Animal rights activists from Arkhangelsk filed a complaint with the Prosecutor's office against the head of the Dobry Dom (‘Good House’) Animal Shelter. Social activists believe that dogs are managed in terrible conditions and die there. In their opinion, the head closed the shelter for visits during the quarantine illegally. Tatyana Khalina, a representative of the Animal Rights Alliance, told 7x7 about it on April 20.
The complaint says that Vitaly Stepanov, the head of the shelter, closed it for visits without permission. In accordance with the decree of the government of Arkhangelsk Oblast, veterinary organizations are open until April 30. Social activists pointed out that, according to their information, the deaths of dogs were confirmed in the shelter, animals were in insanitary conditions: there was no light, water, heating in the shed, dog kennels for walking were not cleaned, there was no equipped veterinary office on the territory of the shelter, there was no vehicle to transport animals after trapping. The complaint was signed by Tatyana Khalina, Yegor Stepanov, a member of the We Live Here Public Movement, and Ilya Azovsky, the editor-in-chief of the Echo of the North News Agency.
The head of the shelter Vitaly Stepanov referred to being busy and refused to give comments to 7x7.
— I consulted the Legal Department of Arkhangelsk Oblast and the Agriculture Minister. The shelter should not be closed for quarantine, — said Khalina. She also learned from a personal conversation with the Head of the Veterinary Supervision of Arkhangelsk Oblast Sergey Kolosov that the head of the shelter acts independently.
The representative of the Animal Rights Alliance claims that she learned about the situation in the shelter from volunteers working there. They sent photos and videos marked “confidential” to animal rights activists showing poor conditions of managing animals.
According to Khalina, the quarantine became an excuse to keep people out and hide insanitary conditions. She tried to get into the shelter on April 18, but was not allowed in there because of the quarantine. Two dogs were taken out by one of the shelter's volunteers by prior agreement with the shelter’s head.
— I was called from different regions and told that they had caught and taken away domestic dogs to this shelter. Worried owners began looking for their pets, calling this shelter. Everyone was told that they had to pay 6,200 rubles for their dog. Not all people can afford this, but going to Arkhangelsk for 500 kilometers costs a fortune for many of them as well. One woman even found out that her dog was already dead, it had died in the shelter, — Khalina proves her words with the photos of dogs before and after they have visited the shelter.
Dogs are caught by the employees of the shelter. Some dogs are recognized after trapping and taken home by their owners. According to Khalina, several dogs were taken home from the shelter with purulent inflammation, a torn ear, barely alive though they were previously healthy.
It is said in the community of the shelter on vk.com that dogs without contact details on collars or those who are in the streets without owners and muzzles and behave aggressively get caught. Trapping is performed according to the statements of veterinary services that respond to messages from local residents.
To pick up the dog from the shelter, you must immediately contact the district Center for Animal Disease Control and pay the costs: this fee is currently about 6 thousand rubles, the owner himself comes to the shelter with payment documents, even if the dog was caught in one of the districts of Arkhangelsk Oblast.
The Dobry Dom (‘Good House’) Animal Shelter is located in Arkhangelsk. It opened in January 2020. According to the shelter's webpage, 120 dogs are kept there at the expense of personal funds of the founders and donations.