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While volunteer organizations save homeless animals, state solves the matters in a much more simple way/ Alfa.lt  194 

[2010 01 27]

Indrė Vainalavičiūtė | Alfa.lt

Not long ago a few horrifying stories about extremely cruel behaviour with animals were publicized that made the society to pay attention to this painful problem. People working at animal shelters could tell more than one or two similar stories, they could even illustrate some of the stories with horrific photos. Animals that have been beaten, starved, that have burned fur, damaged eyes or that have been harmed otherwise, get to animal care institutions, that are scarcely able to take care of all of them. Unfortunately not all the animals that get to care institutions from the streets will find new home.

There are not many ”real stray“ animals, much more of them have been thrown away

Ilona Mezenceva, the director of animal shelter ”SOS animals“, commented the situation: This year more puppies got to our care institution, the number of kitten was similar as last year. This winter much more people, who were not indifferent to stray dogs, contacted us. We would like to think that people have become more open-eyed and they do not ignore a stray dog, but at the same time we can not ignore the fact that the increase of this number means that more animals were thrown away.“

Ilona Mezenceva assured that the number of animals at the shelter does not depend on the season, and there are always about 30-40 dogs living at the shelter.

”We should not forget the fact that the animals that are found on the streets had home before. ”Real“ stray animals are found rather seldom, most often animals are thrown away with collars and leads, they are sociable and very friendly, this show that they were affectionate and lovely when they lived with owners. Most often bitches who are going to have or already have puppies get to our shelter. We often get such ”families“, therefore, before giving an animal to a person willing to house it, we sterilize it, in order to avoid the same situation“, – I. Mezenceva said.

Talking about the situation at animal shelter during the hard times, the director said: ”The supporters who helped us remained faithful during the hardship as well. There are people who want to help and who follow our activity. We don‘t have to look for them, most often they find us themselves.“ Answering to the question what does the animal shelter need most, the woman smiled and said that it would be good to get extra reserve of electric power, and then added more seriously that what they need most is money for animal sterilization, treatment of acute diseases and money for quality food, but I. Mezenceva assured that the situation is not that sad.

More and more often young families come to the door of animal care institutions

Talking about people who decide to adopt an animal from a shelter, the woman said: ”Animals are often adopted by young families who have their own habitation, live separately from their parents, as well families who had lost their pets come to us, even those who could afford buying a pedigree puppy or kitten wish to adopt a stray animal“.

According to I. Mezenceva, every person who takes an animal from the shelter is warned that in case he fails to befriend with a pet, he could return the animal to the shelter: ”We remind that this is its home and the person could return it to us instead of throwing it on a street“, – I. Mezenceva said.

Owners leave old and ill pets on a street

Vesta Auškalnienė, the director of animal care organization ”Lesė.lt“, talking about the activity of the shelter, said: ”At present the number of nurslings increases. We receive phone calls about the animals that are thrown on a street at suburbs. Sometimes dogs or cats are taken to such remote places deliberately and are left for God‘s will. What is the most sad is the fact that people throw animals away during the coldest period and they even don’t try to find home for them or them to an animal shelter.“

According to V. Auškalnienė, many animals loose their home not only because their owners are not able to feed them but also because more and more Lithuanians move abroad and they do not think about the fate of their pets and simply leave them.

”Some people get rid of their older pets, who due to their old age have some health problems. In such cases even pedigree, or pets who had lived with their owners for several or over ten years are put to sleep, taken to a shelter or left on the street only because their owner has no wish or time to take care of them“, – said V. Auškalnienė.

” At present the biggest problem bothering us is the lack of premises, because it’s difficult to find the premises suitable for larger number of animals, and we cannot afford to pay high rent. We haven’t stopped our activity, especially volunteers help us a lot, but we are forced to limit the number of sheltered animals. Fortunately the number of animals that are adopted is increasing“, – the director of the animal shelter said.

The woman assured that many problems are solved with the help of people who are not indifferent to the destiny of stray animals and when we need urgent medical services, or when other problems occur, volunteers are there to help us, people willing to provide financial help actively react to the information published on a website of the caring center.

The readers of Alfa.lt were not indifferent to stray animals

One could find information about four-legged friends looking for new home on the news portal Alfa.lt at the rubric “Pet of a Week”. The stories about animals who got to shelter and later found new owners were presented there. According to animal shelters, after these articles were published on news portal Alfa.lt many calls were received from interested people and even 11 per cent of dogs were adopted by the readers of the portal.

Not long time ago animal shelter “SOS animals” published their annual activity report, that indicated that last year 511 dogs and 876 cats (in total 1395 animals) found new home.

V. Auškalnienė, the director of animal care organization ”Lesė.lt“, was happy to say that 474 animals found new home last year. ”The more we talk about stray animals in public, the more people decide to adopt them and to help shelters not only financially but also by volunteering“, – the woman said.

Not everybody act benevolently

The activity of Vilnius quarantine centre UAB ”Grinda“ was discussed in public not once. Nobody denies the need and the importance of this organization, but some aspects of their activity cause concern. Especially statistics is stupefying that show that over 5 thousand dogs and cats get to this organization every year and less than ten per cent of them find owners, others are put to sleep. Even though it is admitted that ”Grinda“ is full, and this fact increases the number of animals that are put to sleep in order to make place for other animals, but the management of the organization is not willing to accept well-meaning ideas.

News portal Alfa.lt got assured of it when it suggested a friendly initiative to publish photos and descriptions of animals kept in ”Grinda“ in order to help them to find new home and it received an answer that such initiatives are unwelcome. The director of the organization clearly stated that he is not going to spare time for such cooperation and in general the attention of the press is unwanted. It is a shame that such opinion was expressed by a person who is entrusted with fate of mass of animals.

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