LAPA was founded by Natalia Chumak, who is a Russian living in the UK. We started work on 1 March 2013.
At first LAPA was working in Russia through a group of volunteers but at the end of September 2016 we registered a separate charity in Russia also called LAPA. As a result, our structure was like this: LAPA UK (as a fundraising vehicle outside Russia) and LAPA Russia (working on the ground in Russia).
In the first 5 years of our work we focused primarily on neutering of stray and rescued animals and on education of children about responsible pet ownership.
In that time we paid for the neutering of 1,962 animals – 898 cats and 1,064 dogs. This means that not only we helped these animals but we also prevented the birth of tens of thousands of pups and kittens who no one wants and who are born and die suffering terribly.
We created bespoke educational programmes for children of all ages on responsible and safe treatment of animals. In the first 5 years of our work we conducted our lessons in schools for 10,426 children in over 50 schools and educational facilities in Moscow and Moscow region.
Other projects included a rescue of 18 abandoned pups in Sochi during the Sochi Winter Olympic dog culls in 2014. In partnership with ARNI Foundation, a no-kill shelter in Florida, we shipped all the pups to ARNI and all of them were successfully rehomed.
We also organised a number of events both in the UK and in Russia which focussed on raising awareness about the plight of stray animals in Russia and how to change things for the better.
In June 2018 we joined forces with another Russian animal welfare charity called RAY which is based in Moscow. LAPA Russia merged with RAY into one entity – RAY. LAPA UK continues its fundraising role outside Russia as before.
Our founder Natalia Chumak became a member of RAY’s Charity Council. What this merger means is that LAPA and RAY have become one team. This means that we have pulled together our resources, programmes, ideas and efforts, so that we can achieve more together and help more animals.