How we helped Smoky, Brulle, Lera and Nochka

Here are some of the animals we recently helped. Beautiful cats – Smoky and blue eyed Brulle. Both arrived at our partner shelter in Kaluga in a terrible state.

Brulle took a long time to recover but now that she is feeling good and looking sleek again, she is ready to find a new and loving home. All that was left was to neuter her before she could be put up for adoption, so we helped Brulle by paying for that.

Smoky is not very socialised and we paid for her sterilisation on a TNR (trap, neuter, release) basis. But life in the street is very dangerous. Shelters have no choice other than to release some animals back because the space at the shelter is so tight and there are so few adoptions. But, while Smoky was recovering from her sterilisation op, a nice family saw her at the shelter and fell in love with her. Smoky has a new home and is now very friendly!

There are also two sisters -dogs Lera and Nochka. They were rescued when they were still pups. They must have been treated so badly before - they still don't trust people fully. They are happy at the shelter and well looked after but we hope that one day they will be able to trust a human again. Meanwhile we paid for their sterilisation to avoid any accidents at the shelter and to prevent nasty illnesses.

Thank you!

How the World Cup Is Killing Russia’s Stray Dogs

Our founder, Natalia Chumak, spoke with K9 Magazine about the upcoming FIFA World Cup and the work to save Russia’s stray dogs ahead of the games.

Across Russia, animal rescuers are fighting to save as many of the country’s stray dogs as the launch of the FIFA World Cup 2018 nears and fears grow that tens of thousands of dogs will lose their lives.

Sadly, it’s not the first time this has happened.

Many will remember the athletes who visited Sochi for the Winter Games and were appalled at what was happening to the city’s stray dogs and shared stories, photos and even fostered or rehomed dogs rescued from the wide-scale culling authorised by the local government. US stars Ali Fedotowsky (The Bachelorette) and Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy) also got involved, saving and fostering dogs.

This time however, animal rescuers working in the country fear that what’s happening now is on a far greater scale than the stray dog culling that happened in Sochi because Russia’s World Cup will host international football games in 11 locations across the country, with most of their local authorities working towards a target number of dogs to be captured and culled.

The World Cup is both directly and indirectly causing dogs to lose lives because of how the government wants the country to be perceived on the world stage.

“There are 11 locations for the World Cup. There are local government targets for the culling of the dogs in most of these cities. Some of these targets are directly connected with the World Cup, some are not.

"Where they are not, in some places the municipal authorities are more intent on executing the culls and meeting the targets because of the World Cup,” Natalia Chumak, who is the Founder and Trustee of a UK registered animal welfare charity LAPA (Helping animals in Russia), told us.

In Sochi alone, Natalia understands that the local authority is looking to target 3,500 stray dogs, “Unfortunately, there is a lot of deliberate cruelty against animals in Russia.

“The society is very polarised - whilst the animal welfare movement continues to grow and there are some amazingly dedicated and brave people there helping the animals, there are also people who deliberately target animals and kill them in very sadistic ways.

“I think it is fair to say that the World Cup culls have encouraged some of these individuals to do even more harm to the animals because they can see that killing is permissible.”
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School Year 2018

We have great news for you today! School year 2018/2019 in Russia is officially over and we would like to share with you the results of our educational programme.

 325 lessons6243 children reached (schoolchildren, pre-school and students) 34 schools and other educational facilities: 4 kindergartens, 28 schools (state and private), 1 university and 1 library

Nyusya and Chernichka, the sisters

Today we would like to share a story of two sisters – Nyusya and Chernichka (which means Blueberry in Russian). They are community dogs. Until recently they were having a reasonable life in the street but looked after by people who had created a shelter for them and fed and vaccinated them regularly. However, there is now a spike in cruel culls of dogs in Russia. The imminent World Cup  has given the authorities and dog-hunting groups an excuse to start killing thousands of dogs. 

Our long-term partner, a rescue group "MART", based in Pushkino in the Moscow region heard that there were going to be culls in their area. Nyusya and Chernichka were under threat. So the volunteers rescued them from the street, put them in a foster facility and are now looking for a more permanent arrangement for them. Meanwhile, we paid for their sterilisation. We wish the girls luck and happiness!

Sterilisation for Yasya

Yasya was found as a stray. She saw one of our volunteers and decided that she would follow her. Good girl! Yasya was only about 6 months old when she was found. She was still a kid – naïve and trusting. The volunteer just could not leave her behind which is how Yasya found herself in a foster home.  We paid for her sterilisation so that she can be adopted safely.



LAPA's birthday!

Today is a very important and emotional day for us. It is LAPA’s 5th Birthday! We registered LAPA as a charity in the UK and started work on 1 March 2013. At the end of September 2016 we also registered LAPA as a charity in Russia.

We would like to celebrate our birthday by sharing with you the results of our work over this 5 year period.

We have sterilised 1,962 animals.

Sterilisation stories

Today is International Spay Day. We would like to share with you one of our sterilisation stories. It is very typical for Russia and we think it explains very well why our work must go on.

There is a pack of stray dogs living on an abandoned industrial estate in Moscow region. They are fed by an old lady. Recently a group of volunteers started helping her. But the money is really tight. The dogs keep breeding and the pups usually die. The volunteers asked us to help them with getting the dogs sterilised. At the time there were 3 females – one had just given birth and the other two were about to get pregnant.

We paid for sterilising all 3 dogs. One of them, Anjechka (pictured), was adopted whilst she was recouperating from her op at the vet clinic. A lady who brought her own dog for a check up saw Anja and fell in love with her.

While catching and arranging for the dogs to be sterilised, the volunteers found an abandoned sweet little cat who had an ear infection! They could not just leave her there…

The cost of sterilising all three dogs (including their stay at the clinic) was £176 (=$246) . We initially budgeted £189 (=$265) for that so we spent the change on paying for the treatment of the cat (pictured). The cat got quickly rehomed and the new owners were able to pay for her sterilisation themselves.

So a happy ending!

Thank you for helping us help them. Please continue to support us so that we can carry on with our important work.

LAPA took part at Family Pets Festival

We are SO pleased to report that our summer festival "Family pets" held in Kuzminki park in Moscow on Sunday was a GREAT SUCCESS. And the weather was sunny and warm!

Hundreds of people came to the event throughout the day and brought along their four-legged family members too! The pets and their humans had a great time playing with shelter dogs. The "cat corner" also saw a lot of visitors as the feline beauties from the shelter enjoyed the sun and the attention.

There were lots of activities on the day - something for everyone. Interactive lectures from a vet and a dog behaviourist for adult pet owners, master classes for kids on how to make gift cards and soft toys, drawing lessons for kids, face painting and an interactive show for all visitors.

There was also a chance for a photo shoot with huge inflatable CAT and DOG.

Our raffle and charity stall was very popular too and generated more than ***£500*** which was shared between municipal shelter "Pechatniki" and Russian LAPA. All the money will be spent on the animals.

The festival raised awareness about how the stray overpopulation issue can be resolved, it was informative for pet owners teaching people how best to look after their pets, it promoted to "Adopt from shelters, Don't Buy" principle which is so important and helped to educate people how to they can make a difference in a constructive and positive way as part of their every day lives.

 We are very grateful to the volunteers from the municipal shelter "Pechatniki" for arranging for the selected shelter animals - the stars of the show - to attend the festival and for looking after them so well. We also express our thanks to a "human" charity "Into the future" for partnering with us in organising this event. And of course to the sponsors "Rus-Invest" for covering the cost of putting the festival together. We are also grateful to the administration of Kuzminki park for agreeing to host this event and making everyone feel so welcome. We are also very grateful to everyone who donated their products to our charity stall including MARS (producers of Mars bars and owners of pet food brands Purina and Pedigree).

This was a big event for us but we feel it was worth the effort and we hope there will be other events like this in the future!

Kesha from Kaluga

Kesha was found on the streets of Kaluga – skinny, dirty and scared. He is a pedigree cat and obviously was a pet once.

The volunteers we work with put him in a foster home and started searching for his owners in case he had got lost. Noone came forward. We paid for his castration and he was then released but is being fed and looked after by the volunteers while they are hoping to find him a new home. They simply cannot afford to pay foster home fees indefinitely. We really hope he will find a new home soon and before the summer is over… He is such a lovely boy!