16:55 22 Nov 2021

Donetsk region explains how activists are fighting for animal rights

Photo: v-variant.com.ua

Volunteers take care of stray animals in Sloviansk. Currently, there are two public organizations in the city: "Society for Animal Protection" and "Give a Chance."

Skhidnyi Variant writes about it.

"Give a Chance" helps mostly stray dogs. They are engaged in catching, sterilizing, temporarily keeping, and searching for homes for animals. For this, a quarantine site was set up at one of the utilities in a remote area.

Only in 2018, local animal rights activists managed to ensure that budget funds were allocated not for catching but for sterilizing dogs. It is about 200 thousand hryvnias a year.

The project of sterilization of homeless animals has won the Participation Budget several times in a row. Last year, thanks to this program, 50 dogs were neutered and new enclosures were purchased. Most funds are raised by their efforts. People who are not indifferent to animal problems help. More than 1,500 citizens each year say that the humane reduction of the stray animal population is a very important issue.


Photo: v-variant.com.ua

This year, animal rights activists also won in the Public Budget, but due to the political situation in Sloviansk, the process of allocating funds slowed down. According to the creator of the project, animal rights activist Iryna Orlovska, the non-adopted budget of the city, had a very negative impact on the pace of sterilization.

Volunteers cooperate with the Veterinarians without Borders organization. A team of specialists arrives, hunters with the help of animal rights activists take the animals out of the city. Then they sterilize, vaccinate animals from rabies, treat. After holding, the animal is released in the place where it was taken.

Now there are about 160 animals in the quarantine area. Each has its difficult fate. Some of them were poisoned, some were hit by a car, there are old and sick dogs. According to animal rights activists, animals are not kept without good reasons. They try to put everyone in a family. Some stay on the site.


Photo: v-variant.com.ua

The second animal protection organization, the Society for Animal Protection, has been operating in Sloviansk for 14 years. As its chairperson, Anna Abramova, recalls, there was a lot of optimism from the beginning. They thought that the registered public organization would turn the world upside down in Sloviansk, Donetsk region, and maybe in the whole of Ukraine.

"Stray animals are only part of the problem. It is useless to solve problems only with them. Because there is a factor of the owner who throws away the animals at random. No matter how much we sterilize stray animals, without involving the field of pet ownership, it is pointless," says Anna Abramova.

Three years ago, the Donetsk Regional State Administration proposed to all territorial communities to create sterilization points at the expense of the regional budget. But provided: the area under the point must be located 300 m from the residential sector, must be fenced, and have electricity, water, and sewerage, or septic tank. Several cities responded, but Sloviansk was not among them.


Photo: v-variant.com.ua

As Abramova explains, state funding is only possible for shelters as utilities. Therefore, it is impossible to create such a center based on a utility company. It doesn't legally provide for state funding. Meetings and working groups were set up at the city council but to no avail.

According to the animal rights activist, animal shelters should be territorially accessible to all citizens. It must have its stationery or mobile sterilization center. A shelter is a place where people can sterilize their animal at a reduced price, leave it for temporary or permanent maintenance. This is a service center where people provide services.

"People should work there not on a volunteer basis, but permanently in the staff; respond to appeals from citizens. People don't sterilize their pets because the prices offered by our commercial veterinarians are quite high for low-income people. If the old woman has a pension of 1700-2000 hryvnias, she cannot sterilize a cat for 500 or 1000 hryvnias even if she wants to. There is the experience of other countries: social prices or attraction of extra-budgetary funds by public organizations. Very poor people, pensioners, people with disabilities, the unemployed have their animals sterilized for free," says Anna Abramova.

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