FOUR PAWS’ animal welfare initiative in Ukraine goes into extra time
Posted by African Press International on July 18, 2012
Great result so far: 5,000 neutered dogs and five bears rescued
The international animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS is continuing the huge animal welfare project it launched in March 2012. Project leader Dr. Amir Khalil and his team will continue to focus on neutering and giving medical treatment to stray dogs. FOUR PAWS will also attempt to rescue more abused bears from private ownership.
The trigger for the project was the systematic killing of stray dogs in Ukraine ahead of EURO 2012.
More than 5,000 stray dogs neutered
In the cities of Kiev, Donetsk, Lviv and Zaporozyhe teams of veterinarians and volunteers have already neutered and treated more than 5,000 stray dogs in FOUR PAWS’ mobile clinics. The project in Ukraine involves educating the public and policymakers through the media and other channels as well as training courses for Ukrainian veterinarians, students and committed volunteers. In order to ensure the continuation of the project in cooperation with the authorities, FOUR PAWS has established an office in Kiev.
„I would like to thank everyone who has helped us“, says Dr. Amir Khalil. „Our FOUR PAWS teams and volunteers did an amazing job. Many people also supported us with generous donations – without their help we wouldn’t have achieved so much. The public’s response has been overwhelming.“
FOUR PAWS has already successfully completed its work in the city of Lviv. The team is now focussing on the city of Lutsk. Further cities will follow.
However, FOUR PAWS has also encountered resistance: The city of Kharkiv refuses to cooperate with the FOUR PAWS project pre-conditions. The animal welfare organization neuter only in cities where an immediate ban on dog killing is guaranteed. In Charkiv dogs are still being killed. More than 100,000 people have protested about this by email and letters.
Five bears freed from horrific conditions
FOUR PAWS has already rescued five bears living in cruel conditions and brought them to safety. The last rescued bear cub, Nastia, garnered international attention. FOUR PAWS uncovered that the Lutsk Zoo had brutally snatched her from her mother and illegally sold her to animal traders.
In Ukraine more than 80 bears are still living in terrible conditions in private ownership. The animal welfare organization has set itself the goal of rescuing, in the coming years together with Ukrainian authorities, all suffering bears. FOUR PAWS wants to ensure the bears have a life appropriate for their species.
Media Contact: Fiona Miles (Fiona.miles @ vier-pfoten.org (Operational Director, FOUR PAWS Animal Welfare Foundation – South Africa)