Tbilisi stray dogs – saved by the ones who care
GSPSA, more than only a shelter
Hello y’all! My name is Abo and I am a 4-years-old male quadruped. I am
one of the 50 current residents of the dog shelter near Lisi Lake, supported
by “Georgian Society for the Protection and Safety of Animals”. Just like
me, my friends had a difficult past full of setbacks, but luckily all of us were
found and cared for on time by the many members of the organization.
Teimuraz Tsikoridze started working in the animal rights field back in 2003, that was when he
founded the shelter, while the situation for animals in Georgia was even worse. Teimuraz has
dedicated all his life ever since, fostering and helping animals around the country. He even gave
up on his successful architectural company to keep fighting for our rights.
This is Mariam Shekiladze, one of GSPSA’s key members.
Together with a handful of staff and over 45 volunteers, she is working day and night to make things better. Starting from feeding abandoned dogs and rescue missions around Tbilisi, continuing with assisting and supplying individuals who have found injured or sick stray animals with food, medication or transportation, setting up projects and activities with other cities and organizations, and of course trying to find us a safe place and get us adopted.
Visitor hours are between 12 a.m.
and 3 p.m. Then people, under the
guidance of our owners (member
or vet), can come and look at us,
pet us, play with us and even go
for a walk with us. It is striking that
mostly foreigners are interested
Welcome to my crib
Among many dog enclosures, our
shelter has an office, quarantine
area, veterinary cabinet and an
animal cleaning area.
The cages are not what it seems.
These are only used when we need
to be separated from each other
to avoid commotion. For example
during the meal we go in separately,
each in turn, and when we are
finished we can come out again.
Also when a lot of visitors are here
at the same time, part of the group
goes in so that the environment
becomes quieter and after a while
we are alternated and go back to
the other dogs inside or outside.
We also all have our own
houses. New houses have
recently been added, but
many of us prefer the old
wooden ones, because we
are so used to them.
One big family
We are a diverse combination,
but we all have known awful
living conditions. One dumped
somewhere, the other locked up,
chained or physically abused until
they were paralyzed. Although, we
have one thing in common: we
are all traumatized by the past,
and that makes us connected.
We all have our own character, but we get along with each other very well.
Occasionally someone is angry, sad or jealous, but that also happens
sometimes in the human world.
Dreaming about moving out
The majority of the animals staying
here were afterwards adopted by
caring owners. But not everyone is
that lucky, depending on our health
and rehabilitation. It has happened
that hunters tried to contact and
convince our caregivers to take us.
Fortunately, they do not trust people
that easily and a thorough procedure
precedes adoption, including a neat
house search. The fate of animals is
further monitored as well.
Photojournalist – Sharon De Grave
Project: Tbilisi stray dogs 2019