Stray Animal Care in the Ukraine
In Ukraine there are tens of thousands of stray dogs living on the streets. They are still being killed – beaten with sticks or poisoned and burnt in mobile incinerators. During the preparations for the European Football Championship that begins in June, the world has been watching Ukraine. Horrifying images were published in recent weeks and months that shocked the public across Europe.
The large number of abandoned animals cannot be reduced by applying such cruel methods. A study published by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which sums up the results of a perennial study on stray killings, offers a sober note: “In no place of observation the killing of dogs, no matter in which way it was carried out, had any perceptible long-term influence on the number of dogs living there.”
The neutering project in the Ukraine
FOUR PAWS takes a solution-oriented approach. FOUR PAWS Stray Animal Care is a proven, animal friendly strategy that reduces the suffering of strays. One FOUR PAWS team can neuter several hundred strays in one place within a week, which is cheaper than killing and disposing of them.
FOUR PAWS has told the Ukrainian Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Mykola Zlochevskiy that it is willing to operate a large neutering project at the four venues of the European Football Championship Lviv, Kiev, Kharkiv and Donetsk and other towns. In six mobile clinics stray dogs could be neutered, vaccinated, treated and ear tagged. Then they could be brought back to the place where they were caught and released. This is the only way to regulate the populations of stray dogs. After a long period of negotiation, on 3 February 2012 FOUR PAWS and the Ukrainian Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Mykola Zlochevskiy signed an agreement for a humane solution to regulate the populations of stray dogs. Mykola Zlochevskiy assured FOUR PAWS of his support for the neutering project. “The overpopulation of the stray dogs is a huge problem in Ukraine. We are looking forward to cooperating with FOUR PAWS”, said the Minister. In the next few weeks, he will visit with the animal welfare organisation, the host cities and other cities, in order to negotiate with the respective mayors about the ban on killing stray dogs.
The neutering projects will start at the beginning of April. The mobile clinics will start their journey on 27th March 2012 from Vienna to Kiev. They will stay there for at least three months. FOUR PAWS has established an office in Ukraine, which will continue to follow the stray dog project even after the departure of the mobile clinics. The animal welfare organisation will create with local veterinarians, universities, and international experts the infrastructure necessary to help on a sustainable basis. Local veterinarians and animal keepers will be trained, in order to continue the project permanently.