Kyiv region, 29 March 2023 – Global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has kicked off its Stray Animal Care (SAC) activities in Ukraine for the year with a large-scale sterilisation and treatment action in the Kyiv region. The local SAC team took its mobile clinic to Sirius shelter, which houses approximately 3,500 animals. During a week-long stay in mid-March and with challenging conditions at the shelter, they sterilised 140 cats and dogs, including some animals from a nearby village. According to the owner of the shelter, all animals living there have now been sterilised.
Despite the ongoing attacks and dire situation over one year into the war, FOUR PAWS continues its much-needed work across Ukraine to help as many stray and abandoned animals as possible.
“Our experienced team managed to treat an impressive number of animals during a short time. We are glad we could support the shelter with preventing the already massive population of unwanted animals from growing even further. With the ongoing military attacks and the displacement of millions of Ukrainian people over the last year, it is particularly important that we help as many stray and abandoned animals as possible. With such large dog and cat populations both in shelters and on the streets, finding a home for the animals is difficult, therefore we do our best to help them by preventing further animals being born and treating those in need of medical care,”
Manuela Rowlings, Head of the FOUR PAWS Stray Animal Care projects in Europe
Help for stray animals in Ukraine is more essential than ever
The mobile veterinary team, carrying out catch-neuter-vaccinate-return (CNVR) projects is a core element of the successful work helping stray animals in Ukraine. Its next stop will be Berdychiv in the Zhytomyr region, where the SAC team will be working for one month to help stray dogs and cats.
In addition to the mobile clinic, FOUR PAWS is helping stray animals in Ukraine by taking care of cats roaming the streets with project Kishka. The project runs in Chernihiv, Sumy, Boryspil, Uman and Poltava and aims to sterilise and vaccinate 10,000 stray cats by the end of 2023.
Moreover, FOUR PAWS is collaborating with the Ukrainian Small Animal Veterinary Association (USAVA) and supporting three private clinics in some areas most affected by the war: Mykolaiv, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. The aim of the collaboration is to support veterinarians who stayed behind so they can continue helping animals despite the challenges of the ongoing war, including a lack of water or electricity at times.
FOUR PAWS in Ukraine
The FOUR PAWS SAC teams have been working in various cities in Ukraine since 2012. In total 30,000 stray dogs and cats in over 60 communities were successfully sterilised and vaccinated and, if needed, received additional medical treatment. The roaming animals are caught, neutered, vaccinated and returned (CNVR method) to the communities: the only humane and sustainable way to reduce stray animal populations. According to estimations from the WHO, there are 200 million stray dogs worldwide with many of them living in Eastern Europe.
After a short hiatus due to the outbreak of the war, FOUR PAWS picked up its activities again in April 2022 and since then delivers much-needed support for stray animals, including those that were already living in the streets as well as pets and shelter animals that were forced to be left behind when their owners fled the country or fell victim to the attacks.
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FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org