Two months ago we were contacted by a small group of volunteers in Azerbaijan who work tirelessly to help street dogs and puppies in deplorable conditions in Baku, Azerbijan (near Turkey).When we say “small group” we mean two women who are advocates for 75 dogs in a shelter that offers the dogs nothing. We will warrn you the video link below is disturbing and those of you, like us, who love dogs don’t really need to watch it to understand we had to help.
The dogs in Baku than can be saved from the streets by volunteers, when possible, move to temporary foster homes, and once a rescue is lined up, the dogs are taken to the Baku airport and flown to New York City (JFK). Then they are temporarily fostered until transport in the United States can be arranged. This is a huge effort with just a few volunteers involved on the Baku side and this effort is a certainly all done on faith those of us who have responded will hold up our end of the deal and take the dogs in. Donations make it possible for the dogs to get vaccinated and board a plane to their final destination. From there they are transported by more generous volunteers to shelters across the country. Cleveland/Akron was an upcoming pit stop for some of these dogs scheduled to move into area rescues and when were were contacted and asked if we could help a few young dogs we obliged. It’s hard knowing there are dogs here in Ohio and the US that need our help but even harder to deny these dogs an opportunity to become a Secondhand Mutt when all the work that has gone into the project to get them to a safe place. We are happy that we were able to help and it wouldn’t be possible without the many foster families who are involved with our organization who never bat an eyelash and just help because they have room in their hearts and homes.
Here is the back story message from the Azerbijan Volunteer Lidia Pejovic:
Warning: Viewers may find the following footage and images upsetting
This is how it all started for me and few other volunteers: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/video-reveals-appalling-dog-cull-as-azerbaijan-clears-streets-ahead-of-european-games-10090330.html
The video went viral, since then they have stopped the shooting but continued killing them by poisoning them. Slow and painful death. This big cull was part of the city clean-up ahead of the European games they hosted in June. They have no NSR program in place , so killing is a business and the dog killers are paid $10 per tail. In June 2014 we rescued total 3 moms and 17 pups from the games stadium. Lady called us saying that she brought water and food for them and was told by the workers not to bother and waste money they will “clean” them up tomorrow. There are so many stories like this. Sadly locals do not like animals and to describe an animal will use word “it” . It really is a thing for them they are totally unaware and unwilling to understand that “it” is a sentient being.
My personal experience just few days ago my neighbor threatened to kill my dogs , I walk with few dogs all the time , mine, fosters and street friends. Dogs did not do anything just barked at the car passing. Unfortunately not an empty threat as the police would laugh if I called them to tell them that someone shot my dog.
The lady that shot the furnace video is local animal activist Elena Simakina , her adopted street dog was shot while walking off lead close to her home, she witnessed that and started following the shooter’s car , that’s how she ended up at that horrific place where they burnt them. The terrified pups somehow escaped the death and were rescued. Bullets were only used for big dogs smaller ones and pups would be bashed with the shovel to save on bullets.
If you are a street dog in Azerbaijan you are in hell. Shelter that I volunteer is in terrible condition , one staff for 75 dogs , and 2 volunteers. Dogs get water, food and kennel clean up at the best . They never go outside.
We managed to ensure that they do get fed , cleaned and have water every day. In the beginning they would be left without food and water for several days in their 3-4 days excrement . We would literally go in and pick up the dogs that are critical , almost dying and take them to the vet . No one was vaccinated or sterilized , there were 30-40 dogs out at the same time fighting and mating. Lot of dogs died from fighting ,negligence and pneumonia.
Now all of them are vaccinated , all males sterilized and we are still working on sterilizing all the females.
Kennels are built badly there is no real protections from the elements, no drainage, when it rains the dirt road to the shelter is flooded so no car can reach there, the shelter wall collapsed 2 times this winter due to the strong wind, we are pretty much patching the leaking bucket all the time. Its been hard as its only two of us and no funding, but we made some improvements. No one is interested here in adopting a street dog so we are actively trying to reach out to younger generations , we visited few schools and universities, and although they are scared of dogs we are getting some positive response , some of them did a bake sale for the shelter. Also we are trying to get in contact with foreign companies here and get some sponsorship.
The Transport from New York City to Cleveland
Two months ago when we committed to taking two dogs the volunteer transporters were lined up. We are now committed to taking five dogs but need your help. Mike and Tali, the transport volunteers in New York, donated their own money and their time to drive from Philadelphia to New York to pick up the dogs, then back to Philadelphia for the night. Mike and Tali will be using a personal vehicle to deliver our two dogs and when we added a third they borrowed a larger vehicle to fit the new passenger. Meanwhile in Baku, in the last few weeks more puppies were picked up on the streets and additional funds were raised to get them to New York. Unfortunately, Mike and Tali only have room for a few dogs but they have enlisted the help of a close friend, James, who is willing and able to drive a separate rented vehicle to get the additional dogs to Ohio. The cost estimate for the vehicle, tolls and gas is $450. We would love to be able to help Mike and Tali with their own expenses as well if they can be covered.
We are hopeful, with your help, we can raise the funds to pass along to Mike, Tali and James to cover their expenses. If you can give a small donation please help us raise what is needed to get the dogs to Cleveland safely. If we exceed our fundraising goal the additional funds will be passed along to the dogs care and if that exceeds what we spend on the five dogs we now have committed to we will pass your donation back to the volunteers in Baku to help more dogs. If we can not raise the funds in a few days time the dogs will stay with Mike and Tali and foster with them in New York until the funds are raised.
To make a donation please click on our latest YouCaring.com link.
The Dogs Arriving
We are very excited to meet the our five newest family members. We have already lined up foster homes for most of them and we have contacted some of our approved applicants to let them know of the new arrivals. The dogs will need some time to sleep off their trip and decompress which we will take care of after they arrive. We are looking forward to having them attend Meet-Our-Mutts events coming up this summer and choosing families for them. If you are interested in adopting one of these dogs or puppies please fill out our online adoption application.
We sincerely thank you for your kindness and support.
Respect the dog.
Continue following the story here.