Update September 2015 - FOUR PAWS Stray Animal Care intensifies work in Lithuania together with local vet students
One year after our last visit in the Balticum, a team of FOUR PAWS employees and volunteers have contined the stray animal project in Lithuania. A vet team of FOUR PAWS is in the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius, where the project has started in 2012. For the last few weeks the FOUR PAWS Stray Animal Care team has been active in Vilnius: Neutering, vaccinating and treating stray animals in cooperation with the municipality of Vilnius and the Lithuanian animal charity LESE. In the course of this project FOUR PAWS vets have trained students of the University for Veterinary Assistants so that the project is sustainable. Yesterday press conference was held in Vilnius Town Hall to provide information concerning the stray animal issue and the sustainable catch-neuter-release method (CNR) used by FOUR PAWS. Each captured stray is neutered, vaccinated, treated medically and, as soon as the animals have recovered from the surgery, released again into their territory.
In Lithuania, hundred thousands of ownerless cats are living on the streets. The Municipality of Vilnius has agreed in writing not to kill the neutered animals, but to encourage adoption. FOUR PAWS Stray Animal Care team has been active in Lithuania in the last four years with over 5,600 stray animals in total neutered so far.
Update, September 2014 - FOUR PAWS stray animal care project continues in Lithuania
A team of FOUR PAWS employees and volunteers have contined the stray animal project in Lithuania. A vet team of FOUR PAWS is in the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius, where the project has started in 2012.
© Aneta Vaitkiene
Neutering of stray dogs and cats
For the next two weeks, FOUR PAWS in cooperation with a Lithuanian non-profit organization and the help of volunteers will catch stray dogs and cats in order to neuter, vaccinate and treat them in the animal clinic in the University for Veterinary Medicine of Vilnius. As soon as the animals recover from surgery they are released in their natural habitat.
Training for local vets
FOUR PAWS is also going to focus on training for local veterinariens, who will continue neutering stray animals after the FOUR PAWS team has left Lithuania. Students of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine are also participating by receiving initiation courses and are granted a diploma at the end of the project phase.
More than 5,000 strays neutered
In the last years, the FOUR PAWS team has worked in Lithuania for three times neutering around 5,000 dogs and cats.
Update August 2012 - FOUR PAWS is starting stray animal care project in Baltic States
The Stray Animal Care project that started in Lithuanian capital Vilnius on August 1, has come to a successful end. The month-long project included six FOUR PAWS team members that were on occasion assisted by local veterinarians and resulted in an impressive 912 animals treated. 743 cats, 169 dogs – and even a ferret – were spayed, vaccinated, and often received further medical care. As usual, the dealings with Lithuanian officials and organisations were very satisfactory and supportive.
Among the many animals that the FOUR PAWS vets grew attached to, was a rather exotic guest: a ferret. Popular as companion animals in Lithuania, they also get abandoned frequently and rarely can adjust to the difficult living conditions on the street. This adorable female received the name Vesta and stayed with the team for a while. In addition to the work in Vilnius, a small unit also returned to the coastal town of Klaipä—da, in order to resume the efforts started earlier this year.
Efficient aid for cats and dogs
On a larger scale, the focus of the work remained on cats this time around – there are large numbers of them in Lithuania, also migrating from neighbouring Latvia, and they often are even more susceptible to illnesses than dogs, which is why the array of medical interventions was particularly diverse during this project: first aid treatments, the removal of tumours, hernia surgeries and even a dystocia emergency kept the skillful vets busy through August. In spite of forty operations and extended treatments, the SAC team worked extremely fast, 320 animals were neutered in the first week alone.
The now annual expert conventions are organised by FOUR PAWS and were the basis for the biggest political breakthrough so far, opening the door for an all-European strategy to cope with the overpopulation of stray dogs humanely. At the first day of this new visit, the Stray Animal Care team has neutered 47 animals: 28 dogs and 19 cats.
In May 2011, when the conference took place, a SAC team had worked in the EU-country for the first time, with over 500 animals treated in the capital Vilnius and the port city KlaipÄ—da. The dedicated involvement of Lithuanian politicians had lead to strong ties with the FOUR PAWS delegation, which the new project is destined to deepen. Particularly after recent setbacks for Stray Animal Care in Romania, the professional and committed approach by Lithuanian ministers and members of Parliament has fueled the important mission with new energy and will make it possible to focus on the roots of the stray animal issue.