EveryDogMatters.eu is WPX Hosting’s project to transform the lives of thousands of homeless and shelter dogs and cats in Eastern Europe.
WPX Hosting is, according to independent testing by the influential blogger Matthew Woodward, “the fastest WordPress hosting company in the world“.
And on Kevin Ohashi’s independent 2019 WordPress hosting tests on ReviewSignal.com, he called WPX’s performance, “spectacular“, winning ‘Top Tier’ status in all 3 entered categories.
WPX co-founding Australian CEO, Terry Kyle, who has 3 dogs and 7 cats at home (9 of 10 were homeless when adopted), is absolutely committed to WPX Hosting making a massive impact – a permanent impact – on the quality of life of (tens of) thousands of homeless/shelter dogs and cats in Eastern Europe, particularly by finding them great forever homes with loving owners.
EveryDogMatters.eu (by WPX Hosting) involves the various past and present initiatives below, including finding great forever homes for thousands of dogs like Paco.
Hopefully the work of WPX Hosting with homeless/shelter dogs and cats will inspire you to help our most vulnerable canine/feline friends more too!
WPX Hosting Doggie & Kittycat Initiatives (So Far)
- Initiative 1: Full Financial Sponsorship Of Veliki Preslav Private Shelter Since April 2019
- Initiative 2: Daily Food For 350+ Homeless Dogs Since November 2016
- Initiative 3: Employing Full Time ‘Dog Rescue Heroes’ To Boost Adoptions, Manage Castration Programs, Save Dogs From Desperate Situations & Run Education Campaigns
- Initiative 4: Buying Land & Building A New No-Cage Dog Shelter
- Initiative 5: Photo Exhibition Of Shelter Dogs In City Center To Promote Adoptions in 2017
- Initiative 6: Building 2 New Dog Play Areas In Country’s Largest Dog Shelter in November 2017
- Initiative 7: Rebuilding Broken Facilities In Slatina Puppy Shelter In Sofia June/July 2019
- Initiative 8: Why No-Cage Animal Shelters Are The Future & How To Build One
- Initiative 9: Medical/Situational Emergencies
- Initiative 10: Castration Projects Across Country (details soon)
- Castration – Why It Matters
Initiative 1: Full Financial Sponsorship Of Veliki Preslav Private Shelter Since April 2019
Veliki Preslav is a town of about 12,500 people and has just one – desperately underfunded – private animal shelter for that area.
It is about 500 kilometers from the capital where WPX is headquartered.
The Veliki Preslav shelter has been run by one woman, Vania Dimova, for the last 10 years. She works every day of the week for basically no pay.
The shelter currently holds about 120 dogs and 30 cats.
As the town is pretty hostile to homeless and shelter animals, she has endured a lot of abuse over many years to help vulnerable animals there.
Local police have no interest whatsoever in enforcing animal cruelty laws against offenders or defending the shelter from troublemakers.
In 2019, the financial situation of the Veliki Preslav shelter became dire and shutting down seemed inevitable.
Should the facility have to close, the animals in the shelter would likely be released on to the streets where most would probably die from a lack of sufficient food in an unfamiliar environment or be poisoned by the local animal-haters.
When word of their situation reached WPX, Terry Kyle visited the shelter in April 2019 and committed to:
[a] fully funding all their ongoing costs of food, medical care and facilities improvement, and,
[b] building a completely new no-cage shelter outside the town for use from January 2020 onwards, in a 10-year partnership with the local council.
You can read about WPX’s commitment to no-cage animal shelters here.
WPX Hosting’s Dog Adoption Manager (see Initiative #3 below) will also take over responsibility for finding great homes for the adoptable animals of the Veliki Preslav shelter, to further reduce the load on the facility.
Additionally, Every Dog Matters has also funded the construction of a large new cat house in the Veliki Preslav shelter, separate from the normal shelter financing, a small side project for our cat pals there:
in addition to a lot of general facilities fixups where many things were broken:
Initiative 2: Daily Food/Medicine/Castration For 350+ Homeless Dogs Since November 2016
In November 2016, a local NGO (the Dana Foundation) dedicated to homeless dog welfare, approached Terry Kyle about an abandoned site near the capital where some 350+ homeless dogs live: Kremikovtsi, a 25 km2 Communist-era industrial wasteland:
Unlike a residential area where homeless dogs can survive on food from local people and trash, Kremikovtsi has no such ‘advantage’ for these dogs.
Due to a lack of funding at that time, Dana Foundation could only afford to feed the dogs twice a week and winter was approaching quickly.
In winter, stray dogs living on the streets need 25-30% more food to maintain body heat than they do in warmer months.
Here, winter temperatures can reach minus 25 degrees celsius.
Terry immediately agreed to help and from that day onwards, WPX Hosting has been fully funding daily feeding for these 350+ dogs.
Around August 2017, Dana Foundation’s ancient food delivery vehicle for Kremikovtsi finally died so WPX Hosting immediately replaced it.
In late 2019, Every Dog Matters took over direct control of feeding, castrating and the medical case management of homeless dogs at Kremikovtsi.
Despite growing up basically wild, many of these Kremikovtsi dogs are surprisingly friendly with people, well socialized and well behaved.
They should make excellent human companions, when given the chance.
Initiative 3: Employing Full Time 'Dog Rescue Heroes' To Boost Adoptions, Manage Castration Programs, Save Dogs From Desperate Situations & Run Education Campaigns
Given the often chaotic and mismanaged state of shelter adoptions here, WPX Hosting began employing its own full-time and part-time dog foundation staff in May 2019.
Currently, Every Dog Matters EU employs seven full-time and part-time staff to execute the foundation’s animal welfare programs.
Working with several shelters across the country including Veliki Preslav above, their main responsibility is to professionalize, systematize and co-ordinate our animal welfare projects across the country, including managing the whole dog adoption process in order for a LOT more dogs in shelters to be relocated to great homes.
Our Dog Rescue Heroes are WPX employees, based in WPX HQ and work under the supervision of Terry Kyle, not any government official or particular facility.
Many of these forgotten shelter dogs will be adopted by owners in Germany, the Netherlands, France, the UK and Switzerland while some will be adopted locally, after the potential owners go through an interview and checking process.
Local adoption is more problematic here as general attitudes to dogs are not very positive in Eastern Europe.
To summarize, their work involves:
– Visiting co-operating animal shelters across the country and documenting the most adoptable dogs in each with videos, photos, medical history, weight/height measurements and personality assessment
– Then liaising with foreign NGO partners about which of these are the most adoptable in terms of size, look, temperament, energy level, behavioral issues, any medical conditions e.g. epilepsy
– Co-ordinating Facebook ad campaigns (fully paid for by WPX) in those countries for each dog to attract potential adopters that the NGOs would then interview for suitability
– Organizing all aspects of dog transport to our foreign NGO partners and relocation to the temporary facility at WPX Park (when built, see Initiative 4 below) if required
– Acquiring new foreign NGO partners to expand our adoption network across Europe
– Organizing castrations for homeless dogs when encountered who have not been castrated (see more on Castration – Why It Matters below)
– Co-ordinating emergency help for vulnerable dogs or cats whenever discovered, like this street dog, Sara, who had been hit by a car and urgently required medical help, paid for by Every Dog Matters:
Initiative 4: Buying Land & Building A New No-Cage Dog Shelter - 'WPX Park 1'
The medium to longer term plan for WPX is to have our own no-cage dog shelters (read more about those here) where there is an obvious need and where we are not working in partnership with existing (usually cage) shelters.
Our first step into this area is through the purchase of agricultural land and the construction of a large no-cage shelter there, based on our specifications, namely:
– dogs will be housed in large open pens populated with small ‘dog houses’ capable of sheltering 2 dogs at once, for additional warmth in winter (temps can reach minus 25 in winter here)
– these huge pens will be fenced off from each other and the fencing type will be such that dogs cannot act out aggressively towards dogs in adjacent cages (biting the tail of a dog in an adjoining cage is a common problem in older shelters where the gaps in the fencing between cages is too big – stupid but true) e.g. bad fencing between cages asking for trouble:
and what much better fencing looks like – gaps-wise (outside fences should also be 1.5 meters high at a minimum, 1 meter is easy to jump for some dogs):
– apart from the large yards, the facility will also have big fenced and gated play areas, accessible by rear gates from each dog yard, at least the size of a football/soccer field for daily play of 1-2 hours minimum for each pen. This area will also have some variation of landscape such as tiny hills.
– the facility is not intended as the forever home for dogs there but rather as a temporary transition home. However, if it turns out to be a forever home for a dog, it’s still a pretty good home, with a lot of human affection and interaction.
If WPX Park 1 Is Not A Long-Term Home For Dogs, Why Is It Even There?
Even very adoptable dogs in shelters can benefit from more socialization with other dogs and people in a different environment.
In short, at WPX Park 1 the dogs that WPX extracts from shelters will:
– enjoy a non-cage lifestyle in a very large yard, get daily play, socialize with other dogs and people
– enjoy a daily ‘pack walk’ in the surrounding countryside
– potentially get much better socialized for normal life as a pet with a loving owner
– undo some of the negative behavioral issues that long term caged life can cause
– get properly washed and basic grooming
– get a full assessment of their medical condition before they reach their forever home so that
[a] they can be dealt with first at WPX Park 1 (or one of our partner vet clinics), and,
[b] the future owner knows exactly what to expect with a particular animal e.g. partial blindness, epilepsy, diabetes etc
At present, we are looking for a site of 100,000+ m2 for WPX Park 1 and we expect that the capacity in Stage 1 of WPX Park 1 will be around 300-400 dogs.
The other important goal of WPX Park 1 is to document every aspect of our experience in building, running and expanding a no-cage shelter on this website (everydogmatters.eu) in order to provide a ‘how to’ blueprint for any person or any organization across the world to build their own no-cage shelter or convert an existing cage shelter to no-cage.
We will document in detail exactly what works, what doesn’t and crucial details to get right for the successful management of a no-cage dog shelter.
Such management and responsibilities need to cover:
- Security (animal haters try crazy sh*t at dog shelters)
- Supplies inc food
- Govt liaison/legal compliance
- Funding continuity
- Dog supervision (many sub-categories here)
Initiative 5: Photo Exhibition Of Shelter Dogs In City Center To Promote Adoptions in August 2017
To promote the adoption of dogs from the country’s largest (cage) dog shelter (1,500+ dogs), WPX booked a busy park in the Sofia city center for 4 weeks in August 2017 and commissioned a professional photographer to get close-up images of 22 very adoptable shelter dogs. Several dogs were adopted from the shelter as a result:
Sadly, this dog below was one of Terry’s favorites and he walked her often, ‘Ira’, a sweet gentle giant, was not adopted from the exhibition and died from liver trouble in 2018.
Initiative 6: Building 2 New Dog Play Areas In Country's Largest Dog Shelter in November 2017
For the last few years, volunteers, including Terry Kyle, have been giving up their Sundays to walk the dogs at the country’s largest (cage) shelter: Bogrov.
This Sofia government facility houses 1,500+ dogs and due to the large number of dogs and comparatively small number of volunteers, most dogs there are lucky to get just one 20-minute walk a month and extra play areas where they can briefly run around off-leash is crucial.
Built in November 2017 by WPX, the shelter had to convert these play areas to permanent dog accommodation in 2018 for the elderly dogs of the shelter i.e. they became the ‘retirement homes’ for the oldest dogs.
Initiative 7: Rebuilding Broken Facilities In Slatina Puppy Shelter In Sofia June/July 2019
Slatina puppy shelter in Sofia is mainly for puppies though there are older dogs in this largely neglected facility:
In June and July 2019, the builder for Every Dog Matters repaired different parts of the facility including shading, fencing, broken rear steps and rubbish clearance.
For now, that facilities work is complete though Every Dog Matters will continue to provide cleaning equipment, materials and some medicines on an ongoing monthly basis.
Initiative 8: Why No-Cage Animal Shelters Are The Future & How To Build One
Though opinions can vary wildly, Terry Kyle’s view is that most dogs have a fundamental need for:
– human company & affection (read mindblowing facts on that here)
– regular social contact with other dogs
– sniffing, lots of sniffing
– exploring new outdoor areas, off-leash
– play (with other dogs or humans)
– consistent rules
Here is how the WPX dogs often spend 2-3 hours in the morning before work during winter most days at WPX HQ (they are with Terry almost all the time, at work and at home):
but when a dog lives in a cage like this in a shelter (this is the wonderful Paco from the very top image on this page, remember him?):
she/he is denied these fundamental needs for a healthy emotional and physical state.
Dogs living like this will often get very depressed, can become aggressive towards people and other dogs, are much more likely to get sick and are basically lifelong prisoners in solitary confinement.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way and WPX wants to contribute to the worldwide movement towards no-cage shelters where most of the above dog needs are met (preferably without the concrete paving, shown below):
However important for the wellbeing of the dogs, a no-cage shelter is only one part of the equation and is not the intended final destination for most of these dogs.
What is also critical is a professional, highly organized, consistent, well-tuned, well-funded, well-marketed process of connecting adoptable shelter dogs with good potential owners.
That’s the whole reason why WPX has employed its own National Dog Adoption Manager (read more on that here).
Initiative 9: Medical/Situational Emergencies
Dogs and cats living on the street can get into trouble e.g. getting hit by cars, abandoned by uncaring owners, left on a chain on a construction site without food or water.
In these situations, it is often Every Dog Matters that helps.
For example, some of the cases include, from our ongoing work (feeding, castrations, adoptions, medical care) at the ex-industrial site, Kremikovtsi, we rescued these puppies in January 2020:
and successfully relocated these other pups from Kremikovtsi to Germany in January 2020 who will soon be in their forever loving homes there:
and covered the majority of the medical expenses for this stray dog, Sara, hit by a car:
and we are covering the ongoing dog hotel costs of these awesome dogs, Archie and Barry, while we find loving homes for them:
and these pups dumped at the Kremikovtsi industrial site on January 20, 2020 – they would have probably been quickly killed by established adult dogs in the area if not extracted immediately, which we did:
Castration - Why It Matters
Unlike some Western countries where shelter dogs are quickly euthanized (is that really the best solution the human race that sends rockets to Mars can come up with?), that is illegal here and castration/neutering is the main way that homeless dog/cat numbers are managed.
But there’s a problem.
Most homeless dogs here have already been castrated through the work of the government and NGOs like Four Paws.
But many pets here are not castrated due to dumb widespread myths/beliefs like:
– castration takes away the spirit/soul of the animal
– female dogs will be healthier if they have one litter of pups and then get castrated (which is then rarely done)
– other male dogs will think my male dog is a female if he is castrated
– castration is expensive (clinics do it for free here)
– the government can’t tell me what to do (i.e. castrate my dog)
The result is that uncastrated pet dogs inevitably create many more puppies and then these irresponsible owners dump the unwanted puppies at the local, already-overcrowded shelter and let the shelter deal with the problem.
Even after dumping the unwanted puppies, these irresponsible owners don’t castrate their dogs!
At one shelter of about 400 dogs here last summer, the shelter staff arrived one July morning to find over 50 unwanted new puppies dumped at their gates.
And that was just one day!
Over the course of the warmer months, hundreds of unwanted puppies get continually dumped at shelters by pet owners whose uncastrated dogs keep producing more puppies.
Eastern Europe already has far too many homeless/shelter dogs and without an ongoing program of massive (free) neutering, the numbers will only rise.
Contact Us Here
To contact the EveryDogMatters.eu team at WPX Hosting or reach Terry Kyle for interviews etc, please email via firstname.lastname@example.org