Kiev/Ukraine After the collapse of the Soviet Union empire, there was a sharp division of society into rich and poor. The same thing happened to animals. Some are carried in Mercedes, while the other hundreds of thousands of stray dogs are still on the streets and dream about food, home and human kindness. Unfortunately, the official authorities in Ukraine treat them as a living garbage. They are being killed by either applying poison or shoot, even though it is prohibited by the law of Ukraine “On protection of animals from cruelty,” adopted in 2006. They die in agony and tortures on the streets in front of children and passers-by. In eastern Ukraine, in its savagery towards animals they have gone further. From 2009 until recently, in Mariupol and Lisichansk the employees of public utilities burned alive dogs in mobile crematories … The leadership of these cities was very proud of their know-how methods of resolving the problem of stray animals and called on other cities of Ukraine to follow their example.
Over the twenty years of independence, the Ukrainian government did not build any animals shelter in the European concept, not adopted a national program to sterilize animals in order to deal humanely with the problem of homeless animals, and continues to use against stray animals the medieval methods of killing.
To date, the stray animals are only protected by the representatives of animals’ protection organizations that do not have the financial resources or support from the Government and more over the authorities don’t consider the opinion of such organizations.
The approaching of Euro 2012 in Ukraine only exacerbated the tragedy of homeless animals and their protectors who are doing their best to save as many dogs as possible from being destroyed. But our possibilities are limited. We constantly refer to the representatives of various levels of government with the letters of protest against cruelty to stray animals and their massive extermination, but in most cases we get the bureaucratic lame excuses, but the process of extinction of animals continues.
We have also applied to many different European organizations that protect animals, we addressed to the well-known people in Western Europe. In the address of the Ukrainian leadership there were thousands of letters, applications from the citizens of Western Europe to immediately stop the killing of homeless animals. The well known animal welfare advocates from Germany, England and France visited Kiev.
Brigitte Bardot also sent a sharp letter to the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, in which she threatened that if they continue to destroy the animals, there will be a large-scale protest in Europe raised and the ice was finally broken.
A week ago, Minister of Ecology Nicholas Zlochevsky addressed to the Mayors of big cities to impose a moratorium on destruction of stray animals for six months, ie until the beginning of Euro 2012.
On November 22 The Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov applied to the Minister of International affairs to strengthen the control and strongly suppress cases of mistreatment and abuse of animals under the Animal Protection Law.
To Ministry of Regional Development and Construction, the Prime Minister commissioned to do a serious inventory of problems of homeless animals in all the cities, villages and towns. The Ministry should also initiate a plan to create the adequate conditions of detention of stray animals in specialized institutions, and provide the preventive measures to stop the uncontrolled increase of number of stray animals.
Premier ordered to humanize the work of municipal and sanitary and veterinary services.
To consult with the public as to resolving the problem of stray animals and to study and use the international experience.
Ministry of Ecology to prepare a change in legislation in the sphere of dealing with the homeless animals and while being the law is being developed, the international experience and developments should be taken into consideration. This ministry also needs to develop a program as to building the animal shelters in the country.
While the public of Ukraine and Western Europe are rejoicing the coming changes in the field of stray animals and their solutions to the resolving problems of homeless animals, we have proves that only in Kiev in the heart of the city during the period from 20 till 24 November, 16 already sterilized dogs were poisoned. The only difference that this time, on request of volunteers who take care of stray animals, the police arrived, made the act of crime and promised to investigate.
I would love so much to believe that this time the Ukrainian leadership will really keep their promises to not only stop the cruel destruction of animals, but also will begin to resolve this problem in a humane way, but the numerous frustrations will not let me do this. I will believe in the above only, when I see the launch of the realization of promises. And to everyone else too, I advise to wait and see whether the representatives of the Ukrainian authorities can keep their words.
I appeal to everyone who wants to help homeless animals with a request not to remain indifferent to the inhabitants of a unique animal shelter, located on the outskirts of Kiev in Pirogovo.
Its story is amazing. In 1997, with help of a hidden camera. we managed to shoot a film about the brutal killing of animals in this slaughter house. The captured stray animals were brought there where they were killed, and in most cases the alive dogs were skinned away and made dogs’ fat. The skins were sold to China and fat was given to TB patients in prisons. It was the perfect business for over 40 years.
We have shown this documentary film on German TV channel SAT1 in Germany and later in Switzerland, Austria, Italy and avalanche of protests has fallen on to the Embassy of Ukraine in the European countries. The work of the Embassies was paralyzed and then the Mayor of Kiev A. Omelchenko, invited me to a meeting and during our talk he agreed to hand over the territory of slaughter-house to our organization for the construction of the first in Ukraine and Kiev, a shelter for homeless animals.
Many international organizations in Western Europe helped to build the shelter. The first contribution for the construction of the shelter was made by B. Bardot. The donations were also made by the organizations in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Great Britain. Thanks to their efforts, the shelter was built in 1997.
To date the shelter has 1553 dogs and 186 cats. People pick up animals on the streets and bring them to our shelter to save their lives. The shelter is very over crowded, but we can not reject and leave the animals on the streets where they run into death by poisoning. But in the shelter, even overcrowded, they are safe and protected against the cruelty and abuse.
Recently, some of our sponsors have stopped financial support to our shelter. Please help the animals to survive in the winter. Please help those who can not help themselves.
(or a SWIFT from CORRESPONDENT BANK in your Country)
Kiev City Branch MFO 322250
Chernovola Str. 8a
Beneficiary for Society SOS
Tamara Tarnawska is a Journalist who worked for the United Nations in Geneva for many years and is President of the SPA-SOS animals-Kiev- Ukraine. She decided to move there after hearing about atrocities being carried out on defenseless animals. She works there to this day trying to prevent and end the massacre of animals, and trying to prevent their deaths.
The Swiss charity SOS CHATS NOIRAIGUE with whom she works, has reported the unbelievable and gruesome situation in Kiev. She has also kept ties to the Swiss organisation where she worked during her years as an intern in Switzerland up to today. Upon being asked why she would not write an article concerning the atrocities, she informed us that she fears being asked to leave the country, and would have to fear for her life. Also, if she were to leave, who would take care of the animals there?
We therefore dispense with the publication of further images and movies in this article.