Raising Marta, A Community Cares for Moscow's Street Dogs
The following post about a street dog in Moscow named Marta comes courtesy of Dr. Kati Loeffler, the International Fund for Animal Welfare veterinary advisor based in China, and Mila Danilova, consultant for IFAW-Russia.
Marta is one of Moscow’s 30,000-some street dogs who roam the city and who are cared for by the community in which they live. The community caretakers of these dogs feed them, see to it that they have shelter when they want it, and take them to the vet when they need it.
Tess offers low-cost sterilization services for dogs and cats in Moscow. Their patients are all street animals like Martha. Tess has been an IFAW grantee for more than a decade. Kati Loeffler, IFAW’s veterinary advisor, is currently visiting Tess for a month to help improve surgical standards and shelter management.
Tess already has good standards for animal care, and the street-dog care community in Moscow comments on Tess’ high quality of surgical care. In other clinics, two or three out of four dogs get sick and even die following routine sterilization surgery. At Tess, the dogs survive and return to their communities healthy and grateful to be free again.
Marta recently underwent spay surgery at Tess and recovered without incident. She was a quiet doggie while in the kennel, reserved and a bit anxious about being confined in an unfamiliar environment.
Turdu Ali, Tess’s Kennel Manager, took good care of Marta and made sure that she ate and that she was feeling well as she recovered from surgery. After the mandatory 10-day post-surgical confinement period, Marta’s caretakers drove up in an old blue Lada and stood in the driving snow as Turdu Ali went to fetch their dog from the Kennels.
Marta went airborne when she saw them and couldn’t decide whom she wanted to greet first and how to move fast enough between them. Her caretakers laughed and squeaked hugged her. And amid all that joy in seeing her people again, and in the prospect of going home, she didn’t forget Turdu Ali and to say good-bye to him.
For more information on the International Fund for Animal Welfare effort to help animals in crisis around the world visit http://www.ifaw.org