forms of media. A big percentage of our parents generation opted for two children because of the influence of these advertisements. Now they are advertising having only a single child.

  27. Michelle says:

    Ayna – This is such an amazing thing that you are doing. There are sooo many helpless animals and it is great to know that you are making a difference and taking a stand for them. Keep up the great work…

  28. Ted Druch says:

    That’s great. Now turn your attention to human overpopulation. It’s far more dangerous.

  29. Liz says:

    What an admirable thing you are doing. Please keep up the good work – together our children can make the world a better place!

  30. Noelle says:

    Zaphod… You’re wrong… dead wrong…
    Animals, are great… I like my dog and my cats… People are more important, hands down… As long as there is a terminally ill person in the world, or a starving person, or someone who lives in a trash dump (yes, i do mean literally) then ANYONE who is fighting a battle for better health care for animals (yes spay/neuter is health care, and they wont do it without vaccinations) is dead wrong…
    Spend the money and the time saving a HUMAN life… You know, all those people who live in the houses, or slums by the animals she sees…
    The time it takes to vaccinate or operate on an animal that lives on the street, is wasted time and money and medical supplies! (Sterile needles, medication, medical personel)… Most americans make more in a month, than families in third world countries, make in a year!
    This girl has a good heart, i’m sure… So direct all your civic minded effort towards PEOPLE! Once they’re all fed, clothed,medicated, and educated, THEN worry about the puppy who might need a bath…

  31. Lisa A. says:

    Hey Ayna,

    You definitely do rock! I only wish there were more people like you, both young and old. Most are only concerned with their tiny circle of existence and don’t give a fig about anyone else’s suffering. People like us need to help give the animals a voice to end their misery. You’re a lovely young woman. Long life, health and happiness to you.

  32. Holly says:

    Anya! You are doing such a great job. Just having your story on CNN is raising awareness for you cause! Keep up the good work and I know you will make a big difference for animals all over the world!

  33. Amy says:

    To those naysayers that have posted a comment:
    This is all about finding your passion. That is why we have people passionate about finding a cure for AIDS or combating child abuse or Habitat for Humanity or literacy, etc. Here we have a young woman who has a passion for animals and that’s where her focus is and I commend her for that. I would assume that animal rescue and control in 3rd world countries is low priority because the human conditions are so poor. That’s why Anya’s work is so important.
    My question for Anya – will your work also include educating the public on animal welfare?
    Thank you for your compassion towards animals. You’re a hero to all the helpless creatures out there.

  34. Sonny says:

    It is great to have a worthy cause but I think that we as a whole are missing the bigger picture. Hungry uneducated children, people without housing or food.

  35. veronique says:

    The root cause of animal overpopulation is humans. That’s why animal overpopulation is a problem, whether it’s in India or the United States. Ultimately, it’s the human population that needs to be controlled.

  36. Jessie says:

    Ayna, this is so amazing!! You are an inspiration for young adults everywhere to get involved and make a change!

  37. Marie says:

    I think people like Noell have missed the point. Any person that wants to make a difference should address the area that he/she is passionate about. Other people will concentrate on the human suffering, another with abuse, another with animal over-population. Working on all areas where there is suffering eventually benefits all of us. I applaud such a dedicated young woman and hope that others will join her cause. Above all, over-population (whether human or animal) brings a huge amount of suffering. Each needs to be addressed.

  38. Laura W says:

    Gees, what kind of solution is this. So in India, Mexica, streets are full of sad helpless begger, are you going to neuter them too? They’re also obviously over populated. If you’re just trying to stop the animals from over populating, why not just kill them when you catch them from the street. They will not have any descendants anyways, die now or later is the same. Why neuter them and return them to the streets so that they can’t over populate? So are you going to neuter the retarded people too? They’re often taken advantaged of and give birth to more helpless retarded people too. Neutering the street animals are just a waste of time and effort when you can use these resources to help more people. Although there is one thing you do right is to eduate the pet owners to take good care of their pets so that they don’t end up on the street.

  39. Lorraine Llopez says:

    what a truly remarkable young lady you are. I also beleive it is so heartbreaking, these devoted lovable, gods creations are so easily killed. thank you thank you for speaking for them, I want to to know where to donate, every little bit helps Keep up your good work
    and you will be blessed ten fold.


  40. Laura says:

    Rob how dare you criticize what people choose as their passion. There are people put on this earth to help animals, there are people put on this earth to help kids, the elderly, the environment, etc. It’s not up to you to decide which cause a person decides to fights for. How about coming down on the people that don’t fight for ANY cause. Those are the ones you really have to worry about. I’m a huge animal rights advocate and animals are my passion as well. But I’m in the midst of coordinating a fundraising event for the flood victims in Iowa right now. So how do you know she is not involved in other causes? And who the heck are you to judge and decide what takes priority?

  41. John says:

    Noelle……You are so right. If all those tree hugging animal right folks would put the same effort into human rights, the world would be a better place. I don’t see why her efforts in New Delhi, India are so newsworthy. ” I don’t want no dog licking my lips. Give me human loving any day.”

  42. Nancy Furstinger says:

    Hello, Ayna,

    Your accomplishments are very impressive and inspiring! I’m currently writing a book about kids who show compassion towards animals and would love to profile you. Please contact me at animalauthor@frontiernet.net so I can find out more and get some quotes from you. My deadline is June 30, so I hope you read this before then!

  43. Ritu says:

    I dont think that hating anyone for giving back the community because it does not align with YOUR views or priorities is fair. Anyone who does ANYTHING for the betterment of this world deserves recognition and support. Criticizing anyone, especially our youth, for their passion is judgemental, condescending and discouraging. Instead of criticizing someone else for where their efforts lie, why not take matters into your own hands and do what she is doing for animals for whatever you feel needs help in this world.

  44. sudha Ramakrishna says:

    I am proud of your work and dedication Anya.

    Yes the poor animals can’t speak for themselves and yes they do need people like to to do just that

    Keep up the good work and God Bless you
    your must make your parents very happy.


  45. Nicole says:

    What a positive article on a teenager who is making an incredible impact. I have been an animal shelter volunteer for many years in the US. During those years, I have been able to see the situation improve. This is mostly due to education on spaying/neutering and on humane treatment of animals. If children are taught these values at a young age, it makes a significant difference. In my experience, humane programs in elementary schools return great rewards in regard to animal issues. I wish her success in this program in India. Thank you!
    PS… Please include more articles on teens making a positive impact as Ayna is…maybe this will inspire teens vs. some of the negative recent press.

  46. Kiva Snyder says:

    Great Idea!
    It is people that see things in a different light that will make a difference in this world. You are making a difference…keep that goal steady and things will work out.
    I can’t help but believe that this will make things better for all animal lovers.
    My pets thank you for helping their friends…

    Good work…..from Fred the dog and Cace the cat.!!!:)

  47. Adam says:

    Yep, just like some of the previous comments… focus on the human overpopulation first. Not too far into the future we’re going to be looking at a worldwide famine that’s going to decimate populations if people don’t slow down with the baby making.

  48. Kaliea Murphy says:

    Anya, I think what you’re doing for animals is amazing! I’m 27 and my
    true passion is animals as well, after reading this article about you it has
    triggered me to want to get involved! I will be going to the human society on my next day off, thank you for being such a caring young individual. You inspired me and hopefully many other animal lovers!

    Great Job,
    Kaliea Murphy

  49. Boris says:

    Great that you’re doing this Ayna.

    Most people only think about that something has to happen when they face situations like you did. Only a few end up doing something against it or even do something to prevent. This might be considered just one more step but in reality that’s exactly what is making a difference. At the age of 16 you have already understood what really counts. Admirable.

    Good luck for your future activities!

  50. Michael says:

    Hi there, I think that what you are doing is great! but I have one problem with it. We live in a society (the UnitedStates) which abhores any kind of abuse of animals. And I agree that overpopulation of animals and abuse of animals is wrong on so many levels, but we have this misconception that we can control events in other (third world) countries. It’s not our place to tell people what to do. If you want to help animals, help them in our own country, stop being meddlesome in someone elses back yard. That is the biggest reason that much of the world hates US. We meddle too much. Clean up your own backyard, before you call your neighbor’s a pig sty.
    Pardon the spelling.
    Thanks, and keep up the good work. Because you do great work.

  51. laurie says:


  52. Rosie says:

    I think everyone has a gift from God to help people or animals, but everyone has a different mission, some people have a gift to help the poor, some to help the sick, some to help the unborn still in the womb, some to help the animals, the trees etc..some are called to help people in the United States and others are called to help people in other countries, whatever your calling is, you got to do it, no matter were you’re from because the earth is not that big anyways, but we need to help each other.

    God Bless
    Rosie 🙂

  53. Anita Bhat says:

    Hi Ayna,

    Hats off to your creativity and determination to make a real difference in the lives of many! Initiatives from leaders like you will definitely help our generation move forward.

    As for my question: what do you think about promoting more programs like guide dogs for the blind in developing countries? I haven’t seen very much of these efforts in India but it’d be a great way to protect our furry friends while also lending an extra hand (or a paw!)

    Keep up the great work,
    Anita Bhat

  54. Ayna- SPOT Globally Founder says:

    Hi everyone!

    Thank you for all the support. I just wanted to take a moment to really say how much you guys have inspired me and motivated me! It is supporting to see such kind words! So thank you!

    As for questions, I hope to answer many of them on the interview tomorrow. The others… I am definately willing to continue this discussion. =)

    I am also really excited to see that a lot of people would like to donate! My website is :

    You will be able to find the SPOT Globally information on the right hand panel. You can find my email and contact information from there for donations.

    Once again, thank you and I really appreciate the support! Donations are always welcome!

    -Ayna Agarwal

  55. neeru didi says:

    As I wrote yesterday keep going and all the good wishes are with you to be successful. We are here to help you in any way.

  56. Pradeep says:

    Hey Ayna

    WOW – We did not even know about your efforts on this issue. I knew about how good you are in school and what a great dancer you are(many of which we have attended and enjoyed) and now this?? How do you manage/find time? Also, please let us know if we can do anything to help out.

    Keep up the good work. I bet your Mom is so so proud of you just like we are.

    Pradeep & Rashmi

  57. Sylvanna Porter says:

    It’s awesome that such a young adult is making a difference in our world. There are many animals that the ASPCA and other organizations take in each year for numerous reasons. You have my support and best wishes for success. I hope your hard work and determination encourages other young adults to make a difference also. Great job!!

  58. Lauren says:

    Wow, Ayna I am SO impressed with what you are doing at such a young age! I wish we had more young people like you identifying with causes close to their heart. Keep up the good work! I don’t doubt you will become uber successful later in life 🙂

  59. PIA says:

    Hello! Ayna

    Im so proud of you. I would like to know how i can get in touch with your foundation. Im from Ecuador but i live in CT. I have the same problem you have in India. And im also tired to see all this puppies on the street .
    I would like to do something with your foundation in my country and start to STOP the problem.

    Thank you,
    I hope I can hear from you soon.


  60. Neha says:

    I’m so proud of you!! I can’t wait to see you on CNN in..about an hour actually. As if what you do in school isn’t enough. Good job dork :]

  61. ellen c says:

    I am so disappointed that I just now found out about your CNN interview! I have always been an animal lover myself, so I am thrilled that you have taken on such an important cause. I would love to hear more about your organization when we return to school in the fall. Perhaps there is a way that I could be involved!

    As always, I am extremely proud of everything you do! You are a remarkable young woman with so much to offer the world!

    Have a terrific summer!
    Your fifth grade teacher, Miss C. 🙂

  62. Kedar says:


    Very inspiring. Its impressive to see such a young person investing the time and effort into a great cause. Kudos to you for taking the initiative.

    Its a little embarrassing to read the few posts that have criticized Ayna’s efforts. She is actually taking action on a good cause – those who criticized her should take a look in the mirror and ask what they’ve done today to address “their” causes. Thanks to CNN for acknowledging the young people that are making a difference.

  63. Renee says:

    I cried when I saw your story. The animals need people like you so very much. I am also a animal rights advocate and the cruelty to animals is often unspeakable. Please disregard the negative replys, there will always be ignorant and heartless people in the world. Continue to be a voice for the voiceless, you are truly a friend to the animals.

  64. Veronica says:

    Hi Anyna,
    Your work is commendable.
    The initiative you have taken has inspired many, including myself.
    I think it is great you that took the opportunity to make an impact in the lives of people and animals in India. I know when I visit my family in Mexico, I see a lot of that I wish I could change. I am now reminded that I should stop wishing and start doing! 😉
    Don’t ever lose your passion and drive.

  65. Monk says:

    Why don’t you work on the overpopulation of people and kill two birds with one stone!

  66. scott says:

    They need to start eating the extra ones like they do in alot of Asian country’s. In Korea cooked dog meat is call Taedogie. Not sure if i spelled that right but am sure you can look it up.

  67. Ayna- SPOT Globally Founder says:

    Hi everyone,

    Once again I would like to thank you for taking the time to comment this blog. It truly inspires me to see all this support for helping animals. I am so glad to have been nominated by the Humane Society to spread the word on this issue.

    Many people have questioned how to contact me regarding this organization. Please feel free to email me at


    or check out my website:

    Thanks again to everyone!
    Ayna Agarwal
    Founder of SPOT GLOBALLY

  68. Allison says:

    To everyone who is talking about human overpopulation:

    I agree with you entirely, but it is much easier to spay and neuter animals than humans. I think many people might have an issue with that.

    Also, animal overpopulation is detrimental to human health as well. Stray animals contribute to disease, and could even attack humans if they get desperate enough.

    Yes, we need to emphasize contraceptives and not having more than 2 children, but you start to get into religious debates quickly. If you want to go and preach that people should not contribute to overpopulation, go ahead, but don’t criticize a girl for trying to help with another issue.

  69. Patrick says:

    THANK YOU Ayna for everything you are doing for the animals!!! You’re such an inspiration!

  70. Brian - Minneapolis says:

    Amazing work by the way. For the people who really want to help in desperate times, when there is a flood in a region like there has been in the US (Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota , Wisconsin). Animal shelters are inundated with people’s pets who had to flee the storms. Check online and donate or adopt. Many people want there pets back and the organization needs a cash flow to help solve the problems. Sadly many are lost or the economic situation leaves people no choice but to abandon them. Just an idea.


  71. Sheena says:

    I would just like to reply to the person who said you should focus on people and not animals…

    People have a choiceand the means to better themselves, sometimes they do not have the best opportunity but they are not as helpless as an animal. Animals can not get a job, have insurance or even ask for help. They are utterly dependent on us to provide for them. I think what you said is cruel and ignorant.

    This girl is doing her part to make the world more liveable for ALL beings, you should be ashamed of yourself for attacking her!

  72. Ariana says:

    Sorry Noelle, I disagree.

    Humans have the power to get work, make money and pay for food and shelter. They can even speak when they are in pain. They are able to tell you what hurts, etc. But animals can’t do any of these things, that’s why its important that we help them as well.

  73. ABBY says:

    Congratulations on your accomplishments at such a young age! It was very heartwarming to read about you and your work…..specially when I have a daughter close to your age who is passionate about animals, specially dogs! Can’t wait to show your article to my daughter! My best wishes to you when you tackle an important issue,like this …… specailly when we see reports on TV about places being raided for illegal practices and cruelty with animals! I would like more info on Paws & claws, unfortunately my daughter does not qualify for your camp, I would like her to voluteer for the camp…only if she wants to…who am I to tell her what to do..OMG..you’ve been there you know..she is in that awkward phase right now….anyway
    Good Luck & by the way you look very cute in this picture:-)
    Best Wishes!

  74. lea says:

    are there no people under 18!!!!!!! i mean us “kids” need some credit to right? there are lots of people under 15 that have done something great!!!! you just have to look a little harder!

    age 11

  75. lea says:

    sorry about the angry letter it wasn’t to you it was to you it was to the editor.you doning a great thing but i think people like laura w.
    and neoelle are just (i’ll try to be nice) MEAN!!!!! laura w. how would you like it if someone picked you up and killed you!!!!!let me remind you we are destroying other animal population already and we are the ones who bred them and then threw them out if we had kept the natural balance then this wouldn’t have happend and noelle yes i agree people are importent but remember we ARE animals!!!!!and we are also over populating our earth why dont some of us go?no one wants to right? so why kill dogs?
    lea 11

  76. elle says:

    anya doing a great job 🙂

  77. lea says:

    hi great job
    😉 🙂

  78. says:

    Yes really useful message of thanks the author!!!

  79. Daquiara Antonio says:

    hi anya im daquiara antonio and im so proud of you. you are a good hearted person for waht you did for those dogs whaen i grow up i want to be a vetanirian to! :]

  80. -- says:

    To Mac- You are a rude jerk!! Ayna is a great person, and she deserves better then that. Your have a right to your opinion, but you dont have to be so rude about it. The next time you try to get a sweet, nice, girl down, you should think twice bud!!!

  81. harrison glenn says:

    hi anya you really touch my heart when i read your this story

  82. Nicole says:

    That is GREAT! I love animals. I just wish that there would be more people in the world that care ’bout animals and care for them if they have one. Keep all the awesome work you have already done and keep doing Ayna Agarwal.

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