Shelter / Everyday Life / The Shelter

The Shelter

The shelter view from the next silo tower

Everything is simple here, no luxury. The Shelter, created in 2000 on the basis of an abandoned cow barn, has kept the exterior of every day life of a Ukrainian village due to the lack of funds and utilities (the Shelter is located far from the town). Firewood is used used for heating and food preparation. The summer enclosures for the dogs look abandoned at first sight. However, tall grass protects the animals from the scorching sun and creates special comfort. Do the dogs feel well here? The answer lies in their eyes and tails, along with shiny fur and satisfied appearance.

Strict frugality is the rule here, because, as life shows, expectations of significant help are usually in vain. The Shelter survives on small, oftentimes incidental, donations of kind people. These donations barely reach three-four thousand hryvna per month. Besides food for the animals, there are expenses for electricity, water, fuel, timely salary for the workers, veterinary payments, etc.

The old building of the Shelter needs constant renovations. The minor construction, such as roof repair, mending of chain link fencing for the enclosures, fixing existing and building new cages for the dogs, providing heating stoves for the cat premises, new rooms for quarantine, etc. – it is endless. The former cow barn obtained with time a “luxury” – plastic windows in the cat premises (for the sake of heat efficiency and health of the animals).

Today, the Shelter houses approximately seven hundred animals. These small creatures are victims of human indifference, and, oftentimes, cruelty. The city of three million inhabitants threw them out like useless garbage and does not wish to atone for its sin. Therefore, the care for these animals has been placed on the shoulders of the Seprinskiy family, who, at one point, had to mortgage their apartment in order to meet on time the challenging conditions for buying the building for the Shelter.

The only transportation of the Shelter is the own car of the Serpinskiys. It is used to bring food, firewood, construction materials and to transport animals. Asia Vilgelmivna uses public transportation to go about such challenging tasks as meetings with sponsors, negotiating discounts for food for the animals, and many others. She saves on fuel, but not her own health.

The Shelter upholds an open financial policy. The Head of the Kyiv Society for the Protection of Animals, Asia Serpinska, using her own example, is trying to prove to the authorities that it is more economically beneficial to run a shelter than catcher services.

The Shelter disproves the rumors that stray animals are dangerous, which are skillfully used by the authorities for the manipulation in media. The dogs that live outside the cages are not aggressive at all, moreover, they are friendly. The visitors can see for themselves by coming to the Shelter with good intentions and generous treats. The calm personalities of the animals are partially due to a biological factor – the sterilization.

A veterinary hospital, constructed in the summer of 2006, equipped with two operating rooms, several rehabilitation rooms and an infirmary, is a real object of pride in the Shelter, something that the Serpinskiy family has dreamed about for years. The animals undergo examinations and sterilizations in this hospital.

Unfortunately, the Kyiv Society for the Protection of Animals does not have the funds to conduct free sterilizations for domestic animals (it did take place at one point, but had proved to be too expensive). The small group of enthusiasts has already taken on too heavy of a burden, atoning the carelessness and cruelty towards animals that comes from the three-million city and nearby towns.