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Building a shelter: the history and today

Dear friends and readers of “SOS Animals”,
this time we would like to tell you how the idea of our current shelter was born, how we worked on it to become the reality and what the most important events we faced on this long way. We hope that it will be interesting for you to see how the drawings on the paper became into the facilities which are built on the Minskas road and keeps the heroes of our diaries - SOS animals. So, let's start!
In the summer of 2008, when we received 2% support, we obtained a mobile house and established a little shelter in it, called “SOS Animals House”. In this house we settled most of our stories’ heroes. Many of them already enjoy warmth and love in their new homes while some of them are still waiting for it.
We are very glad to have attained so much approval of our idea – foster disadvantaged animals and look for new owners for them for unlimited time without any threat of putting to sleep “unsellable” ones. “SOS Animals House” became an especially attractive place, which can be visited by people who are not indifferent to animals – we made sure that almost all of them dreamed of … their own animal shelter since their childhood.
So in 2009 we invited everyone united by this dream to realize it together and took a new challenge – to build a real animal shelter that corresponds with all standards. “Let’s build shelter together!“ has become our slogan. One of the main aims of the project is that our animal shelter has to correspond with all the necessary requirements and acquire official status of animal shelter. That would be the first animal shelter in Lithuania having official status, built by volunteers using finance of residents, without any financing the project with EU or state institutions.
During several years of our activities we managed to feel what difficulties constantly accompany animals and volunteers when we have to keep animals in unsuited rooms and ourselves think about constant worries and threatening moving. They have always caused big anxiety – after all, such tenants like us are not welcome, and even if we managed to find some place, we could never be sure that next day we could receive host’s call requiring to move to another place in a week… So our, our friends and sponsors’ aim was to construct such a building which from the very beginning would purposefully be projected and adapted to the functions of animal shelter, so that we could go on with our jobs to even larger extent and improved conditions of keeping animals. As we did not have our own site (and it was even difficult to dream of it knowing the price of it), we thought to make the shelter … mobile!


The Equipment of a Shelter: work never stops

The watcher Argus is sitting and thinking: what the trees! It’s a shame to raise your leg near them…
And he is quite right, after all those lilacs are meant to be admired!


We've got Sand!

I am happy that our request to help reach the necessary ears sooner or later :)
Well, we’ve got the whole haystack of sand for concreting. Two companies contributed to this event: the construction company UAB "CONSTRA" gave the sand and the transportation company UAB "TRANSGREITA" arranged the delivery of sand to the shelter.
Thank you very much to both companies and to each employee who contributed to this :) Everything will be used!

Written by iks  http://www.sos-gyvunai.lt/lt/bendravimas/grupe/17/dienorastis/gavom-smelio/

Building a Shelter: veterinary office is already equipped!

The shelter plot of “SOS animals” is located fairly remote (http://www.sos-gyvunai.lt/lt/apie/zemelapis.php ), and not everyone can drop by to see what's going on and how, therefore, our dear friends, volunteers, future volunteers, sponsors, and all animal lovers, we are in a hurry to tell the news. It’s a really good deal of them. You can use your eyes to make sure that it is done a lot not only for the sake of homeless animals here and now but also we are investing in the future. This would not happen without the willing cooperation and your transferred 2 percent from the PIT (by the way, this year the term is getting closer) http://www.sos-gyvunai.lt/lt/parama/2gpm/).

I will use  Ilona Reklaitytės-Mezenceva’s, who is the manager  of the “SOS Animals”, story. Do not think that I know everything by myself (smile)
We hastened to take care of the basics - water supply and  sewerage, when, finally, this year the main buildings have already been constructed in our plot. This is the first step toward the convenience, which was expected for years.


Social Action „Let‘s Paint!“

On Saturday, when the whole Lithuania was dinning because of a beautiful public action "Let's do it!” , an  improvised shelter action  "Let’s paint!" took place. After all, everybody wants to meet spring in new, more vivid colors. So, everybody got the brush and started to work. It appeared that there were a lot of people who were willing to paint. It was not enough brushes for all the volunteers, and some enthusiastic painters could not understand the words "don’t do it" and were trying to touch just painted walls with a tail, nose, or flank. Whereas, others supervised us that the work would go smoothly, and others were beautifully singing all day long in order to support the workers. Nobody lied down on the job!


New Building Constructions Brought to the Shelter Area

Even the most loyal “SOS animals” friends have begun to wonder that the new shelter construction works lingered over. Unfortunately, the reality is what it is: from the beginning, we were looking for a plot, corresponding to the complex requirements for a shelter, and then we organized the ownership documents and redeemed the plot, and just then the necessary documentation preparation phase began. There live very many neighbors around our plot and without everybody’s consents, which should be notarized; it was not possible to start any construction work. Numerous grand and small works, invisible from the side, but who had a lot of trouble for us - it was all of three years careful preparation. And here, finally it is the turning-point, the special day. The event, the joy we want to share with you. It finished that long waiting. New shelter constructions, which we designed ourselves, and which were manufactured by Kaunas company “Ryterna”, were successfully delivered and installed in our plot. We present short photo reportage, how it all happened.

While waiting for an installation, the foundation supports stagnated like soldiers at their posts in equal rows - the tolerance of rake is not bigger than 1-2 mm. Among them the piping system was pre-built underground for the future water supply and sewerage:


Blogs of Shelter: gravel, crushed stone and sand

When spring comes, it’s fun when the sun starts pleasantly warm your sides. You want to lie lazily in the sun or enjoy a swim in the mud :)


Shelter Building: the last Saturday of November

Those who have not yet had the opportunity to visit our new shelter and see how cool we settled down are welcome to do it in the short run. In order not to get lost here’s a few tips on how to find us, if you are driving a car.
Drive Minskas highway from Vilnius towards Nemėžis. You will pass the traffic-light intersection and Maxima shop on the right side. Follow the first lay-by and after driving about 800 meters you will see a turn to the right 33A Minskas road. Turn right and after driving about 20 meters on the right side you will see our green and gray trolleys. Welcome!
Last Saturday of November we took care that our smart and clever nurslings won’t escape seeking for adventures as they, believe me, discover hidden cracks, invisible for the human eye, and very quickly come up with a secret escape plan. So, we dug ditches and sealed up cracks under our newly purchased trolleys and a fence.


Hot News from the Shelter Building Works

There is a lot of news about the construction of the shelter- every day something new happens, sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprisingly sad. There is a tuft of new problems that our cool shelter girls try to solve with a masculine courage and determination. That’s how autumn days fly one after another and sometimes we don’t have enough time to inform you what we have already done, and how many days there are when it’s so hard to put the brick to brick, but the desire to create a warm home for our beloved nurslings do not let to fall apart. So keep in mind that the work does not stand still, it just does not stand.

As before 17th November we have to move from the old shelter 60 Žalgiro st., in a new shelter 33A Minskas st. (yes, we already have an address!) we started to prepare our lodgments for transferring our nurslings. For the 2% of income tax fund we bought two small second handed, 3x8 m size vans, which transferring process was charged by Algita and Nadia.


An obstacle course

From the morning until late evening the volunteers toil in the new shelter. Time has completely melted, and the work list, unfortunately, does not dissolve. That it would be "easier" to work for us, at the beginning of last week long-fingered thieves "helped" us by broking into our trolley and collecting everything … everything.

That the work would not stop we bought the main tools once more / borrowed, but most of all we are concerned to regain the old ones. We appeal to you, although there is just a little hope - maybe you know or have encountered where are the tools sold without any documentation? Where do snatchers usually sell their “property”? We constantly observe ads on the Internet. There is still no news from the officers.

Or maybe you could lend your own tools (from that day everything is strictly protected and moved everywhere with me)? We would be greatly appreciated!

The list of missing items (unfortunately, it’s not accurate because we don’t remember all the names):

A screwdriver, 2 fretsaws (one of them - BOSCH), a buzz-saw;

A heater;

An aviary gate, cement (3 bags);

Extension leads (orange): 3-50 m, 1-25 m, a halogen lamp, ladders, crowbar, screwdrivers, pliers (one of them for metal trimming), hammers, roulettes, buckets, brooms and similar small tools and instruments.

The Strength lies in Women's Unity

The long weekend has just started but the work is already waiting. This time briefly from a new shelter location, where volunteers continued to equip the vans on Friday evening for our four-footed “SOS Animals’“ friends. Neither cold, nor darkness prevented us from work. The locals have probably started whispering each other about an unusual female builders’ sect... (lol)
If someone has some time on a long weekend, you’re invited to help. Especially we'll be waiting for masculine representatives. (smile)


The Weekend Working Bee: thanks to all of you who joined us!

As it was planned, the ones who wanted and were able to work gathered together in the new territory of “SOS animals” shelter in 33A Minskas road on Saturday morning at 10 a.m.  in order that the little stray animals could soon settle here - after  all, time doesn’t wait.
A big thanks to all of you who came. Also, we want to say a special thanks to the company of “Barclays”, that has sent a large group of its employees. Without their help it would have been really tough. There were a lot of work waiting for us and it’s a pity that we had to spend a lot of time waiting for the ordered fence for a big aviary. While waiting for a significantly late fence, the two vans were fixed. They were equipped with warm small rooms for the old-timers dogs of “SOS Animals”.


A Working Bee on 22nd-23rd October

Step by step we are moving towards a new shelter. It’s not much left till 15th November when, I believe, we will wipe our tears saying goodbye to the shelter in Žalgiris str. However, there is still a lot of work in a new shelter.
Therefore, on 22nd-23rd October everybody is welcome to our new site for a working bee. It’s planned:
- to equip an extensive site for dogs walking ;
- to equip two new vans that since the removing our little ones won't get cold in their kennels;
- to repair SOS van;
- to rip off a part of a fence in Žalgiris str.;
- to start building the old-timers’ houses.

How the old-timers‘ house will differ from a new shelter

It’s intended to keep about 18 puppies in the new shelter (more on shelter options-http://www.sos-gyvunai.lt/lt/prieglaudos-statybos/apie/), however, to distance from the most needy and to take care only of this number is too difficult task for the SOS animals team, as the experience shows. Only today we have about 30 puppies, who are accustomed to live freely in their small rooms. While we were thinking that the exchange of the rooms to the new shelter cages will cause them a lot of stress (especially, that some of them will spend the rest of their lifes here), and in order to maintain a larger army of four-leggeds, we decided to equip separate rooms for them - a house that is divided into 6 separate rooms (with the possibility to expand), provided that 2-3 doggies will live in one room. Each room will have a separate exit to a small aviary that doggies would always be able to breathe fresh air and to handle their own affairs. That’s what we will do:
- we’ll dig pits for poles of the fence and concrete them;
- we’ll excavate pits for the poles, which will hold the electricity cable;
- we’ll equip new vans: cleaning; the  replacement of door, windows;  insulation; building bulkheads in the vans in order  we would have more smaller rooms;
- we’ll repair SOS van: scrubbing, mending up walls, which were gnawed up by our fellows, and the doors that can’t close.

If you can and want to join us not only with your hard-working hands but also with some  necessary means and material, here are some of those that are really useful:
- Concrete mixer and its arrival;
- High-capacity tanks for water;
- Various tools;
- Extenders (we’re going to borrow some electricity from neighbors)

The working bee will start at 10 a.m., 33A Minskas road. As part of the work will wait in Žalgiris str. (ripping fences, repairing SOS van – we had no chance to carry it ), a part of the assistants will be able to go to the old shelter or we could move out there on Sunday.

See you soon!
SOS animals team

Written by Algita

Top News of the Week - 700 Tons of Soil!

Nearly 700 tons of soil has been brought to a territory of the new shelter. It is necessary in order to align a site nicely and neatly for the new foundations and area of the shelter. Who is more knowledgeable in construction, we have received the permits for digging from a municipality. Also, we collected and legally formalized our neighbors’ consents. In addition, we already have a permit for electricity, so now we handle permits for communication.

Written by Andre http://sos-gyvunai.lt/lt/bendravimas/grupe/8/dienorastis/savaits-naujiena-700-ton-grunto/

"Strong Men's" Working Bee


We‘d like to thank everyone who put pride in their pockets and come to a "strong men's" working bee last Tuesday. A HUGE THANK YOU!!!

Although I'm not one of those "strong men", but I was very curious to see the area where the new shelter will stand. So I nipped out to look around.

A part of a difficult work has already been done, so then I arrived I saw this picture: relaxation on a huge mountain of almost dry cement under the terribly heating sun.


The shelter facility construction is finished!

We would like to rejoice with everybody and announce that our shelter facility construction is finished at last. It was a very important step in our long lasting work. We invite you to take a tour into our new shelter :)

New shelter is almost done!

A lot of people who are following the building of our new shelter might be thinking that we are unusually quiet and that the work has slowed down. Everything is quite the opposite – not only are we working at full pace but also the project makes us travel to different cities. The current stage of the project requires plenty of preparation work which is very time-consuming. This is the main reason we have not been keeping you up to date for quite some time. Anyway, things are moving. Yesterday we went to Kaunas where the modules for the shelter are being built. It was very exciting to see an old dream slowly become a reality right before our eyes. Some of our requests were unusual for the contractors therefore the work is taking longer but should be finished at the beginning of February. The contractors themselves are surprised how complicated and time-consuming it is to build an animal shelter.

Building a new shelter: important decisions

More and more people are interested in “SOS animals” new shelter therefore we would like to share our vision and plans with you. Your financial support made this project possible and thus we feel obligated to inform you about the building process as much as possible. Some details may not be interested to some so the information is divided into two parts – general and specific.
During the past couple of weeks we have been working on putting together all the advice received from the State food and veterinary service specialists and our consulting veterinarian Jakovas Sengautas. We also applied recommendations provided by the USA specialists for our specific case as well as some project solutions suggested by engineering companies that will help us build the shelter.
Based on all collected information we have prepared the final shelter plan layout, decided which type of cages will be used for cats (picture below) and how ventilation and heating system will be installed. Now more details of the project:
1. The layout of the shelter’s lodging was based on much higher standards than those required in Lithuania. Our main concern was the protection of shelter animals against various contagious diseases. We also tried to create the least stressful conditions for the animals. Some other important aspects of our work were low building maintenance, ecology and volunteer convenience.

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