D.O.G. operates a no-kill shelter. Located near Lisi Lake, Tbilisi, our shelter currently houses around 30-35 canine guests of various shapes, sizes and ages, rescued from the streets in hope of finding homes for them.
Despite its basic facilities, as far as possible D.O.G.has always striven to apply high standards – all new arrivals are housed in quarantine rooms, receive a veterinary check, a complete de-parasite and vaccination programme and are sterilised. The shelter dogs are healthy, happy and socialised thanks to regular interaction with humans and daily exercise.
To avoid overcrowding, we place a maximum of two dogs per kennel, and we provide two large exercise pens, equipped with environment enriching toys, so they could socialize in groups and play with our volunteers. In August 2019 our organization has won an application to open a fully functioning veterinary room, to allow on-site treatment for our residents.
D.O.G.would like to see every dog which passes through its shelter adopted, but finding good homes in Georgia is not easy – while attitudes are slowly changing, those who can afford a pet tend to prefer a fashionable pedigree.
As staying in a rescue instead of living in their own homes can cause stress and behavioral issues in the long term, when a dog does not find a home in Georgia for over 6 months, our team expands the search for suitable homes and prepares the dogs to travel abroad if needed.
We cooperate with several rescue organizations in the United States and Europe that can accept dogs that were not successful in finding homes locally. This allows us to not just home the dogs in a reasonable time frame, but also to continue to take in new ones off the streets.
Community Outreach Programs
With some estimates putting the number of dogs on the streets of the capital alone at 40,000, D.O.G. was running a Trap-Vaccinate-Neuter-Release (TVNR) program in cooperation with the Agricultural University of Georgia Veterinary Clinic.
Partially funded by the UK-based animal welfare charity, Mayhew International, D.O.G. arranged the sterilization and vaccination of well over 1000 stray dogs and puppies within its TVNR program in Tbilisi from 2015 to 2018.
With Tbilisi Municipality also starting its neutering and vaccination program recently in the capital, D.O.G. has decided to cease its TVNR program in Tbilisi as of January 2019 to focus in other areas that also need our attention.
At the end of 2019, we started to build an on-site veterinary room in our shelter facilities thanks to the generous sponsorship of Re|Bank. This will allow us to further help not only our resident dogs but dogs with low-income owners and the stray community. To help our efforts in delivering the needed assistance for the stray dog population outside of the capital, we are currently trying to raise funds for a mobile veterinary unit that will allow us to bring veterinary assistance to the regions.
Small grants to caretakers of street dogs
Many citizens take care of some of the stray dogs in their neighbourhood daily and individually, assuming all expenses and responsibilities. That is why, within the framework of our community outreach program, we have also been providing small grants to caretakers of street dogs. Our goal is to help them cover veterinary expenses ranging from basic care to the treatment of serious injuries for the strays under their care.
The attitude toward mixed-breed dogs needs to be drastically changed. We believe that the long term solution for controlling the stray population lies in changing the attitude of the public, which is another of D.O.G.’s goals: D.O.G. aims to educate the population by showing not only how loving, fun, and loyal these animals can be but also the rewards of owning and caring for one, also to educate adults and children alike to appreciate the benefits of sterilizing animals, including their own pets who are often allowed to wander the streets.
D.O.G. cooperates with local schools by accepting students as volunteers as part of the schools’ community service schemes, together with providing after-school animal welfare clubs and summer camp activities. As part of the schools’ programs, through interactive age-appropriate methods, children learn about
- the stray issues in Georgia and how they can help
- how to behave around dogs (owned, strays, and shelter) and treat them humanely
- how to interpret dogs’ posture and behavior
- responsible pet ownership