September 06, 2005
Ukraine's Stray Dogs
The hearts of genuine dog lovers will break -- and bleed -- in Ukraine.
The former Soviet republic is home to thousands of stray dogs which feed on spoiled food craps in public trash bins. These skinny, smelly mongrels are a common sight in the country where a number of their human counterparts (i.e. the homeless beggars) are just as hungry.
However, it is not uncommon to see struggling pensioners (getting as little as USD60.00 a month or even less) plying their small trade on busy sidewalks with their new-found canine companions.
The irony is, a number of kind-hearted babushkas (grannies), who need personal care themselves, have their own dog-related advocacy: they do their best to feed the poor creatures with the meager 'earnings' they get from selling a few vegetables, flowers or sunflower seeds.
And almost always, it's tough to share one's blessings when business is not good. Food for both master and adopted dogs can be really scarce.
One thing that might comfort animal lovers is the fact that Ukrainians, in general, don't feast on askals (street dogs) the way some barbaric Filipinos do.
'Dog orphanage' in Kyiv. (Photos by Sarita Ladios)
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