FOUR PAWS is committed to creating a better world for all companion animals.
In many countries, stray dogs and cats roaming freely are a common sights in cities and small towns. These animals suffer from poor health and lack of welfare since they don’t receive regular veterinary care, appropriate shelter or nutrition.
While some free-roaming animals are regularly fed by people, most strays are abandoned and left to fend for themselves. They're forced to live off waste and food scraps, wherever they can find them.
Most abandoned pets have been left on their own for so long their populations have become feral; they are then very afraid of, and actively avoid, contact with people. These feral populations also tend to live further away from human communities and primarily live near landfill rubbish sites or by hunting prey.
FOUR PAWS is working to improve the lives of all stray animals by:
- Providing veterinary treatment for ill and injured stray dogs and cats
- Humanely reducing the numbers of unwanted stray animals through CNVR (Catch Neuter Vaccinate Return) programs
- Supporting communities to reduce pet abandonment and improve public attitudes towards stray animals
Working with local shelters to improve adoption rates
Collaborating with local animal welfare groups and municipalities to provide capacity building support so communities can take the lead in humanely managing their local stray animal population
Treatment for Injury and Illness through Veterinary Clinics
FOUR PAWS has a long history of working in Eastern Europe.
We partner with municipalities to operate local veterinary clinics and mobile veterinary clinics to provide treatment to unowned stray animals in Bulgaria, Romania and the Ukraine.
In particular, our mobile clinics give our team the opportunity to travel to regions and communities in need. Both types of clinics provide dedicated facilities for the treatment of sick and injured stray animals picked up by clinic staff or brought in by the public.
In addition to our work in Eastern Europe, FOUR PAWS supports programs in Germany and Switzerland that help control stray cat colonies through education and awareness campaigns. We also provide support for local veterinary neutering efforts.
Humanely Reducing Uncontrolled Stray Population Growth using CNVR Methods
FOUR PAWS vets work with communities across Eastern Europe using permanent and mobile spay/neuter clinics. Mobile clinics travel to regions and communities that have requested assistance for humane methods of stray population management using mass animal sterilization (Catch Neuter Vaccinate Return). FOUR PAWS also supports programs in Germany and Switzerland that help control stray cat colonies through education and awareness campaigns.
Supporting Communities Working to Reduce Pet Abandonment and Improving Attitudes towards Shelter Adoptions
FOUR PAWS strongly believes in supporting municipalities to develop long-term, humane, and self-sufficient stray animal management plans. The priorities of these partnerships include training local vets in humane animal sterilization techniques, educational initiatives to encourage responsible pet ownership, and strengthening local shelter adoption programs.
Not only in Europe, but Southeast Asia
Our scope to help strays in need expands beyond Europe as well! We strive to help regions where stray populations are abundant and in need of the most assistance. As a result, we work avidly in Southeast Asia where the suffering of cats and dogs is severe.
Although welfare issues can vary from country-to-country, there are an abundance of regional challenges in this region, including lack of affordable spay-neuter services, weak or absent animal protection legislation, overcrowded shelters, lack of public education, and low veterinary competency.
These issues contribute to the growing problem of the dog and cat meat trade.
While exact figures are unknown, it is estimated that appropriately 30 million dogs and cats are slaughtered each year for their meat. In some countries, such as Cambodia, trade sales have increased in recent years.
Southeast Asia Partnership Programme
In order to tackle stray animal suffering in a sustainable way, FOUR PAWS has embarked on an exciting program designed to help local charities in the region become more effective in helping animals.
The FOUR PAWS Southeast Asia Partnership Program operates a variety of exciting collaborative programs across the region involving rescue activities, responsible pet ownership education, and spay/neuter projects to help improve stray animal welfare.
- In Cambodia, we are working to improve the lives of suffering dogs and cats at Buddhist Pagodas, and offer free sterilisation services to decrease the number of unwanted animals falling victim to the rampant dog meat trade
- In Thailand we are working to provide desperately needed vaccination, sterilisation, and rescue services to neglected dogs in the Malay peninsula
- In Vietnam, we have teamed up with local charities to expose the cruel cat meat trade, rescue cats in need, and promote responsible pet ownership
The Dog and Cat Meat Trade
An estimated 30 million dogs and an unknown number of cats are killed for the meat trade each year, making it arguably one of the most severe companion animal welfare issues in Asia.
Reasons for the trade differ in each country where dog and cat meat is consumed.
In some, dog meat is viewed as an inexpensive protein source or cultural dish while in others, it is believed to have medicinal purpose. As pet ownership rises, however, and dogs and cats are viewed more as members of the family instead of food, there is growing opposition to the trade across Asia.
- Government collaboration to enforce existing animal transportation and rabies control legislation
- Public education to improve awareness of animal welfare issues and the public health threat dog meat poses
- Support of local charities that are working tirelessly to end the trade in their communities
- Humane and sustainable dog and cat population management program
In order to stop this horrific trade, FOUR PAWS is a member of several dog meat coalitions in Vietnam and Indonesia, one of these being Dog Meat Free Indonesia.
On Koh Chang, Thailand's second largest island, FOUR PAWS and a local vet have neutered over 450 stray dogs. The animals are treated as gently as possible: they are caught, castrated, vaccinated and are given a check-up before being released back into their territory.
Neutering is the only way to reduce the number of stray animals. This is an urgently needed measure because the many dogs cannot all be cared for.
FOUR PAWS works closely with the local population to inform about animal protection: in workshops, team members teach adults and school pupils the right way to handle pets and stray animals. FOUR PAWS hopes that less pet dogs will be abandoned by their owners in the future.
In February 2017, our international aid-to-strays team spent a month on the Thai island of Koh Chang in order to neuter, treat and vaccinate 450 stray dogs. We were supported by Austrian Bloggerin und Youtuberin Anna Laura Kummer for over a week. She recorded our work for dogs and cats in a beautiful video.