Create an account

Opening an account with Naturewatch allows you to buy items from our online shop.

Member Type:

Join the Naturewatch mailing list
Be kept informed of events, campaigns and news.
We will never send you spam or share your details.

Not got an account?   Register here Login
Return to login Forgot password?

Stray animal management training in Lutsk

Since first visiting Lutsk in October 2014 and meeting with Dana Novarchuk and her team, we have been seeking to arrange training to improve animal welfare practices in the city.

As you may be aware, Dana Novarchuk is the leading animal campaigner in Lutsk. She heads the ‘Volyn Society for Protection of Animals’ and runs the Laska animal rescue shelter. Dana works with the city to control the stray animals in Lutsk.

In May 2016, we called upon our reserve funds in order to send our stray control expert, Mr Brian Faulkner, to Lutsk to conduct a six-day training programme. Natalie Sorokopud, one of our Ukraine representatives, translated for Mr Faulkner. If you would like to make a donation towards this initiative we’d love to hear from you. Make a Donation

The training was attended by 13 people: 7 Laska employees, 2 volunteers from Kriviy Rig, 1 delegate from Poltava, 2 municipality workers from Melitopol and the Deputy Mayor from Khmelnitsky. They all participated fully throughout the programme and can now use the catching equipment reasonably confidently.

The six-day programme was organised as follows:

  • 3-day workshop to cover the basics such as safe and correct animal handling techniques, the safe operation of humane catching equipment, various humane stray control methods - the positives and negatives of each – making it clear that chemical capture is the last resort. The 3 days comprised of 1 day of instruction and presentations which was conducted at the City Hall, 1 day practical for safe handling within the confines of the Laska animal shelter, and then 1 day practical in a field situation.  
  • 2-day workshop to cover shelter management comprising 1 day of presentations which was held at the City Hall and 1 practical day at the Laska shelter. Mr Faulkner used this opportunity to make recommendations for improvements at the shelter.     
  • 1-day workshop on dog aggression and what triggers aggressive responses in dogs.  Socialisation of aggressive dogs was discussed in order to stress how difficult and high risk this can be. 

Click here to see more pictures from the Lutsk training 

 Presentation Videos

  1. Dog catching and handling
  2. Shelter Management  
  3. Dog Population Survey

Humane Dog Catching Equipment

Although the shelter normally uses the catchpoles (graspers) already provided by Naturewatch Foundation, we purchased two additional items of equipment for Mr Faulkner to take with him as they were needed in order to conduct the full training.

1.   Catch Net (fabric net with closure mechanism and fixed pole)
2.   Nimrod Animal Catcher (snap-action animal catcher with flexible rod handle)

At the end of the week, Natalie gifted the new equipment to the Laska team on behalf of Naturewatch Foundation.  They were delighted and the net has already helped to catch one of the dogs they’ve been trying to get for several weeks!

Meeting with the Mayor of Lutsk


During the visit, the opportunity was taken to meet with the Mayor of Lutsk to discuss the ongoing support being provided by Naturewatch Foundation.

In October 2014, a Co-operation Agreement was signed between Lutsk City Council and Naturewatch Foundation, paving the way for us to oversee the implementation of a humane stray control programme for the city.

Media coverage

Mr Faulkner’s visit was also a great help to Laska in terms of PR, because they still have problems with the older generation who perceive everyone who catches dogs as cruel killers. During the week interviews were conducted with many journalists resulting in a huge amount of media - coverage talking about the positive impact of Laska.


Dog Population Survey

During the week, with the help of Laska employees, volunteers and university students, Natalie organised a second dog population survey in the central city area (the first one was conducted in April 2015).  Prior to the dog count, all teams had attended Mr Faulkner’s presentation about Dog Population Surveys during which he talked about the methodology and gave tips for counting dogs.  In April 2015 the count found 677 stray dogs and in May 2016 this number had reduced by roughly 50% to 370 dogs. Great news and what we would have expected of course!


As mentioned above, we used all the funds we raised for this campaign in order to conduct this 6-day training programme and so if you would like to make a donation towards it we’d love to hear from you.
Make a Donation Today

At the end of the training in Lutsk, Brian Faulkner and Natalie drove to the city of Lviv to conduct a one-day seminar for the city’s municipal workers and the dog catchers in the small towns within the region. 

We provide realistic and unbiased advice in the form of training courses and practical workshops aimed at everyone working within stray animal management.  Our programmes are endorsed by the largest animal welfare organisations in the world and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OiE), which is the competent international authority on any animal welfare matters.