In a derelict block of flats at 59 Obvodniy canal embankment in St Petersburg a dumping ground for dozens of kittens’ and puppies’ corpses has been found. According to other information the number of dead animals runs into the hundreds.
In this property placards were strewn across the floor with the inscription ‘Please give some money to help feed poor animals’. You can encounter people with these very placards in underpasses and metro stations. This discovery was reported on the website of the charity Priut which helps homeless animals.
Workers for this charity gave the following description of what they had seen in the derelict block of flats: “When you enter, you are consumed with fear. You start to fly around feverishly, not knowing which way to turn. You walk on the filthy floor, treading carefully, screwing up your eyes, afraid that you will miss a trace of life. And suddenly you notice that someone is still there, has some strength left and is waiting for you, hidden helplessly among the rubbish which is disorderly piled up everywhere. You go through room after room, and there’s silence, you just feel a terrible pain in your heart when you hear a camera clicking – it means they’ve found another body.”
Among the dozens of corpses of homeless animals, workers for the charity Priut managed to find five puppies and two kittens that were still alive. The account of the derelict block of flats concludes with an appeal not to give money to people standing on the street, begging for small change “to help feed animals”.
Activists of the society for the protection of animals think that ‘veterinary mortuaries’ such as these are the traces of the many dozens of sites for collecting alms and trading stray animals which exist in St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg Business reports that police raids occasionally force animal marketers and beggars to change the location of these sites.
With reference to the Petersburg charity for the protection of homeless animals, Interfax reports that in fact several hundreds of dead puppy and kitten bodies were discovered in the derelict block of flats. “Many corpses were lying in cardboard boxes which had the inscription “Help feed animals. Thank you. Woof-Miaow”. These boxes with kittens and puppies which are used to help collect money supposedly to feed them can be seen throughout the cities’ streets. Yet noone actually intends to feed these animals and they are used for profit until they either die of starvation or freeze to death,” said a representative of the charity.
All the official services in the city were informed of the discovery of this unauthorized animal cemetery and representatives of practically every television station went there. “Despite the fact that all the city’s TV channels were reporting on this throughout the day, not one representative of the authorities or law-enforcement bodies came. Only towards the end of the day did “Spetstrans” arrive to remove the dead kittens and puppies,” remarked the charity, emphasizing that similar facts had been recorded and yet previously not one criminal case concerning cruelty to animals had resulted.
There is a systematic business based on charity to animals and in particular supplying locations with ‘live material’. The beggars’ living props are collected through notices on the internet and in advertising publications, saying “I will pass them onto a good owner”. Whole-sale purchasers organize ‘reception days’ at Kondratyev market in St. Petersburg.
Strangely, animal traders and people who collect alms allegedly to ‘feed and cure’ their pets have not yet been brought to justice. Despite the fact that the structure of their business is well-known not only to animal defenders, but also to the law-enforcement agencies, the police are in no hurry to bring about criminal proceedings at any sign of cruelty to animals.
Policemen point out that it is practically impossible to prove cruelty to animals by any particular person. People who stand with animals in metro underpasses are not doing anything to contravene the law. And noone saw who left the animals to die in a derelict block of flats.
Translated by James Platt
More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23