EU Entry: 2004
Form of Government: Republic
Area: 312 679 km²
Population: 38,1 Million
Currency: Zloty (PLN)
No topical information available
Animal welfare law: since 1997
Shelter dogs: more than 69.000
Street dogs: none, merely stray dogs and run away dogs
Animal welfare organisations:
Polish animal protection alliance inc. – one of the oldest charitable organisations in Europe (founded in 1864). www.toz.pl
Polish endowment for protection of animals www.boz.org.pl/raporty.htm
Many small – often effecting only on a regional level – organisations.
Official statements to the topical whole population of dogs in Poland are not available currently.
In 2007 Polish municipalities and animal shelters have looked after more than 83,000 dogs (+11% in proportion to 2006).
State means were used for it at the rate of more than 55 million PLN (approx. 12.3 million EUR).
These were more than 22% more than the year before.
Per dog were used approx. 660 PLN.
For comparison: The sterilisation of a bitch of more than 30 kg costs in a commercial veterinary hospital between 250 and 400 PLN.
The demand for national castration programmes could be financed, taking into account the limitation of the future population, out off this limitation.
Probably a total decline of the annual costs would arise!
In 2006, 69.224 dogs were taken up at Polish animal shelters. 49.519 were given out to the present or to new holders, 16.705 have passed away in differently ways at the shelters. The "classical" street dog in Poland is found only sporadically. Straying dogs in Poland are quite predominantly dogs which were put out or have got lost.
The Polish protection of animal right intends already today that all municipalities carry out actions to bend forward the homelessness of animals.
Indded only 25% of the municipalities have taken such activities.
Animal shelters in Poland
The very different equipment of Polish animal shelters also explains itself.
Only the local establishment of the Polish protection of animal alliance inc. - one of the oldest charitable organisations in Europe (founded in 1864) - in Szczecin has a veterinary hospital at command in which two veterinarians and a keeper are firmly employed.
There are also free sterilisations carried out for all bitches which were placed in new homes through the animal shelter.
At other animal shelters in particular the chain keeping is widespread, because the financial means for the establishment of appropriate accommodations are not available.
Dogs are often held under pathetic circumstances on heavy, only 1.50 meter short chains. There the dogs plough the cruel semicircles in the subsoil often for years. The chains are limiting the movement of the dogs so far that their muscles or also the whole body of the dogs deforms with time.
Walks are not conceivable, because no staff is available for this. The dogs who must "live" close together at the animal homes often find only protection in old, holey huts. Rain, snow and cold – but also the torrid summer sun – are pressing the dogs day by day.
Much too often the result from this are illnesses which lead, because of missing financial means, to an agonising death.
Missing money and too little staff, which often has no suitable education, leads to the fact, that the dogs often perish “lonely” on the chain, lined from many years' grief.
Not enough comforting hands exist to be able to reduce the infinite grief of many chain dogs. Necessary wards do not exist.
Thus thousands vegetate in their chains and are tormented by parasites and weakened by illnesses.
In addition, it comes at the animal shelters to an unintentional and uncontrolled increase of dogs. The puppies are born in this misery and much too often they die after years on the chain.
Too small kennels are filled with too many dogs.
Avarice for a little feed – often old bread, pearl barley and slaughter rubbish - or simply the narrowness of the often wet and dirty kennels lead to merciless fights of the dogs which much too often end fatally.
The few available nursing staff cannot control these situations, also with support of the self-sacrificing helping honorary animal welfarists – too many dogs bark at the same time and demand little attention, allowance or love.
The chains and the small, often muddy kennels prevent that.
The semicircles will steadily become deeper, until the hearts of the dogs don't beat any more.
The "manufacturing" of puppies for dog trade poses is a serious problem for the protectors of animals in Poland. Unprincipled dog breeders produce masses of ill puppies, contaminated with parasites, in absolutely inexpedient scales or in dark, humid cellars.
The puppies are often already so ill, that they don’t survive even one week in their new home.
The puppies are offered in cartons and are sold with discount by purchase of several puppies.
Supernumerary - not on time sold puppies are thrown away heedlessly, much too often they are brought to the animal shelters or will die cruelly. Not love to the dogs is an impulse for those "breeders", only avarice drives these creatures.
In Poland there are no official homicide stations, as they are known possibly from Spain.
The Polish protection of animal law forbids the homicide of dogs without a reason. An euthanasia is only permitted for unintentional puppies, aggressive or incurably ill dogs.
Anyhow these principles are not supervised all over the country and financial bottlenecks lead to the fact that the regulations are stretched sporadically very much.
What has to be changed?
We want to reach for Poland, that:
- state castration programmes are limiting the population in the animal shelters
- the valid animal protection right is strictly followed and that the municipalities follow their obligations derived out of this,
- the conditions at the Polish animal shelters are improved,
- the chain keeping in Poland all over the country will be abolished,
- criminal consequences with maltreatments and animal buggery are strictly applied.
The animal homes must be equipped with the necessary financial means to be able to fulfil their job.
The message of the protection of animals, which is already understood in Poland in wide layers of the population, must penetrate into the heads and hearts of the politicians, local councillors and mayors, so that the today's misery of countless dogs can be finished in Poland!
Pictures and report:
Simone & Dirk Kayser