Dog life, or How to return the rights to animals?

I just want to say that for me there is no division of animals into friends – cats and dogs and food – cows, chickens, pigs. They all have equal rights, only the person forgot about it for a while. But he will definitely remember. To doubting skeptics who are ready to object to my optimistic hope, I will immediately remind you that once slavery was the norm of things, and a woman was considered only a thing. So everything is possible. But in this article, I will leave my views aside to write about people who give their whole life, their time and kindness to save pets from the cold, cruelty of people …

In my opinion, the need for pets disappeared at the moment when a person moved into concrete apartment buildings. Cats have nowhere else to catch mice, instead of dogs there are concierges and combination locks. Animals have become decorations, and some people decide to change them from time to time: so instead of a “suddenly grown-up bored cat”, there is a “cute little NEW kitten”, etc.

The reality is that there are wild animals and there are domestic ones. Pets are also carnivores and need to be fed. Such is the paradox. By the way, living in a private house, the cat gets his own food, and there is no problem how to feed the pet. But most of those who read these lines probably live in a high-rise building. It would be nice not to have pets at all and shift the solution of the problem onto someone else’s shoulders. But the whole point is that we, those who do not eat living beings, love them all – both cows and dogs! And one day on your way you will definitely meet an abandoned puppy. Of course, you can’t get past it. We must save. It’s a pity for cows and calves, but it’s not always possible for an ordinary city dweller to take and go to a slaughterhouse and take a bull from there. And picking up a cat or a dog from the street is a real targeted help. This is how vegetarians and vegans have pets that need specific food. With dogs, by the way, a little easier: they are omnivores. With representatives of the cat is more difficult. Many owners solve problems by feeding their animals special vegan food based on vegetable protein. But it is clear that such food is not suitable for every carnivore. And yet the problem is solvable. My personal opinion: animals should be returned to nature. Not in the sense – throw all the pets on the street! Here, as in the case of refusing animal food, it is necessary to recognize the problem and embark on the right path. But with my mind, I fully understand that you can’t do this in two clicks. Need time. In addition, man has bred a lot of decorative species with shaking legs, which probably do not need forests and open spaces at all. They are more accustomed to the four walls. Nevertheless, to say that life is arranged in such and such a way, nothing can be changed is rather naive. Need to do something! For example, gradually reduce the number of pets. And for this we need laws and consciousness of people!

In the Chelyabinsk region, they are ready to fight for animal rights. Only in one regional center there are five public organizations of animal rights activists who have been officially registered, about 16 unregistered mini-shelters: people temporarily keep animals in summer cottages, in gardens, in apartments. And also – thousands of volunteers who attach homeless animals, save them from trouble. In addition, a branch of the Vita Center for Living and Life has recently been operating in the city. Now all these people are ready to unite and call on the authorities to create a law on animal rights in the region. Representatives of various animal protection structures talk about their vision of the problem and ways to solve it. I think the experience of the brave South Ural girls (their aspirations will inspire other activists to take their own steps to improve the lives of pets.

Bringing victory and good

From childhood, Veronika helped animals as best she could, even fought with the boys if they offended our smaller brothers! As an adult, her indifference has resulted in a serious case for the protection of pets. Veronika Varlamova is the head of the largest dog shelter in the Southern Urals “I’m alive!”. To date, in the village of Sargazy, where the “nursery” is located, there are about 300 animals. There are practically no cats here, the conditions are not intended for these pets, basically all the enclosures are on the street. If representatives of the feline family get to volunteers, they immediately try to attach them, in extreme cases, they give them for overexposure to houses   

This winter, the orphanage was in trouble. As a result of an accident, a fire broke out on the territory, one puppy died. Truly, the Russian people are united only by a common grief. If in peacetime help to homeless animals and volunteers comes in limited quantities, then the whole region came to save the burnt shelter!

“The cereals that you brought then, we still eat,” Veronika smiles. Now the hard times are over, the shelter has been restored, even renovated. A quarantine room appeared on the territory, now puppies live there. In addition, the block has a bath where you can wash the animal, a building is being built for permanent residence of employees. In connection with the expansion, the shelter is ready to give shelter to … people! Veronika helps not only her younger brothers, but also fellow citizens: the girl is a volunteer of a social movement that provides assistance to Ukrainian refugees. Two huge trucks from Chelyabinsk with clothes, food and medicines have already been sent to the southeast of Ukraine. Refugees who arrived in the South Urals are also provided with assistance with housing and work. Now Veronica and the shelter “I’m alive!” we are ready to take a family from Ukraine with a veterinary education to the settlement, so that people can live and work in the nursery.

“My grandfather instilled in me a love for animals, he is an example for me. Grandfather lived in his own house on the border with Bashkiria, where he constantly had horses, dogs ran around, ”says Veronika. – Grandfather reached Berlin, immediately after that he went to the Russo-Japanese war of 1945. It was he who gave me the name Veronica, that is, “carrying victory”!

Now, in life, Veronica brings not only victory, but kindness and love for our smaller brothers – dogs and cats. Although sometimes it can be very difficult to maintain composure. Every shelter dog has a story, some of which are like the script for the scariest horror movie ever. So, the dog Count was found on the lake, judging by his condition, he was beaten and thrown out to die on the street. Today he is no longer afraid of people, he gladly allows himself to be stroked.

Veronica found Caesar at a gas station, he had bullet wounds.

– I was just going to the state, all clean, in a blouse. I see a dog in a very bad condition, he goes around asking everyone for food, although he himself can’t really chew it, his whole jaw is twisted. Well, what kind of exams could we talk about? I bought him some pies, called him, he jumped right up to me, all clung to me. – After Veronica took the dog to a safe place, she headed to the exam, of course, being late for it.

– I come to the exam all in dog saliva, dirty, they didn’t even ask me, they just put a three, – Veronika laughs. “I don’t really talk about what I do. But my friends already know: if I’m late, it means I’m saving someone!

In the matter of saving animals, Veronika believes, the main thing is to some extent a cold, detached attitude to the situation, otherwise you just give up and you won’t be able to help anyone. “I have developed stress resistance in myself, if a dog dies in my arms, I try not to take it personally, I just know that now I have to save 10 more dogs for one dead! This is what I teach to those who work with me at the shelter.

By the way, there are only four permanent volunteers who delve into all the problems of the shelter, along with Veronica.

Animals have rights too

According to Veronika Varlamova, people who throw their pets out into the street, and even more so knackers, are criminals. They should be punished not at the administrative, but at the criminal level.

– The other day a woman calls me, sobs into the phone: there are just born puppies on the playground! As it turned out, a girl living in this yard had a puppy, she, not knowing what to do with the puppies, just left them in the yard! How can we influence it? It would be nice to organize some kind of squad, establish cooperation with the internal affairs bodies, in order to bring such an intruder to the police by the hand, – says the animal rights activist.

But in order to bring such people to justice, a legislative framework is needed. Other volunteers of the Chelyabinsk region agree with this. Everyone agrees that a law on animal rights is needed in the Southern Urals. Since the 90s, Russia has not been able to adopt a single law that would protect animals. The well-known animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot has already addressed the President of Russia several times with a request to expedite the adoption of a document protecting animals. Information periodically appears that such a law is being prepared, but in the meantime, thousands of animals are suffering.

Пrepresentative of the Chelyabinsk public organization “Chance” Olga Shkoda sure so far if the law on the protection of animals is not passed, we will not get off the ground. “It is necessary to understand that the whole problem is in ourselves, in people. Animals are treated like things: I do what I want, ”says the animal rights activist.

Now on the territory of the country in relation to the rights of animals there are separate by-laws, regulations. Thus, according to Article 245 of the Criminal Code, ill-treatment of animals is punishable by a fine of up to eighty thousand rubles. If such an act is committed by a group of persons, then the fine can reach three hundred thousand. In both cases, violators can also face arrest for a period of six months to two years. Animal rights activists say that in reality this law does not work. Most often, people go unpunished or pay small fines up to 1 rubles.

In Chelyabinsk, says Olga Skoda, there were only two precedents when a person received a term for animal abuse. In one of them, a man who threw a poodle from the eighth floor and after serving a short time for this went out and … killed a man. The relationship between the bullying of our smaller brothers and the murder of a person has been talked about for a long time, even a number of studies were conducted that showed that all maniacs, sadists, murderers, as a rule, begin their “activities” with sophisticated torture of animals. The great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy also spoke about this. It belongs to him the words “OhFrom killing an animal to killing a human is one step.”

Often, when people see that an animal is in trouble, they do not want to take the initiative, they try to shift the responsibility to another person.

“They call us and say that they saw how the animal is being abused, they ask us to do something. We usually tell them: we need to go and write a statement to the police on the fact of the violation. After that, the person usually answers: “We don’t need problems,” says Olga Skoda.

Volunteer animal rights activist Alena Sinitsyna at his own expense, he looks for new owners for homeless animals, sterilizes them, and places them for overexposure, for which they often ask for money. She knows that no one will do anything for us.

If you see an animal in trouble, you have compassion, act on your own! There is no special animal rescue service! You should not hope that someone will come and solve the problem,” the volunteer says. Only specialists from the Gorekozentr who dispose of animals as waste can come to the rescue.

Home and outdoor

“Homeless animals are the result of our irresponsible attitude towards our smaller brothers. I took it, played it, got tired – threw it out into the street, – says Olga Skoda.

At the same time, the animal rights activist emphasizes that there are domestic animals and street animals that have already appeared as a result of human “activity”. “Not everyone can be accommodated, there is an animal that is used to living on the street, it is uncomfortable for him in an apartment,” says Olga. At the same time, homeless animals on the territory of the city are a natural ecosystem of the city, they protect us from the appearance of forest animals, from infectious rodents, birds. According to Skoda, sterilization can partially solve the problem: “We analyzed the situation in four courtyards of the city, where the animals were sterilized and released back, as a result, in these places, the animal population decreased by 90% in two years.”

Now animal rights activists need a place to create a free sterilization point, where the animals could adapt after a surgical procedure. “Many owners are ready to sterilize an animal, but the price scares it off,” says Olga Skoda. Animal advocates hope that the city authorities will meet halfway, allocate such a room for free. In the meantime, everything has to be done at its own expense, a number of clinics provide assistance, providing animal protection organizations with benefits for vaccination and sterilization. Animals that are attached by such volunteers always go through all the necessary stages – a doctor’s examination, treatment for fleas, worms, vaccination, sterilization. The same rules must be followed by single volunteers. Collecting a whole pack of dogs and cats in your apartment is not kindness, but lawlessness, animal rights activists say.

– Whenever possible, I take animals to my apartment for overexposure, of course, I get used to them, but I understand with my head that they need to be attached, you can’t collect all of them! – says Veronika Varlamova.

The reverse side of the coin is the danger of animals to people themselves, in particular, the bite of rabid individuals. Again, this situation arises from the conniving attitude of people to their obligations to their pets.

– In Russia, there is one mandatory vaccine for animals – against rabies, while the state veterinary station allocates only one month out of 12 for free vaccination! Often, people are also offered to take some tests before vaccination, which are most often paid, says Olga Skoda. At the same time, over the past few years, the Chelyabinsk region has been a stationary-unfavorable territory for animal rabies. Since the beginning of 2014, 40 cases have been registered in the region.

Law + information

The coordinator of the VITA-Chelyabinsk Center for the Protection of Animal Rights, Olga Kalandina, is convinced that the problem of irresponsible treatment of animals can be globally solved only with the help of the law and the right propaganda:

We must fight the cause, not the effect. Notice what a paradox: HOMELESS PETS! All of them appear due to three main factors. This is the so-called amateur breeding, when they believe that “the cat must give birth.” Usually two or three are attached, the rest join the ranks of homeless animals. The second factor is the factory business, when “defective” animals are thrown into the streets. The offspring of street animals is the third reason.

According to Olga Kalandina, several fundamental points should be reflected in the law on the protection of animal rights – this is the obligation of owners to sterilize their animals, the responsibility of breeders in relation to their pets.

But shooting animals, according to Kalandina, leads to the opposite result – there are more of them:animals, the collective mind is highly developed: the more animals are shot, the faster the population will be replenished. Olga’s words are confirmed by official figures. According to statistics for 2011, the Chelyabinsk Gorekotsentr shot 5,5 thousand dogs, in 2012 – already 8 thousand. Nature takes over.  

In parallel, according to the human rights activist, it is necessary to carry out information work that it is prestigious to take an animal from a shelter.

– All animal rights activists who help pets are people worthy of respect, they spend all their time helping our smaller brothers, but we must understand that such a targeted approach can change the lives of individual animals, in general, the problem of interaction between animals and humans in the city is not decide, says Olga Kalandina. The coordinator of the Chelyabinsk “VITA” believes that if the law on the protection of animal rights has not yet been adopted at the all-Russian level, the inhabitants of the Chelyabinsk region have every right and opportunity to achieve the implementation of such a document at the level of one region. If this happens, the precedent will become an example for other subjects of the country.

“Now we are actively collecting signatures for a petition to the governor on the conditions for keeping wild animals. This fall, we plan to prepare a similar document on pet rights,” Olga tells about the organization’s plans.

Ekaterina SALAHOVA (Chelyabinsk).

Olga Kalandina defends the rights of wild animals. October 2013 Together with animal rights activists, she is ready to help pets.

Shelter “I’m alive!”

Shelter “I’m alive!”

Shelter “I’m alive!”

Veronica Varlamova’s pet is the Staffordshire Terrier Bonya. The former mistress of Boni abandoned her, moving to another city. For the past seven years, the staff has been living with Veronica, who assures that she will not leave her pet under any circumstances, because this is a family member!

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