Moscow: Overrun Shelters, Abuse, and 30,000 Street Dogs

by Mary Haight on April 23, 2009

Life for Moscow dogs looks bleak, as Charlotte Lomis Farley reports for RT TV.  An animal activist, Emelia Nadin, managed to get the word out that members of the public are banned from entering one of the featured shelters.  Asking to adopt an animal leads to statements like “you don’t look trustworthy” or “you’re not a Moscow resident.”  The conditions are nightmarish, with dogs crammed in cages some sick, some dying, others already dead. Activists relate that shelters are paid $200 per animal per month regardless of the treatment of the animals, which leads to shelter personnel pocketing the money rather than caring for the animals.  No one can prove the case unless someone on the inside blows the whistle, not a likely event.

The government responded with comments that dogs are well cared for in the city shelter, citing that explicit regulations must be followed.  The city shelter governer had no idea conditions were “so different” at other shelters.

Street dog numbers are rising, estimated at 30,000 even with a spay/neuter sweep put in place.  The blame is being laid with irresponsible breeders who dump dogs, puppies, and kittens on the streets.  Given the numbers, it is surprising there is not more news of regular attacks on the general public.  There are 70 dog bite/attack reports filed per day!  Recently a 55-year-old man was attacked by a pack of wild dogs, savaging him causing a severe loss of blood leading to his death days later. (The “Russia Today” report is no longer available on the site).

There have been reports out of Mexico, India, and Italy of wild packs of dogs attacking people.  Russia says it’s because of irresponsible breeders.  Shelters in the US talk about people who, either through frustration or financial ruin, just open the door and let the dog or cat go.  I’ll keep an eye on this story, but if you have anything to add, please let me know.

(Video no longer available, updated 2/9/14)


  1. […] ideas on how to control this growth, bad things can happen. Note the continuing problems with Moscow’s strays, widely reported in 2009. Now, dogs are being poisoned by internet organized gangs of dog hunters […]

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