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In the name of God's Soldiers

There is a very kind elderly lady who keeps calling our animal shelter. She phones us every second month with the same warning.
“Is this the Noah's Ark Animal Shelter?”
“Yes, madam. Good morning. Can I help you?”
“You all are going to burn in hell, my dear, in the unspeakable fires of hell.”
“Ahm... what are you talking about, madam, if I may...?”
“What you are doing is a deadly sin, a horrible crime against God.”
“Are you talking about the animal shelter, madam?”
“Yes, my dear. You stop animals from creating offspring. Because neutering, you're going to burn in hell.”

Which is more intelligent: a human or a dog? The answer is not as obvious as one might think, our dear readers. Most people – luckily, there are exceptions – have quite weird concepts about responsible animal keeping nowadays, in the 21st century.
We live here in Europe, internet is available to everyone, most of us can read, journals and books on animals are accessible. However, there are people who don't have the faintest idea why neutering is important, and who seemingly don't notice that thousands of abandoned animals live on the street, most of whom will end up at the dogcatcher's and will be put to sleep. These animals also wanted to have a loving family, play and food, care and attention – or at least a master, nothing more. But they never had one.

“Animal shelters are in a difficult financial situation as for most of them the 1% tax donations mean the only substantial income, and their everyday tasks are carried out by volunteers who work for free” - said Kriszta Temesváry, president of the Responsible Animal Keepers' Club.

Parallel to the animal shelters, the dogcatchers' yards – or, as they are officially called, the animal control offices – operate as institutions of the local government. Their work falls under strict legal regulations. In Hungary, there are 99 animal control offices which have to take in animals without exceptions – this, of course, results in overcrowded kennels and a high number of euthanasias.

According to data received in April 2010, there are tens of thousands (!) of stray dogs in the country; the biggest animal control office at Illatos Road takes in 3000 animals every year, while officially the total number of rooms for dogs is 92. In the Noah's Ark Animal Shelter we take care of more than 600 animals.

My own dog, Döme was adopted from the Noah's Ark. He was found in a paperbox in a forest, along with his eight siblings. They were only two days old. If help had come only a few hours later, they would have already been dead, all of them. Why should we let other animals go through such horrors?

At the moment, Earth is governed by us, humans. We are, so to say, appointed with the task of taking care of all other creatures we share our planet with. One of the most humane, and in the same time the easiest and safest way to decrease the number of abandoned animals is to stop them from breeding, that is, neutering. I know there are some who don't believe me – but the responsibility is OURS.

Anna Gödöllei


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