Policy brief about the regulation of the number of homeless animals
While walking down the city streets, each of us repeatedly met pack of dogs and cats – near the entrances and windows of basements and semi-basement floors. Some of these animals have collars or special clips in ears. But they are in public places without the owners or caretakers. All these animals are homeless1. Alone on the streets, they suffer from cold and hunger. Scouting about for food, these animals often face the cruelty from people, and their number is regulated by killing. Who are these animals, why did they appear on the streets and do they pose a risk for people?
How did homeless animals appear on the streets?
Dogs helped people in hunting and guarding the house, and cats – in the fight against rodents. These animals were also kept for communication and receiving additional emotions4, and became full members of the family. Under the influence of domestication, they lost part of the features inherent with their wild relatives. Because of this, dogs and cats could no longer survive without a human, and people became responsible for their fate.
At the same time, despite full dependence on the men, part of the dogs and cats appeared on the streets. Some people surrender animals when moving to other cities or houses, leaving them alone. Others perceive animals as fun, and when cute kittens and puppies grow into adult animals that need to be walked regularly, fed and given time, they are also surrendered. Similarly, people get rid of unnecessary crop. As a result, homeless animals appeared on the streets precisely because of the refusal of their owners. Being unwanted, these animals form packs and multiply, therefore, their number starts to grow.
1 By homeless animal is meant any pet animal that either has no shelter or is beyond the dwelling of its owner or guardian, and is not under control or direct supervision of any owner or guardian; P. 5 Art. 1 of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals; Council of Europe; Convention, International document of 13.11.1987; ratification dated 18.09.2013, basis 578-18; http://zakon2.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/994_a15 ; homeless are also considered dogs, regardless of breed, belonging and designation, including those that have collars with numbers and muzzles, but are without the owner on the streets, squares, markets, parks, gardens, boulevards, beaches, in public transport, yards and other public places, are considered homeless and are subject to trapping, P. 1 Art. 24 of the Law of Ukraine ‘On the protection of animals from cruelty’ No. 3447-IV у as in force in 04.08.2017, http://zakon3.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/3447-15
4 Companion animal – animals kept by a man for communication and additional emotions, particularly to avoid loneliness