Is it possible to hand over your animal to our shelter?
Distribute advertisements that your pet is looking for a new home, ask your friends and acquaintances, and place advertisement in newspapers and on the radio. It should be noted at the very beginning that the shelter is not a universal solution for all your problems. The shelter is a temporary (!) place for homeless animals to wait for their old owners, the place where they are taken from the streets to prevent them from being accidentally hit by a car or become a victim of a sadist. I repeat what I already said before in my previous articles: an unsupervised animal on the streets is considered homeless; we capture it and take it to the shelter to wait for the owner in a safe place.
What is the Tallinn Animal Shelter?
It is a legal entity providing the city of Tallinn and more than 25 municipalities of Harju County with animal catching and keeping services in the premises located at Viljandi mnt 24D. As any other service organisation, we take payment for our work of catching and keeping stray animals. We take payment because we must be able to keep captured cats and dogs, provide them with first aid, to be able to pay for gas used to heat our building so that animals feel warm and comfortable, to pay for electricity used to light the building, for petrol for our cars that are used to provide the abovementioned services and for other continuing expenses related to our routine work. Every month employees of the shelter receive salaries because the (free) work of volunteers alone does not suffice to take care of such a great number of dogs and cats and the salary is an another routine monthly expense item. If someone were able to teach me how to work for free, I would be glad to embrace such experience, but so far these are just fantasies outside the realm of reality.
“You must take my animal, otherwise what is the point of your existence at all?!”©
Let’s sort everything out.
- There is a stray animal that doesn’t have an owner, is in danger of being hit by a car or becoming a victim of a sadist.
- There is an animal that lives in your warm home, under the roof, but you don’t like it anymore or want to abandon it due to some other reason (I concede that such reasons may seem important and obvious to any given person).
In our work we must prioritise properly, i.e. make a choice of which animal needs our help more. As a rule, or almost always, the choice is made in favour of the animal that is out there on the streets. Such animal, at the given moment, needs help more than others, because it doesn’t have a roof, it may be wounded or freezing. We respond to the call and take such animal to the shelter because our work is regulated by contracts with cities and rural municipalities and because a stray animal should be removed from the streets as soon as possible to prevent it from getting hurt.
If you come to us with a wish to hand over your animal to our shelter, it is considered a service provided by our shelter to you as a private person. We do not receive any compensation for your animal from a county, city or rural municipality and I will not use for keeping your animal in the shelter not a single cent from donations that people send to us to help animals that have been in the shelter for a long time. It means that I, as the director of the shelter, will have to find means to keep your cat or dog in the shelter over a long period of time. The shelter does not have free cash at its disposal to provide shelter to any animal that already has home but whose owner wishes to abandon it due to some reason. It follows that we will take from you as the owner of the animal the amount of cash necessary to pay for initial expenses as to the keeping your cat or dog (as a rule, vaccination, insertion of a microchip, medical treatment, diagnostics, etc.).
And if the shelter is overcrowded, I will not accept your animal even for payment, because I must reserve some space for stray animals that come in all the time. As a rule, the rush starts in winter with big snowdrifts, slippery roads and fireworks and also during storms and other kinds of extreme weather that frighten dogs most of all.
If your animal stays with us (subject to the aforesaid), we draw a transfer deed for your animal to the benefit of the shelter and upon the signing of the deed you transfer your animal and all the rights thereto to the shelter. If you sign the deed, we will never return the animal to you – not on the next day, nor the day after that, never; the payment is also non-refundable. The animal will stay with us waiting for its new owner in our care. If the animal has been relocated, we shall not disclose to the previous owner either the address or name of the person who adopted the animal.
I admit that different things may happen and different troubles or complicated, even hopeless situations may arise, but I beg you to understand us as well. Our work is mostly, even almost exclusively focused on solving problems of HOMELESS animals; therefore, we grant such animals preference both in terms of space in the shelter and donations.
There are a great many animals in need of help here and now (wounded, hit by a car, sustained various injuries, etc.) and we use received donations to help such animals. However, if an animal is healthy and has a home, but its owner just decided to abandon it, it is quite a different expense, item and attitude. I’d also like to note that the case of each animal to be sheltered is thoroughly considered.
We always try to help within our means and will always continue to do that! Indeed, the most important thing is the well-being of you and your animal that found itself in such a situation.