FOUR PAWS plans to neuter, vaccinate 2000 stray dogs in Ukraine
Organization extends cooperation with the Ukrainian government
BOSTON/KIEV - FEBRUARY 2 2017 – FOUR PAWS and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine agreed to implement a program for the protection and welfare of stray animals. The respective agreement was signed by both parties on Tuesday, January 31 in Kiev.
With the support of the Ukrainian government, FOUR PAWS will neuter and vaccinate stray animals, implement educational programs for the humane treatment of stray dogs and cats, as well as help improve the legislation to protect all stray animals within Ukraine.
Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Mr. Ostap Semerak explained: “Cooperation with FOUR PAWS is very important for us as this organisation plays a very important role in treating and controlling the population of stray dogs in Ukraine. We have to remember that humane treatment of animals, especially strays, has always been an attribute of a civilized society”.
State of the art veterinary clinic opens its door in the city of Zhytomyr
The first step towards the implementation of the stray animal care (SAC) program is the set-up of a state of the art veterinary clinic in Zhytomyr, a city in the North-Western Ukraine. The city administration provided funds to turn an abandoned and ruined building into what is now a modern and professional veterinary clinic for stray animals. FOUR PAWS is working in collaboration with the city of Zhytomyr to neuter and vaccinate stray dogs at the clinic. The international animal welfare organisation will also educate the local community on stray animal care and responsible pet ownership.
Heli Dungler, founder and president of FOUR PAWS said: “FOUR PAWS plans to neuter and vaccinate up to 2,000 dogs in Zhytomyr within the next three years using the catch-neuter-release (CNR) method, the only approach to stray animal population control that is considered sustainable and humane by the World Health Organization. We will work in close collaboration with the city of Zhytomyr to achieve this goal”.
According to the CNR method, stray animals are caught, neutered, vaccinated against rabies, treated for parasites, microchipped and registered. The treated animals spend about 24 hours following surgery at the clinic and are then released into their original home territory.
FOUR PAWS has successfully conducted stray animal care programs for over 15 year and just one of their veterinary teams can neuter several hundred strays in one place within a month. Apart from the humane argument for CNR, the method is also cheaper and far more sustainable in the long-term than killing and disposing of stray animals.
The Mayor of Zhytomyr Mr. Serhii Sukhomlyn said: “We have put a lot of effort in building the new vet clinic and making Zhytomyr more comfortable for its citizens. We would like to thank FOUR PAWS for their help. More work is ahead of us. I am convinced that together we will find a humane and sustainable solution for every stray dog in our city”. FOUR PAWS has treated more than 15.500 stray dogs in Ukraine since 2012.
Animals often become “strays“ either being born on the street or being abandoned by people. They congregate in populated areas such as cities and towns where trash and food scraps are readily available. Stray populations can grow exponentially and often times overpopulation in urban areas are dealt with through harsh culling techniques such as indiscriminate poisoning or lethal roundups. Strays also can pose a risks to humans and animals alike through aggressive conflicts and can spread diseases such as rabies. Most sadly perhaps is that strays often times become victims themselves and can suffer from abuse by humans, hunger, disease and other health problems.
FOUR PAWS International envisions a world without animal suffering, where humans treat animals with respect, empathy, and understanding. Birth control programs such as spaying and neutering (and trap-neuter-release programs) are the only humane way to decrease stray animal populations; the same goes for owned animals too.
Ukrainian captive brown bears will also get help
Not only stray dogs, FOUR PAWS has a long and successful history protecting animals in Ukraine. For years, FOUR PAWS has been working to improve the welfare of Ukrainian brown bears in captivity. Despite the existing ban on using bears for baiting, there are still up to 20 animals in the country being abused to train hunting dogs. Furthermore over 100 animals are still living in tiny cages next to restaurants, hotels or petrol stations. During the Tuesday’s meeting in Kiev FOUR PAWS signed a Memorandum with the Ministry to jointly implement the ban on bear baiting and to rescue illegally kept bears. In order to accommodate the animals the international animal welfare organisation is currently building a new facility – BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr near Lviv.