The Karelian animal welfare organization First Shelter exists since 1991 and is the oldest organized group of volunteers that helps animals in the region. Petrozavodsk became one of the first Russian cities where Forgotten Animals began its activity. In 2011, together with the foundation, the First Community shelter for animals opened its doors in Petrozavodsk, which today remains one of the largest and the most successful and efficient in the region. At the same time, the shelter is a temporary home for up to 150 dogs and 70 cats. Our amazing volunteers rescue, treat, spay and neuter and adapt abandoned animals and carefully select their new owners. Since day 1, more than 3000 dogs and cats were lucky to find a new loving home thanks to our tireless and creative volunteers! Thanks to our Subsidized Neutering Programme, over 400 owned and homeless animals were spayed and neuteres in the city and another very large Neutering and Social advertising project is on its way.
In addition to directly helping animals, the group is actively engaged in working with the local community. So called “Kindness Lessons” and contests related to such issues as Responsible and Humane treatment of animals are constantly organized in local schools and kindergartens. Some of the shelter dogs also take part in canis therapy with children with disabilities.
In the frame of our Animal Legislation work the first ever regional law on humane catching and keeping of stray animals was introduces in 2013. We are actively working with local administration in promoting the integrated programme to solve stray animal problem in the region. Our local volunteers also contribute to the development of animal welfare organizations and shelters in other cities of Karelia (Suoyarvi, Medvezhyegorsk, Kostomuksha, Kondopoga, etc.), providing informational, organizational and, when possible, financial support.