Cross-border projects are not just indicators, budgets, reports and payments. Although they are inseparable elements of every project, each project hides above all the specific ideas, values and dreams of people implementing them, as well as the stories of those who benefited from their implementation.
We want to bring some of them closer to you by the "Project stories" - the cycle which will present this more human (but also animal - as in the 1st episode) dimension of our selected projects. We invite you to read.
Distrustful glare. Black, sad eyes looking from behind bars. The neighbors are more fortunate - most of them have a chance for adoption. She has a faint chance - expecting her offspring. She was found in the forest, a few kilometers from the city. Despite the advertisements, no one came for her ... She is 3 years old and is called Prima - only recently, as this was the name given by the new keepers from "Kundelek" shelter in Rzeszów (Podkarpackie voivodeship, Poland). The little black female dog is slowly getting used to them, but like most dogs living here, she cannot get used to bars and concrete. Most often, they came here from warm houses and apartments, where there were windows, panes, balconies, and carpets. The members of the Rzeszów Animal Protection Association want to create the similar conditions.
These animals are not wild, they were brought up by man. There are different reasons they ended up in the shelter - they have strayed, lost or been abandoned by their people. So if a dog such as this will be here under home conditions, it will take on home habits, it will be eager to seek contact with people and would like to have them as his keepers. Man will eagerly take a dog like that. Nobody wants to take a difficult dog from the shelter - explains Halina Derwisz, president of the Association.
Thanks to the financial support of the European Union, under the Cross-border Cooperation Programme Poland-Belarus-Ukraine 2014-2020 (PL-BY-UA Programme) the project "Rzeszów and Vynohradiv - animal-friendly cities" will be implemented. In this project 35 internal boxes for the dogs of the shelter will be modernized, a veterinary surgery room will be constructed, equipment for treatment and sterilization will be purchased and a bathtub for washing animals will be built. A "chipping" action will also be organized, i.e. free implantation of 1000 free chips for pets, which in case of loss will make it easier to find. Owners of pets will be able to voluntarily submit them to this simple treatment, resembling an injection. The data from the chips will be entered to the national and European databases.
- As part of the project, 4 veterinary offices have agreed to conduct the free "chipping". These offices will perform the "chipping" and we will enter the data. We are also launching an informational campaign encouraging people to "chip" their animals - adds Katarzyna Pokrzywa, the project coordinator.
Similar activities will be carried out by the project leader, in the city of Vynohradiv in the Ukrainian Transcarpathia. A shelter with several boxes for animals will be built there. A veterinary clinic will also be established on site. Currently, the pet owners from this area, must travel several kilometres to the veterinarian. An informational campaign will also take place, and a group of 15 volunteers and veterinarians will receive training in Poland. The Ukrainian leader chose a Polish partner from among several candidates. Before making the decision, the project initiators visited such institutions in Lublin and Sanok. However, over 20 years of experience of the shelter in Rzeszów and its animal care system were recognized to be exemplary. Here, up to 96% of animals find a new owner. The Association organizes numerous actions: walks with dogsled by volunteers, the so-called “weekend adoptions”, educational activities for schools, online adoption office and many others. Thanks to these, the inhabitants of the region are eager to visit the shelter, and then take over the care of the chosen dogs. Because the care of homeless animals is the task of local governments, the shelter, on a daily basis, is maintained by the subsidies from the city of Rzeszów and agreements with neighboring municipalities. However, these funds would not be sufficient for the planned investments, therefore the PL-BY-UA Programme assistance is very valuable.