Municipal shelter for homeless animals – Ruse, Bulgaria


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After returning from the one week traineeship about the managing of Animal shelters, organized by Dogs Trust in Great Britain in the summer of 2011, Jenny Popova and Dr. Gergana Vitanova took immediate actions to turn the shelter in Ruse into a completely new place.

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Municipal shelter for homeless animals – Ruse, Bulgaria

  1. 1. Municipal shelter for homeless animals– Ruse, BulgariaManager: Jenny Popova
  2. 2. History and LegislationIn September 2004 an “Isolator for homeless dogs” waslaunched in Ruse. According to the regulations of the currentLaw on Veterinary Activities, the dogs have been killed in a reallycruel way. At that time the isolator had the capacity of 15 cages.In 2004 the European Union has adopted four regulationsbringing up numerous requirements for legislative changes. Atransition period until 2006 has been determined for thelegislative changes to be completed.The mandatory implementation of a new Law on the VeterinaryActivities has been requested by the European Commissionbefore the first monitoring report for Bulgaria is being published.This new law has the aim to establish a Bulgarian veterinarylegislation according to all regulations in the European Union.
  3. 3. History and LegislationNew regulations, such as the welfare oriented animalhusbandry and the well-being of animals have beenintroduced. Some requirements and obligations have beenaddressed to the owners of animals, the keepers of wildanimals in zoos and circuses and to the people dealing withanimal experiments. Furthermore regulations concerningthe keeping of cattle, the animal protection duringtransportation, the euthanasia and the cattle slaughteringare being considered as well. All mentioned regulations inthe Law on Veterinary Activities correspond to theEuropean legislation in regards to this matter. The Law forAnimal protection aims the consolidation of the Nationallegislation for the animal protection into one enactment. One ofthe key points in the Law for Animal Protection is the programfor mass castration “Trap, Neuter & Return” which has beenrecommended by the World Health Organization and it has thepurpose of the reduction of the stray animal population.
  4. 4. A new star is born After the Law for Animal Protection has been passed and aprogram for the reduction of the population has beenimplemented in the municipality of Ruse, the animal shelter inthe city has been renamed to “Municipal shelter forhomeless animals”.According to the regulations in the Law for AnimalProtection, the team in the shelter of Ruse is performing thefollowing tasks: trapping the stray dogs, treating them againstparasites, vaccinating them against rabies, neutering/spaying,micro chipping and returning the dogs back to the placeswhere they have been trapped. Because of these new taskssome organizational changes have to be implemented in thework of the animal shelters in the country.
  5. 5. Shelter organizationThe " Municipal shelter for homeless animals " employs 11people - a manager, 2 veterinarians, 4 hunters and 4 animal keepers.The employees are trained in animal welfare. There is an electronicdatabase , where all details for each captured dog are being stored.There is always a keeper on duty on each day of the week, includingweekends and public holidays.All the dogs are fed once a day with dry food and the small ones arefed according to their age. The full cost of maintenance of the shelter,including facility repairs and improvements are covered by thebudget of the Municipality of Ruse.With the adoption of a dog from the shelter, the new ownerreceives a veterinary passport and the animal is vaccinated against rabies, castrated and put his permanent mark - microchip.In 2010 Ms Jenny Popova, who is the chairmen of the LocalAssociation for Animal Rescue, became a manager of the Municipalshelter for homeless animals in Ruse.
  6. 6. Success and goalsUnder the leadership of Ms Popova the number of the capturedanimals for castration has significantly increased. 1162 animals havebeen trapped and 902 have been neutered. The number of adoptedhomeless animals housed in the shelter of the Municipality of Ruse is228. The same trend continued in 2011 when 1165 animals werecaptured and the number of the adopted ones was 240. The mainpriority of the shelter is to raise the number of the dogs neuteredmonthly to approx. 80 - 100. In order to reach the castration goal, asecond hunter team has been formed.In 2010 a separate cat room with a playground was built with acapacity of 15 animals. The shelter has obtained a license for keepingcats. For this purpose a special equipped room was built meeting allregulatory requirements. The funds for the furnishing of the cat ​room are provided entirely by donations made by NGOs andprivate companies. In addition to castrations of mainly female andpregnant animals, emergency assistance to injured cats can beprovided as well. With the newly built cages in 2011 the shelter of theMunicipality of Ruse has increased its capacity to 160 dogs. A newsewerage system, a new indoor yard area, wooden houses for each dogwith the size of the animal, domestic heating and stationary boxeswere built.
  7. 7. PicturesOn our Facebook page you can find all the adopted animals withtheir new happy owners. the following pictures you can see the condition of the shelterbefore all measurements and actions, recommended by Dog trustduring the traineeship in London, have been launched.
  8. 8. Dogs TrustAfter returning from the one week traineeship about themanaging of Animal shelters, organized by Dogs Trust in Great Britain in the summer of 2011, Jenny Popova and Dr. GerganaVitanova took immediate actions to turn the shelter in Ruse into acompletely new place. The course was part of an InternationalProgram for education of one of the largest dog welfare charityin UK– Dogs Trust. Only two applicants from Bulgaria have beenchosen for the traineeship – 2 of whom from Ruse. The selection ofthe candidates was made amongst many applications receivedfrom all over Bulgaria. Alongside with renowned BritishVeterinarians, ethologists and representatives from more than 13countries shared their knowledge and experience in the managing of animal shelters. The lectures were valuable and exceptionallyuseful concerning the wide variety of topics such as: dog behavior,catching and holding techniques, management of an animal shelter, managing and organizing of adoption campaigns,educational programs for children, effective collection of moneyand donations, public relations and many others.
  9. 9. Dogs TrustDogs Trust is the largest and most popular dog welfare charity inthe UK having more than 18 dog shelters in the whole country.The Education Officers are giving thousands of classroompresentations every year. In Europe these seminars are given 3times a year and the lecturers can use school classrooms for theirpresentations.All the useful tips and advises gained at the conference are beingalready used for the improvement of the shelter in Ruse. The result ofthe work is already apparent. The number of the adopted animals hasincreased 3 times. There are now better conditions for attractingvolunteers and donations, there are new benches and summerhouses. The shelter is now more attractive location for people who love animals and the number of visitors and volunteers issignificantly increasing. There are newly built rest areas andbenches, fully equipped meeting rooms and many more. You can find more pictures here:
  10. 10. How to find usOn the main road leading to the shelter you can find manydirection signs about the exact location of the place.
  11. 11. ImpressionsFrom the very beginning entering the shelter you will see recycledcar tires transformed into colorful flowerpots. The boring greywalls of the building are lively decorated with bright and playfulpaws. The logo of the shelter, created by friends, found its place onthe walls as well.
  12. 12. ImpressionsThe dogs are settled in extra built yard area coveringapproximately 100 square meters with houses, sheds andplaygrounds.
  13. 13. Impressions
  14. 14. Employees and facilitiesAll employees are wearing branded uniforms with the logo of theshelter. One of the rooms is fully equipped as a reception room forvisitors and volunteers who can comfortably take a cup of coffee ortea in the cold winter days. You can also see the new multimediaroom equipped with TV, audio and other electronic devices.
  15. 15. FacilitiesThe shelter aims to set up comfortable and decent atmosphere foreducational and training events bringing up better attitude towardsanimals and nature.
  16. 16. AdoptionFollowing the Dogs Trust model, the shelter has settled an areahelping the dogs to adapt before the adoption.
  17. 17. InternshipThe shelter attracts also veterinary medicine students which hasthe opportunity to make internships and educational practiceshere.
  18. 18. VolunteersThanks to volunteers a summer playground area for the catsnearby the main building was built.All the improvements, acquisitions and innovations are donated orbuilt by volunteers and friends of the shelter. You can see a CCTVinstalled, donated by generous citizens.
  19. 19. InformationAccording to the program of the Municipality of Ruse there arebrochures and other print materials being prepared for schoolsand kindergartens promoting the shelter activities.
  20. 20. EducationThere are educational and training programs organized to educatepeople in better and conscious attitude towards animals andnature, as well as ecological seminars and trainings in accordancewith the actions taken by the Regional educational inspectorate inRuse.The Municipality of Ruse took part in the initiative “Manager forone day” and invited five students from a local school toexperience one day as an employee of the dog shelter. Our traineeswere students from 10th grade of PGIU “Elias Canetti”.
  21. 21. EducationThe manager of the shelter Jenny Popova presented theproblems and challenges regarding homeless animals and theimportance of having a pet at home. The visit was part of theinformation campaign organized by the Municipality of Rusepresenting the methods for decreasing the population of homelessdogs and cats to the citizens of Ruse. The aim was to increase thepopularity of the castration, identification and control programs ofpets. A particularly important part of the improvement of theshelter was the newly built website where you can find presentations, pictures and other updates about theanimals and the adoption process.Find out more about the shelter at our website or at our Facebookpage.  www.animalruse.com
  22. 22. Thank you!