The Veterinary Foundation is an idea, which initially, as a project of Veterinary Expedition Kyrgyzstan 2018, was born in the heads of people implementing successfully the MOPSiK (Inter-organizational National Spaying and Neutering Program) project in Poland.
It all began in 2011....
We noticed, that while there are programmes in cities to combat dog homelessness, to control the population of free-living cats, to care for stray animals, many veterinary clinics cooperate with local governments, the situation in rural areas was dramatic!
A group of volunteers from pro-animal organizations and veterinarians decided to transfer the idea of mobile sterilization of dogs and cats to Poland. A special set of equipment, commonly referred to as a ‘sterilisation bus’, designed and made-to-order, was launched in 2012. Since then, step by step, the foundation, along with veterinarians and local governments, has been pursuing its overriding objective: LIMITING THE POPULATION OF STRAY DOGS AND CATS.
Today it is already known, that the only effective tool to reduce the overpopulation of dogs, to improve the quality of life of animals in shelters and to reduce the number of stray dogs is STERILIZATION.
While browsing the websites on animal issues we came across an article describing the situation in Kyrgyzstan. We were shocked by the information that in 2012, in order to fight against the excessive population of dogs in Kyrgyzstan, 12,406 stray dogs were culled. Initially, just like probably many animal lovers, we were outraged by this - how come? Shoot at dogs? Kill them?
However, we decided to cover the field. It turned out, that the situation is not so simple. Not just shooting dogs is a problem. This country is very poor. Despite considerable endeavours and efforts, it still struggles with zoonoses such as echinococcosis and rabies among people. Existing shelters in Kyrgyzstan are not able to provide space for all stray dogs. The authorities are doing what they can to protect their citizens. It is necessary to introduce humanitarian, economic ways to reduce the population of dogs.
It was then that we came up with the aid plan. We will give a fishing pole, not a fish! We decided to share our experiences from Poland and present the idea of mobile sterilization.
Our first steps were directed to the Kyrgyz Medical and Veterinary Chamber. It turned out, that the Kyrgyz people are very interested in the proposal of cooperation. The next step was to apply to the World Organisation for Animal Health, OIE in Paris. Although we did not receive OIE’s patronage, we were referred to the Animal Welfare Specialists taking care of this region of the world. After presenting our project, it turned out, that it fits perfectly into the activities carried out in Central Asia in cooperation with the OIE!
During the meeting in October 2015, all countries of the region declared full compliance with the guidelines specified in the "Terrestrial Animal Health Code" in Chapter 7.7, devoted to stray dogs and ways to control their populations. This goal is to be achieved by 2030. Cooperation with public benefit organisations is one of the elements of these activities.
In 2018, after more than a year of preparation and talks with the Kyrgyz Medical and Veterinary Chamber, we launched a project called Veterinary Expeditions - Kyrgyzstan 2018. After returning from the expedition we already knew that Kyrgyzstan's needs are much greater than we initially estimated.
In autumn 2018 we decided to establish a foundation to help Central Asian countries to promote and protect human and animal health.