Saturday, July 22, 2017

Citizens protest closing of Novouralsk dog shelter

Hundreds of demonstrators and their pets recently gathered outside Novouralsk City Hall to protest the closing of the Novouralsk Shelter for Homeless Animals.

The shelter was shut down by the Sverdlovsk prosecutor's office after it was discovered that the shelter was operating on a restricted zone outside the Upper Neyvinskogo reservoir, Oblgazeta reports.

Critics of the government's decision to close the shelter argue that during its three-year life span, the shelter saved thousands of animals' lives and deserves to remain open.

Among the demonstrators was Evgeny Reshetnikov, the artistic director of a local choral studio. Reshetnikov personally attested to the shelter's success in rescuing more than 100 abandoned dogs from vacant mansions in the outskirts of the city's urban district. The dogs, Reshetnikov said, were left inside the homes without electricity, food or water, and would have likely died there had it not been for the shelter, according to Oblgazeta.

Supporters of the shelter's closure, including the Novouralsk Center for Hygiene and Epidemiology, counter that animal waste from the shelter could easily be absorbed into the nearby Neyvinskogo reservoir, a major water supplier to the urban district, Oblgazeta reports.