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Two years of assisting the Kharkov Municipality

Since signing an official Agreement with the Kharkov Municipality in 2013, the Municipal Stray Animal Manager, Julia Shapolova, has done an incredible job of raising welfare standards at her shelter.  Julia and her staff have now undergone the full training programme and are successfully reducing stray dog numbers in a humane and sustainable manner.

We had a very busy couple of years assisting the Kharkov Municipality:

  • We conducted stray dog counts to establish the true extent of the number of dogs roaming the streets.
  • We conducted inspections at the Kharkov Municipal Animal Shelter, providing a list of recommendations to raise welfare standards. 
  • We ran numerous training seminars and practical workshops at the Kharkov Municipal Animal Shelter, attended not only by Kharkov staff, but also staff from other Municipalities who were keen to learn.  Topics covered included: Shelter Management, Canine behaviour and body language, Cleaning and disease control, Safe and humane handling of dogs, Dog catching methodology, Safe and humane use of equipment.
  • We published a range of comprehensive training material that covers all elements of stray animal welfare in Russian and distributed them to municipal shelters across Ukraine.
  • We arranged for UK vets to attend the shelter veterinary clinic in order to train shelter vets on best practices.
  • We convinced the municipality to provide an annual budget towards a subsidised sterilisation programme for pet dogs in order to prevent unwanted litters of puppies that contribute to the stray dog population.
  • We assisted with a Kharkov public awareness campaign to teach responsible pet ownership, specifically the importance of not allowing pets to roam and breed freely.  Newspapers, TV, radio, billboards, lightscreens and underground advertising were all used.  This campaign continues today, thanks to additional city funding.

There isn’t much more we can teach the Kharkov Municipality, and we have therefore brought our work to an end.  It has been a pleasure to work with everyone at the Kharkov Municipal Animal Shelter and we wish them all the very best for the future. 

Please click here to see a letter of thanks from the Kharkov Municipality.

Naturewatch Foundation continues to fund a spay/neuter/vaccinate clinic in Kharkov available to low-income dog owners.  Community dogs are also welcomed into the project, with the permission of the community.  Find out more about this important initiative which is addressing the root cause of Ukraine’s stray dog problem.  Find out more