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The government does not care about the animal shelter left without premises / Alfa.lt  206 

[2008 10 31]

Indrė Vainalavičiūtė | Alfa.lt

Many passersby would be surprised by finding out that there is an animal shelter in an old wooden house, situated next to one of the busiest city crossroads in Žalgiris street. After entering the house we are met by a few friendly dogs and a number of cats sitting in cages. Unfortunately Pifas.lt is going through its hard times − the shelter has to move from the premises in Žalgiris street.

Ilona Mezenceva, the founder of the animal shelter told: “I started my activity three years ago, but we’ve been settled in Žalgiris street since summer. We rent the premises where our adoptees live at the moment, but we will have to move out soon because construction works are going to start on the site.” When I asked where they are going to move with dozens of animals, Ilona showed a camper in the yard: “We bought this camper after receiving the support of individuals who donated 2 per cent of their income tax to us. The camper is spacious – there are even 40 square meters, but it needs repairing and most importantly – heating. Don’t take me wrong – I am very grateful to people who agreed to help us by renting us this house. I completely understand that we couldn’t ask for more, but what I am worried about is the fact that after moving to the camper our possibilities to give shelter to more animals will be limited. At present we are forced to give negative answer to everybody who phones and asks us to give shelter to their pet.” – the woman told anxiously.

“Winter is coming and it is the worst thing, because it is the most difficult time for homeless animals. It is sad that most often people want beautiful and healthy animals and they leave lame or sick animals to God’s will. The purpose of our shelter is to take care of all animals, but at the moment the acceptance of animals to the shelter is suspended because we don’t have premises.”

Pifas.lt, sos gyvūnai, gyvūnų prieglauda

According to I. Mezenceva, state institutions are indifferent to her problems and she always receives the same answer from authority – there is an animal shelter in Vilnius that receives funding from Vilnius municipality and all the organizations engaged in voluntary activities have to find out themselves how to survive.

Pifas.lt, gyvūnai, SOS gyvūnai, gyvūnų prieglauda

The woman categorically rejects the possibility to cooperate with Vilnius animal shelter: “I don’t want my animals to be put to sleep. My objective is to find them home and loving owners.” I. Mezenceva does not dismiss the possibility trying once again to find a way to the conscience of officials.

Pifas.lt, SOS gyvūnai, gyvūnų prieglauda, katės

I. Mezenceva was optimistic when talking about financial situation of the shelter: “I can’t complain: our animals get enough food – one company selling pet food supports our shelter, we receive help from individuals. Our animals receive timely veterinary help as we have agreed with three veterinary clinics. Sometimes the owners who leave their animals at the shelter give us some money.”

Pifas.lt, Pifas, SOS gyvūnai, katės, gyvūnų prieglauda

We saw quite sad picture during our visit at the animal shelter owned by Ltd “Grinda”, the shelter that is financed by Vilnius Municipality. Dogs who were left by their owners sadly looked at us from bared cages, pups flocked in a big cardboard box: currently 37 dogs, 14 pups, 32 cats and 22 kittens live at the animal shelter (where animals are utilized as well). 


Ltd “Grinda” is responsible for collection of stray animals from public city spaces. Vladas Masiulis, the head of the animal shelter, talking about the reasons why animals get to this establishment, said: “However strange, the majority of the animals that get to our institution are not homeless – their owners bring them to the shelter. The most frequent explanation is that there are no suitable conditions to keep pets or that the owners are moving abroad. It is the most strange when people leaving their pet at the shelter say that it causes allergy and they cannot keep it anymore. It’s strange how can a pet that was kept and loved for many years one day become a strong allergen?”

Grinda, gyvūnai

Talking about the fate of animals that get to the shelter V. Masiulis said: “Sufferings of lame and sick animals are eased by special injection, we try to find new owners for other animals, but the number of animals is large and we are not always lucky.”

Grinda, beglobis gyvūnas

Saulius Valickas, the head of Municipal Economy Subdivision of Vilnius City Municipality talking about financing of Vilnius animal shelter said: “This establishment receives the annual allowance of 700 000 Litas. This money is used for employees, medicine, animal food and transport costs. Certainly this shelter does not receive all financing that is needed, but it manages somehow.” 


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