FOUR PAWS stray animal care in Ukraine continues even a year after UEFA European Football Championship
Animal protection organisation draws the balance; 10,000 stray dogs have already been neutered
The international animal protection organisation FOUR PAWS continues with its stray animal care project, which was started in April 2012 in Ukraine, even a year after the European Football Championship, and has been a great success so far. In eleven Ukrainian towns (Dolynska, Donetsk , Kiev, Lemberg, Lutsk, Mykolajiw, Myrnyi, Saporischja, Yevpatoria, Yuzhnoukrainsk and Zhytomyr) the FOUR PAWS teams (consisting of veterinarians, animal keepers and volunteers) have neutered, vaccinated and treated 10,000 stray dogs in the mobile animal ambulances and afterwards released them back to their territories. A team is currently working in two animal ambulances in the city of Zhytomyr.
The reason behind this establishment for the stray animal care project is the systematical killings of dogs in Ukraine during the preparations for the EURO 2012, which caused shock and outrage all over the world. All eleven Ukrainian cities have signed a cooperation contract with FOUR PAWS, which places them under the obligation to officially stop the killings.
Despite the fact that the EURO 2012 is long in the past and the situation of the stray dogs in Ukraine is no longer under the surveillance of the global public, FOUR PAWS is continuing the project work in cooperation with the municipality and the local population in the interest of animal protection. The fact that FOUR PAWS received cooperation requests from thirty-three other cities proves our work to be successful. This not only shows that there is still a great amount of work to be done, but also that there is a need of structural arrangements in the city administrations to solve the problems in the long run.
However, this great success has been unfortunately over-shadowed. Contrary to the thirty-three cities, that seek to cooperate with FOUR PAWS in this matter, the city of Charkiw continues its systematical killings of dogs officially and refuses to collaborate with the animal protection organisation; “This procedure, used to reduce the population of stray animals is not acceptable.”, says Dr. Khalil. “The neutering of the stray animals is the only humane method in order to enforce birth control. We negotiated with the city of Charkiw for months, but unfortunately our efforts remained fruitless.”
Also in the city of Kiev, it seems that several illegal dog killings have taken place in the past few weeks. Privately organised dog killers cruelly poisoned even those dogs that had already been neutered by FOUR PAWS and threatened the animal welfare workers. We are very sad that these hate-filled private individuals are killing innocent animals. This is illegal in Ukraine and therefore a criminal act. We expect the city of Kiev to do its utmost to fight against the people responsible for the dog killings by enhancing the protection of dogs. Despite the official cooperation of Kiev with FOUR PAWS, Dr. Khalil and his team have discontinued their work there until further notice, in order to concentrate on the other cities that can insure that the animal welfare workers and the stray animals won’t become the target of criminals.