“She lives alone in a cage with no contact. She is terrified of people,” says Katerina Ublinskaya about the terrified dog Pusha who lives in a cage at the animal shelter Slavjanskoe in the city of Kaliningrad in Russia.
December last year, shelter director Ublinskaya and her team rescued Pusha from a woman who kept 30 dogs in a tiny house. The house was dirty and the dogs never went outside. “She’s had a very difficult life before getting to us. She is afraid of people,” she says. “Pusha is about three years old.”
The shelter was opened in 1997 to help stray animals in the city. “We try to give animals a new home. Over the past years, more than 2000 dogs have found a home. But there are always dogs that will stay with us until the end of days,” Ublinskaya tells The Animal Reader.
Some of the dogs find new homes relatively quickly. But the sick and old dogs are likely to be stuck at the shelter for the rest of their lives.
Pusha is a young dog. But because she’s not socialized and extremely scared of people, she hasn’t been adopted in over six months. All this time, she’s been living in a cage.
With a lot of love and patience, Pusha could start trusting people and become less scared. “Perhaps with more frequent contact and life in other conditions, it will become better,” Ublinskaya says.
But the shelter doesn’t have enough people to train and socialize dogs. At the moment, the shelter has only one person a day to take care of 224 dogs.
Conditions are bad
“The dogs stay in small cages and there are not enough people to take them for walks,” Ublinskaya says. “Conditions are bad. We are trying to correct the situation on our own.”
The shelter lives from donations and the revenue of a small shop near the shelter. For 224 dogs, they need 100 kilograms of food a day. And they want to rebuild the shelter so they can have bigger cages for the dogs. It’s a very old building where the dogs stay now.
There are 20 dogs like Pusha that are not socialized and live in small cages at the shelter. These dogs need a lot of love and care to be able to live a healthy life. The shelter needs help to find them homes.
This video was made by Reuters at the shelter in April. Pusha is the dog you see at the beginning.
The extremely dirty house Pusha was rescued from:
HOW TO HELP:
20 dogs need to be adopted as soon as possible. They need to go to a home where people have a lot of patience to socialize the dogs. International adoptions are possible. Contact the shelter if you want to help.
The shelter needs food and medical supplies. There are different ways to donate.