Dogs of Gyumri (D.O.G.) is Gyumri’s first Animal Welfare and Adoption Center. D.O.G. was started in October 2017 by Sarah Derderian, a Repat who moved to Gyumri two years ago from the United States (US), to take on a position as Assistant Director at the Debi Arach Children’s Center. While filling food terminals for stray dogs around her house, she witnessed a public school security guard kicking and beating a two month old puppy. In an attempt to stop them, she yelled at the guard and took the puppy home. The puppy was later named Luna and adopted by a family from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania through her diligent advocacy on social media.
Sarah has since established a humanitarian model through which she and her team rescue stray puppies, have them examined by veterinarians, and find loving homes for them both in Armenia and abroad. Since the inception if D.O.G., they have successfully had 20 adoptions in Armenia, US and Canada!
The D.O.G. team’s mission is to decrease the population of stray dogs in Gyumri, as well as advocate for the rights of our four-legged friends. In a city that still has a government funded animal kill order, this type of organization is pertinent to saving stray dogs and working towards creating a more humane process by which to deal with this growing issue. In order to help care for the puppies as they wait to be adopted, D.O.G. is launching the Lend a Paw program. For $200 you can sponsor a newly rescued puppy for two months. During these two months the puppies will be placed in a comfortable foster home to temporarily stay at while they wait for their forever home. In addition, their basic needs such as food, treats, and toys will also be provided through the funding. If the puppy you are sponsoring gets adopted the remaining funds will immediately be transferred to the next puppy in need.
In the future, the D.O.G. team plans to present a thorough proposal to the Armenian government to put a trap, neuter, vaccinate, and release plan in place, but until then puppy adoptions are a small way that we can make an impact on this huge issue.