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EveryDogMatters.eu is WPX Hosting’s broad 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 arguably the world’s largest customer reviews site, Trustpilot.com, WPX Hosting is also the #1 most trusted Web hosting company out of 205 hosting services reviewed there. 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 5 cats at home (7 of 8 were homeless when adopted), is absolutely committed to WPX Hosting making a massive impact – even 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.

Terry Kyle with the lovable rascal, ‘Paco’, from the country’s largest dog shelter: 1,500+ dogs.
Dogs like Paco here are lucky to get ONE 20-minute walk a MONTH outside their small cages. 

Here’s the cage where Paco spends most of his life alone (he desperately loves human company):

EveryDogMatters.eu (by WPX Hosting) involves the various past and present initiatives below to find 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) & Bonus Material:

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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 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 newly appointed 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, we have 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:

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Initiative 2: Daily Food 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, 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.

During 2018, another NGO, Foundation Soul For Animals, took over the work at Kremikovtsi and WPX continued its full financial support of this project.

In 2019, the most easily adoptable of these Kremikovtsi dogs will be moved to ‘WPX Park’ for adoption – see Initiative #4 below.

Despite growing up basically wild, many of these hundreds of Kremikovtsi dogs are surprisingly friendly with people, well socialized and well behaved. 

They should make excellent human companions, when given the chance. 

We will document their journeys in 2019 and beyond here on this website.

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Initiative 3: Employing A National Dog Adoption Manager To Boost Adoptions Since May 2019:

Given the often chaotic and mismanaged state of shelter adoptions here, WPX Hosting employed a full-time National Dog Adoption Manager from May 1 2019.

Working with several shelters across the country including Veliki Preslav above, her main responsibility is to professionalize, systematize and co-ordinate the whole dog adoption process in order for a LOT more dogs in shelters to be relocated to great homes from now on.

She is a WPX employee, is based in WPX HQ and works under the supervision of Terry Kyle, not any government official or particular facility.

Many of these 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 post-adoption checking process.

Local adoption is more problematic here as general attitudes to dogs are not very positive in Eastern Europe.

In Year 1 (2019), her goal is to complete at least 100 successful adoptions per month by the end of the year. That number should be considerably higher in Year 2 based on the experience and relationships gained in Year 1.

Achieving 100-200 successful adoptions per month would make a huge impact on the shelter dog situation here very quickly.

To summarize, her 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 severely malnourished but super-friendly young female living under a bridge that Terry found on a recent holiday in April 2019 (she is getting proper care now from WPX’s partners) – he named her ‘Jenny’: 

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Initiative 4: Buying Land & Building A New No-Cage Dog Shelter - 'WPX Park' - in 2019:

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 2019 purchase of agricultural land within 50 km of the capital, Sofia, where WPX is headquartered and the construction of a temporary 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 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 pens, the facility will also have a large fenced and gated play area, at least the size of a football/soccer field for daily play of 1 hour 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

If WPX Park 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 the dogs that WPX extracts from shelters will:

– enjoy a non-cage lifestyle involving daily play, with other dogs and people
– 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 (or our partner vet clinic), 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 about 20,000 m2 or roughly 5 acres for WPX Park and we expect that the capacity in Stage 1 of WPX Park will be around 100-200 dogs.

Hopefully we can have the land bought, facility built and taking dogs in by the end of 2019.

The other important goal of WPX Park 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 anyone 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:

  • Facilities/land/waste/utilities/vehicles
  • Security (animal haters try crazy sh*t at dog shelters)
  • Staff/volunteers 
  • Adoption
  • Medical
  • Supplies inc food
  • Govt liaison/legal compliance
  • Marketing/PR/Web
  • Funding continuity
  • Dog supervision (many sub-categories here)
  • Expansion

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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.

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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: Building Another New Dog Play Area In Country's Largest Dog Shelter in May 2019:

In May 2019, WPX will build an additional play area for the shelter dogs at Bogrov to get more free running time out of their cages.

Back in November 2017, WPX added 2 new play areas at Bogrov (see here) though those were converted to ‘retirement homes’ for the most elderly dogs at the shelter.

With this new play area, Bogrov will have 3 in total which means more dogs out of cages for play, especially on Sundays when the volunteers come to walk dogs. 

We will add more photos here when construction is complete.

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)
– exercise
– consistent rules

Here is how the WPX dogs often spend 2-3 hours in the morning before work 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).

Essentially the optimal formula for maximum impact in Eastern Europe looks like this (the model is under constant review for increased efficiency):

INSERT FLOWCHART DIAGRAM HERE

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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.

 

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Contact Us Here:

To contact the EveryDogMatters.eu team at WPX Hosting or reach Terry Kyle for interviews etc, please email via contact@everydogmatters.eu