Hundreds of people have taken to the streets of over 50 Russian cities to protest against cruelty to stray animals as part of the “Russia without cruelty” campaign.
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A nation's level of awareness can be judged by how it treats its animals. This was Gandhi's view and I agree with it. How animals are treated is also a good indicator of a country's level of social development. A well organised national institution similar to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a MUST in any self-respecting country. Solid legislation must be put in place and the the tools for enforcing it. Rather than shooting feral and//or stray animals, a nationwide sterilisation campaign would be much better. Education is also important so that people do not abandon their animals when it suits them causing much suffering all around. Most countries now also have organisations dedicated to rehoming animals. As I am sure there are many people who would like to support such an initiative, there is no reason why such groups should not flourish in Russia too.
I certainly hope that a humane way will be found to set in motion all the necessary tools. In Spain there was a similar problem - possibly much worse - but pressure from the people has led to government and local authorities taking action and supporting private initiatives to deal with this issue. The situation is far from perfect here but the progress made in the last ten years has been enormous, so it can be done.
I agree with both sides on this issue. I wrote before on a similar story. The stray animals, especially the dogs, become very dangerous. Even I, walking home from work one day was approached by a pack of street dogs. They turned violent and all started barking and biting at me. I understand they were hungry and when the lead dog became angry the rest followed. These dogs even just fixed will still be dangerous. However, they still deserve respect. In that case, I believe Russia does need a better animal control or Humane Society that takes care of animals. As for PeTa, it is a hypocritical organization, I am sure there are good hearted members, but I have no desire for such a group in Russia.
Every Spring, I see more puppies, they play my heart strings and I always want to take more animals in, but I can't. I do take care of the feral cats that live near our home. One walks me home everyday and I always keep him well fed. So do the grandmas. Hopefully, in the end a governmental organization that looks after the welfare of animals will be created. One that works and one that also prevents strays from being a danger to people. Just because one person let their dog loose, isn't the guilt of a traveler who is killed by the stay hungry dogs. Don't believe it happens, search the news.
It seems that in this one regard, Russia lags behind the United States. Here in the US we also have problems with cruelty to animals, but we
have a few organizations that work to alleviate the problem; notably the Humane Society, which stresses primarily spaying and neutering
of cats and dogs, and which takes in strays and puts them up for adoption; and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)
which serves a similar function, and mounts a public relations campaign to educate the public about the issue of animal abuse. Both of these
groups are active nationwide. We also have PeTA, a non profit private group which is quite influential and helpful in both raising awareness
and taking direct actions to combat cases of cruelty they discover.
I applaud the efforts of Russian citizens in their protests against the mistreatment of strays in your country, and I hope your fight will result in a national movement to better the conditions for animals in Russia.
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