about every dog matters (EU)
unwanted animals anywhere
can have a hard life
in eastern europe, it is ten times worse
“As an Australian entrepreneur who first came to Bulgaria from London in 2007 and having lived in this part of the world since 2012, the general attitude towards animals in Eastern Europe that I have seen here is often shockingly cruel, uncaring and sometimes brutally violent.
Here, the poisoning of stray animals is very common, the abandonment of family pets because of moving home is very common, putting dogs on very short chains in yards for life for ‘home security’ is also very common and a general cruelty or utter disinterest in the wellbeing of any animal – dogs, cats, horses, donkeys etc – is the normal cultural habit here, despite most of Eastern Europe being a part of the EU now.
There is a minority of loving, decent people here – some of them work for Every Dog Matters – who try to help but many of those often find the situation overwhelming and their resources insufficient.
Every Dog Matters (EU) aims to permanently and completely reverse that situation.
With the help of you and WPX, we can do it – like we do right now finding loving forever homes for around 1,000 unwanted animals each year (we want to help thousands more).”
how will we fix it?
The overall ambition of Every Dog Matters (EU) is simple but the solutions to the complex, underlying issues are challenging.
On one level, our mission is to completely reverse the status of animal welfare in Bulgaria (firstly) then the rest of Eastern Europe to a point where the treatment of animals here is on a par or better than Western countries like Germany or Australia.
Within that strategic goal, we aspire to:
1. Free every single dog from horrific caged shelters in Bulgaria by 2025 (like the one below). These ‘shelters’ (more like concentration camps for dogs who didn’t do anything wrong) are usually desperately underfunded and apathetically unmanaged sites of extreme canine distress.
These medieval-style shelters – the normal model throughout Eastern Europe – are designed and run entirely for the convenience of lazy, incompetent and indifferent human beings, regardless of the terrible emotional toll on the animals housed there.
After 2025, Every Dog Matters should have several (as many as 8 initially, we have 1 being rebuilt now, negotiating on the 2nd now) new, very large, open, no-cage, safe-haven sanctuary sites across the country where dogs can happily roam freely on their way to loving forever homes locally or in other countries.
You, yes you, can make a positive contribution to that work here now, if you truly care about animals’ wellbeing, whatever country they exist in.
2. We also aspire to expand and maintain a highly organised, professional and consistent system for the successful adoption of unwanted Eastern European dogs and cats locally (less likely) or in Western European countries like Germany and the Netherlands (more likely) where we currently rehome about 1,000 Bulgarian dogs a year. We are in the process of recruiting and hiring our own staff in those countries to accelerate the scale of adoptions while still maintaining quality vetting and post-adoption checking procedures.
Ultimately though, successful adoptions – even on a huge scale – don’t solve the root of the problem, namely, there are far too many unwanted dogs and cats through pet owners who refuse to castrate/neuter their pets and then dump the offsping at the local shelter or on the street and that’s where the excessive numbers of unwanted animals come from.
That is where legislation, enforcement and long-term education matters – when it comes to ALL relevant animals, not just dogs.
3. Legislation, enforcement and long-term education.
In Eastern Europe, law enforcement can be a pretty elastic concept and getting police, even the so-called ‘Zoo Police’ (animal protection police), to act and intervene in obvious cases of cruelty, pet abandonment or animal mistreatment is inconsistent, to put it mildly.
We even hear reports of police in rural locations here actively involved in organised, illegal dog fights.
Ironically, countries like the Netherlands, to their eternal credit, have virtually eliminated their unwanted animal issues through a disciplined, committed, multi-pronged program with serious government intent.
What a shame then that other countries don’t adopt that model in their own countries and end needless suffering for many thousands or tens of thousands of animals there.
Imagine if one country had completely cured cancer and then other countries pigheadedly refused to copy that model because ‘that’s not how we do things around here’ (code for we’re too lazy and don’t give a damn).
So through education, changing some legislation and working to get more enforcement of existing laws, we strive to use these angles to make a massive impact.
In our view, destructive behaviour is entirely correctable IF a government is serious about enforcement of the laws. Imagine a dangerous road with a notorious history of deadly, speed-related accidents. Then if the government installed speed cameras every 100 metres there and patrolled it 24 hours a day, how long would it take for drivers to modify their dangerous behaviour? A week? A month? A day?
Fighting a lazy, ‘we don’t care’ mentality when it comes to enforcing existing animal protection laws in Bulgaria is one of our biggest challenges.
In Australia, if you cruelly abused an animal on the street, there would probably be 5 police cars there in 5 minutes and that sadistic idiot could expect significant jail time. In Eastern Europe, it’s very different – at the moment, we’re working on it.
Whatever you call it, it’s essential for managing animal populations and it’s just NOT a part of normal Eastern European culture. Yet.
Put simply, unwanted animal populations of dogs and cats can never be controlled without aggressive castration.
To that end, we have ongoing castration programs and castrate dogs and cats on a daily basis. However, we need to significantly expand that work AND work with local governments to introduce heavy taxes on uncastrated pet dogs.
Some municipalities are co-operative and ‘get it’. Others do not, at least not yet.
In our view, the best way to save an animal is to prevent it being born in the first place – an unwanted dog or cat can have a truly terrible and dangerous life, whether it’s stuck in a barbaric ‘shelter’ for life or living a perilous existence on the streets.
5. Leadership of the open, no-cage shelter movement.
When you consider the astonishing innovations in the world in the last 50 years, it’s staggering that our current solution for dog shelters generally is STILL to stick them in a tiny cage for life, or kill them within weeks if they don’t get adopted.
Instead, there is a much better way and it is proven to work.
The alternative is – as you will see with our own open, no-cage sites documented here:
– shelters built on large land plots
– dogs living in small groups in huge yards in outdoor kennels or small sheds
– this results in much healthier dogs, lowering medical expenses for their care
– and the dogs are much happier, better socialised and much more likely to be successfully adopted
To help any person or organisation across the world build or convert an open cage shelter where they are, we will document every aspect of our process on this website in fine detail (starting in late 2020, including video walkthroughs), a blueprint to learn from our mistakes, successes and discoveries and thereby hopefully speed up the creation of many more open, no cage shelters worldwide – and put a PERMANENT end to overcrowded shelter cages like this:
our Core Principles, Values & goals?
As an organisation, Every Dog Matters (EU):
– regards every case, adoption, emergency, situation, meeting, partnership and program as ‘practice’ to continually improve our work in the future
– is ‘obsessed’ with dog and cat castration programs i.e. the best way to save a dog is to stop it being born in the first place – an unwanted dog can have a terrible life
– believes that no animal or category of animal, e.g. pit bulls, ex-fighting dogs, disabled dogs, very old dogs, epileptic dogs or blind dogs, is ever refused help
– understands that when an animal is in trouble, we will act
– will ensure that our open, no-cage shelters are not meant to be forever homes for dogs/cats but if it turns out to be, its a pretty great place to live
– knows that the animal is the main stakeholder in everything we do i.e. the best outcome for the animal is the priority, not money
– understands that our work is bigger than any person or organisation we try to work with, should there be disputes or conflict
– fully realises that professionalism, integrity, honesty, hard work, communication and discretion are essential
– knows that we are never overwhelmed by horrible incidents, burnout, our mission or the human stupidity, corruption or shocking cruelty we often encounter
– thinks in every situation, ‘what more can we do to help this animal?’
– recognises that our starting point for thinking about any initiative is the desired end goal, not the cost
– understands that our shelters must be model examples of professionalism, organisation, animal care, cleanliness, maintenance, routine, hard work, efficiency, teamwork and good staff relations
– accepts that in our shelters, no animal group is neglected e.g. old dogs, aggressive dogs, pit bulls, puppies, disabled blind dogs etc
– all our wisdom, discoveries, practices and strategies are openly shared with the world on this website for others to use, stay tuned for more details on that
To contact the EveryDogMatters.eu team at WPX.net or reach Terry Kyle for interviews etc, please email via firstname.lastname@example.org