As you know, we’ve been working in the municipal shelter “Bogrov” for 4 years. Thanks to this, we now know how exactly NOT to build a shelter. This knowledge, combined with consultings with our colleagues with shelters from abroad, we managed to make the dog house in “The Farm” in a different and a better way.
This is from where we started:
Here’s what and why we did here:
1. The capacity:
In “Bogrov” we had 500 dogs, many times – even 600. This is why we can say that:
– The atmosphere in a place with 500 bored dogs is not good nor for the dogs themselves, neither for the visitors.
– Doesn’t matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t give individual attention to every single dog. The lack of communication with people affects the dogs really bad – soon they start avoiding strangers and this makes them unwanted for adoption.
– A lot of adopters couldn’t make their choice, when seeing 500 dogs in front of them. This caused what we called “fast choice” – people used to choose only the ones who are different. The rest of the dogs became unseen and stayed in the cages for years.
And this is why we decided to make “The Farm” with a smaller capacity –for 200 dogs. In this way, each one of them will live better, but also it wouldn’t affect the big number of saved dogs, because of their bigger chances for adoption. And faster a dog is adopted, faster his place will be taken by a new one.
2. The kennels:
Each kennel has an inside and an outside part.
Many dogs in one kennel is never a good idea – soon or later they start fighting. The only worse thing is the complete loneliness. So, the options for big kennels with many dogs or smaller single kennels were out of the discussion. Double kennels appeared in our minds, but this would cause a new problem – when one out of the two dogs would be adopted, the remaining dog would suffer for his buddy. This is the reason why the kennels in our Farm are for 3 dogs each. That way if one of the dogs is adopted, the remaining will still have a friend and time to get used to the new dog.
Of course, there are also dogs that don’t get along with other dogs. Usually these are ex-pets, not stray dogs. So, 8 of the kennels are single.
3. The canals are outside the kennels – to avoid infectious and spreading diseases. Beside, in Bogrov we couldn’t give them toys, because they always ended in the canals. This problem is also solved now.
4. The floors are by polyurethane inside and polished concrete outside – easy to clean and great for disinfection. The aisles outside are rugged, so that the staff and the visitors wouldn’t slide when it rains.
Two of the kennels are also rugged – especially for orthopedic patients, with unstable walk – to avoid slipping.
5. Inside, the kennels are closed with windows, instead of bars. The reason is simple – in each premises there are more than 20 “doors” to go in the outside of the kennels – if there were bars, the dogs would live in a constant flow of cold air.
6. The heating:
Practically, it is impossible to warm up a building this size. In Bogrov we tried everything – radiant heating, gas, electricity and none of them moved the mercury. This is why we decided not try warming up the air and we made floor heating – that way the dog could just lie down on the floor if wants to get warmth. The floor heating will help us to keep the floors dry in the winter.
Time for gratitude:
The warmest and sincere gratitude to Mr. Dennis Smith, who donated for the reconstructions of our brand new dogs’ guest house! Thank you, dear Dennis, for helping the hundreds we have and the thousands we will have in this home!
Our boys and girls who helped with everything they could!
The volunteers who helped us paint!
Well, dear dogs, congratulations for your new guest house!