Annual report 2022
HEROSZ Fehérvár Animal Shelter
Our shelter celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2022, and we have never had such a difficult year in our history, with the energy crisis and price rises meaning that there were times of the year when we were in a hopeless situation. But we have a supportive community that has helped us get through the last year. With the support of private individuals and the Székesfehérvár municipality, we managed to solve the biggest problems.
In 2022 we received 508 animals. In addition to 184 dogs and 288 cats, we also cared for 36 other animals, most of them hedgehogs, but also hares, rabbits, tortoises and several bats. June was the most difficult month, when we had to take 110 animals in 30 days.
50% of the dogs entering the shelter were puppies under 1 year of age, and due to the lack of neutering, often whole litters were found on the streets. Because of some heartless people even nursing, helpless animals end up on the streets
Only 26% of the dogs received had a chip! This is incredibly low, especially considering that the chip has been compulsory since 2013! It is clear that the control of pet owners is very much missing from the whole animal welfare system.
The proportion of older animals over 7 years old was 12.5%. These animals were often forced to live their entire lives without seeing a vet or receiving any care. The proportion of elderly animals admitted may not seem high at first glance, but they are the animals that cost the most after puppies, as they are already suffering from a wide range of diseases and often require additional (blood, laboratory, X-ray, ultrasound) tests, which are very expensive. These animals are the most difficult to adopt, especially because they also have the most behavioural problems, and the cost of keeping them is very high. Of the 184 dogs received, 31 were surrendered by their owners, and even these had a chip rate of only 83%! Death of the owner, relocation, financial problems are just some of the many reasons for surrendering, but in all cases the animal was not properly cared for. Many had had a chip implanted just before surrendering, or had just had a rabies vaccination. Even so, only 51% of the dogs surrendered were vaccinated! This is very disheartening. What we see is that people are not paying attention to their animals, to proper vaccination and health care. And when they have to get rid of the animal, they expect the shelter to solve everything immediately.
The situation for cats is even worse, they are not required to be chipped or vaccinated, they are allowed to breed freely. 50% of the 288 cats entering the shelter were kittens under 3 months old, who were not wanted at birth, these tiny animals arrived with an underdeveloped immune system, and worm infestation, catarrhoea and inflammatory bowel disease were common. There was also a high proportion of old animals, these animals arrived in an incredibly poor condition, many of them were severely infected, all male, so they could infect practically their whole environment. Typically, cats have a low abandonment rate (9%), but unfortunately it is clear that people do not think about what will happen to their pets if something happens to them. There have also been seizures, the official veterinarian found 12 adult animals in one apartment, all of them breeding with each other, all females pregnant and there with kittens of different ages. The conditions were appallingly bad and the keeper was banned from keeping animals. None of the animals were vaccinated or dewormed and we had to castrate all of them. This one confiscation alone cost hundreds of thousands of forints, because we had to treat the animals first, and only then could we start vaccinating and neutering them. Once again, last year there were more cats than dogs! The cat population is growing at a very high rate and the authorities are not dealing with it at any level!
The same veterinary protocol was applied to all incoming animals: animals were quarantined, treated if necessary, once healthy, we started an external and internal parasite treatment and then a vaccination programme. All animals over 6 months of age were neutered. Adoption of younger animals was only possible with a spay/neuter commitment. This was checked in all cases.
In accordance with the stray animal regulation that came into force in January 2022, from 1 January 2022 all cats are chipped before adoption. This has significantly increased our expenditure.
A total of 317 animals were neutered, of which 171 dogs (85 males, 86 females) and 182 cats (77 males, 105 females). We also performed 43 other surgeries (19 dogs, 24 cats), including umbilical hernia, abdominal hernia, eyeball removal, hidden testicle, tumour removal, vaginal prolapse, among others. Several cases also required eye surgery, several dental procedures were also performed by our veterinarians, mainly tooth extraction in cats and tartar removal in dogs. One drop blood tests were carried out on 163 dogs, 12 were positive, but fortunately only one was heartworm, the others were successfully treated for skin worms and the one heartworm was found a suitable home in Germany.
We tested 36 cats for FIV/FeLV, 5 were positive, unfortunately they had to be euthanized because they were already showing severe symptoms.
Adoptionscontinued to be successful last year, with many visitors coming to the shelter, and many people also follow our website and Facebook page. The appointment booking system we introduced during the covid period is working well, so we are able to target our adopters and make time for all guests who book an appointment.
149 cats (2 returned to their original owners) and 180 dogs (16 returned to their original owners) were adopted. Of the other animals, 42 were successfully healed and released, including hedgehogs that arrived and were rehomed in the winter of 2021.
Activity of the organisation in numbers
Media appearance: 86
Organised own events: 33
Participation in other events: 8
Applications submitted: 3+9 (3+7 winners, 1 no-winner, 1 pending)
Number of visitors: 2520
Animal confiscated by local government, police: 12
Rabies monitoring: 6
Residental reports about animal abuse: 23
We started the year by attending a conference organised by the House of Secrets, where we heard some very interesting and inspiring lectures from Corvinus University teachers. Ildikó Czigány, commissioned by the Animal Protection Centre, made an interview with Andrea Benkő and Gyöngyi Krepsz about the role of animal protection in their everyday lives. The filming took place in the cat house, and the cats really enjoyed all the extra petting an attention.
Children's workshops were held in two groups at the Széna Square primary school. Topics were the correct treatment of animals, the needs of animals and the duties of a nature guard.
Henriett Győrfy, dog trainer, gave a presentation for the volunteers to help the volunteers with their work during the walks, and Heni also talked about which dogs can be rehabilitated, which ones cannot, what needs to be done to make the adoption as successful as possible.
Children's workshops were held in two groups at the Széna Square primary school and in the Rákóczi út kindergarten. In the school, the focus was on the correct feeding of animals, while in the kindergarten the rabbits were the main focus.
Children's workshops were held at the Széna Square and Teleki-Sziget Street primary schools. The theme was animal and nature conservation in our country and in the world.
We took part in the Fehérvár Fish Festival, where Éva Szarvas gave a demonstration with volunteer Gazsi the dog, and Gyöngyi Krepsz answered questions from the presenter Gábor Németh and talked about the work of the animal shelter.
Students from Corvinus University took part in a dog walk as part of a project and we gave them a lesson on responsible pet ownership.
Children's workshops were held in the primary schools of Széna Square, Teleki-Sziget Street and the kindergarten of Rákóczi út. The theme in all four groups was the life of bees, pollination and the importance of bees.
In the framework of the traditional Health Protection Week at Mihály Táncsics School, zoologist Gyöngyi Krepsz and her dog named Tiny Tit came to visit the children in the lower grades to give four animal protection lectures. This event made up for a day missed in autumn.
Children's classes were held at the Széna Square and Teleki-Sziget Street primary schools, with quizzes to help children review what they had learned during the term.
We took part in the Family Day of the Szeder Street crèche, where our shelter was represented by Tiny Tit, Teki, and some kittens, along with Szilvia Fekete volunteer and Gyöngyi Krepsz.
As the final activity of the kindergarten children's classes, the children visited our animal shelter and got to know the animals that live there.
The children of the Vasvári Pál primary school camp were welcomed at the animal shelter by Gyöngyi Krepsz, who introduced them to the work of the shelter and the animals living there, and they were happy to visit the animal houses.
The first round of our day camp was also completed with the participation of 14 children. During the week-long camp, the children learned about the daily life of the shelter and the basics of animal welfare.
Kyndryl employees came to us for a volunteer day: they helped with the clean-up, painting, mowing the lawn, and then they took care of the animals, bathing, walking and grooming.
The second round of our day camp was attended by 15 children. The children learned through playful activities and presentations.
We were at the Full Life Social Foundation camp in Söréd. Tiny Tit, Teki, some cats accompanied Gyöngyi Krepsz and volunteers helped the camp residents to get to know the animals and the main problems of animal protection.
The third round of our day camp was completed with the participation of 14 children. An important part of the camp is when the children are with the animals, learning about their individual lives and pasts, participating in their socialization and care.
At the invitation of Valeria Győri, police warrant officer, Gyöngyi Krepsz and Tiny Tit held three consecutive animal protection lectures for the police officers of the Vajda János Technical School in Bicske.
We took part in the Civil Day organised by the municipality in Zichy Park. Our dogs, cats and Teki were a great success, and Gyöngyi Krepsz was able to present the activities of our shelter on stage.
We organised a volunteer recruitment day, which was very successful, with old and new volunteers painting the outside walls of the kennel row, cleaning and walking the dogs. The recruitment day was successful, several new volunteers joined our team, and the local TV channel Fehérvár Television also filmed the event.
A training course started, which lasted until mid-December, thanks to our volunteers six of our dogs could participate, every Sunday the animals could learn new things with the help of dog trainer Viktória Bertha and Berill Németh. Molly found an owner during the training and was brought to the training by her adopters. Since then Orbit has also been living in a loving home.
At the invitation of Auchan department store we organised a two-day fundraising weekend, which was very successful, we brought dogs and cats to the store, and dog Tapi found a new owner on the spot. We received a lot of donations from the customers of the store.
World Animal Day was celebrated with the help of many educational institutions. Many of them collected donations for us, some of them brought donations to the animal shelter (Zámolyi kindergarten), some of them sent some children as representatives, we always showed them around and they could visit the animal shelters (Vackor kindergarten from Iszkaszentgyörgy, Comenius primary school, Munkácsy Mihály primary school). The donation from the Pákozdi kindergarten was received by Tiny Tit and Gyöngyi Krepsz, and at the King Stephen kindergarten, a short session was held for each group after receiving the donations. We were also invited to the primary school of Zichyújfalu, Teki, Tiny Tit, some cats represented the shelter and helped the volunteer work of the shelter manager Gyöngyi Krepsz and Dóra Győriné Dombi, and all school classes from 1 to 4 participated in the session. There was also team building at the shelter: staff of the company Harman visited us and walked the residents of the group kennels.
At the Vasvár Primary School's Family Day, our volunteers presented dogs, cats, a corn snake and a gecko. Children and parents alike enjoyed the session.
On the occasion of World Animal Day, we were invited to the Kölcsey Cultural Centre in Oroszlány, Hungary. After the photo exhibition of Milán Radics, Viktória Omáscsik talked to Dr. Tamás Berkényi and Gyöngyi Krepsz. Krepsz Gyöngyi, Tiny Tit and Mimi dog held 4 animal protection lectures in Budapest at the Fazekas Mihály Practical School, about the correct keeping of animals, the needs and rights of animals, the correct treatment of animals, many topics were covered in a playful way.
The Centre for Animal Protection Law, Analysis and Methodology of the University of Veterinary Medicine held a professional day on the topic of animal protection aspects of dog training and service dog ownership, animal protection in the service of crime prevention. Our association was also invited to the closed, invitation-only professional day, where Dr. Attila Berey, President, was accompanied by Gyöngyi Krepsz, Head of the Department, and Éva Szarvas, volunteer.
During the current session of the children's series, Gyöngyi Krepsz held a session on Széna Square, with the help of Tiny Tit, on the needs of animals, the behaviour and training of dogs.
Many institutions and groups have collected donations for our animals. At the end of November, we received donations from two associations from around the near Velence lake, brought to our shelter by Gabriella Bikárdi.
Criterion employees not only delivered the donations they collected, but also walked some of the dogs.
Grundfos employees held a bake sale to raise funds and brought the 110.000 HUF donation to us.
We hosted the 13 year old basketball team of Alba Fehérvár for a team bonding training. The boys cleaned the cats' house, did the dishes, then had fun playing with the animals and took part in a group dog walk.
Following another invitation from Auchan department store, we organised another fundraising weekend at the end of this month, which was also very successful.
This month's children's event on Széna Square had the theme "Animals and winter". Zoologist Gyöngyi Krepsz talked to the children about what happens in autumn and winter in nature, what happens to flowers and trees? What tactics do animals use to survive the lack of food and the cold? Gyöngyi also explained how they can help animals (winter bird feeding, insect hotels), what an owner should do to prepare his dog or cat.
On the Health Day of Táncsics Mihály Primary School, two second and two fourth grade classes were given an animal protection session by Gyöngyi Krepsz, assisted by Mimi the dog, along with Tiny Tit.
Mayor András Cser-Palkovics and several representatives of the municipality, along with Péter Óvádi, the Government Commissioner for Animal Welfare, received the staff of our shelter in the Small Council Chamber, and thanked them for the past 30 years of work by presenting them with a commemorative plaque and gift packages. The staff was hosted by one of our volunteers for lunch, where we shared a lot of nostalgia about the past decades and the many animals that have visited the shelter.
Gyöngyi Krepsz and Tiny Kis paid a visit to the Millennium School and collected the donations. Of course, they also gave a presentation to the school's students.
We joined the national Animal Protection Weekwhere many educational institutions organised a collection for us, and the donations were handed over to give us the opportunity to talk about basic animal protection issues and show the work of the shelter. We welcomed representatives from the Kodolányi János primary school and high school to the animal shelter. We also visited the Vasvári Pál primary school to collect donations.
Chirstmas for Animalsis almost two decades in the making, with children from the Széna Square Primary School performing and decorating the animals' Christmas tree. They collected many donations, which were brought to us with the help of parents. Dr. Miklósné Horváth, Member of Parliament, and Mr. Zsolt Lehrner, Deputy Mayor, brought donations under the animals' Christmas tree on behalf of the local government representatives.
As part of the Fressnapf Pet Stores Christmas campaign, our shelter animals received personalised gifts, we wrote down the wishes of our animals and these were placed on the Christmas trees in the stores, and many people supported our work in this way.
We joined the Santa Claus project, which was advertised nationally by Captain Töpi, and our selected animals Pehely the kitten, Barka the dog, and Treat the dog, received several packages thanks to the goodwill of people.
Thanks to the support of the Pocking animal shelter and the Kolwer couple, we were able to receive a donation of a trailer for a car just before Christmas, with lots of food, canned food, equipment, tools and a washing machine.
Thanks to the 2021 Ministry of Agriculture grant, we were able to repair the floor and walls of the kennel after 20 years. The repair was very much overdue, as the concrete had cracked in many places and the condition of the walls had deteriorated a lot over the 20 years. However, the funding was not enough for all the kennels. So the municipality supplemented this grant and as a result the floors of all the kennels were renovated. The municipality originally provided a grant of 5 million HUF for the renovation of the kennels, but due to the energy crisis we had to adjust this, so we ended up spending HUF 3 million on the renovation of the kennels and HUF 2 million on paying the electricity bill and heating the medical department. This meant that there was no money for the outside walls of the kennels, but volunteers painted the outside walls.
The access road leading to our shelter has been resurfaced thanks to the help of the local government and Tamás Vargha, Member of Parliament. Our volunteers have been working on the replacement of the office building, and thanks to a grant we received the necessary building materials. The office building was handed over in 2001 (also with a grant), and the roof was badly in need of repair, as the building had already leaked in several places.
Our Association and Foundation submitted a total of 12 applications, of which 10 were successful, 1 was unsuccessful and 1 is awaiting the final result (it has already been received and formally approved). Herosz FM received a grant of 15.520.000HUF from the Municipality of Székesfehérvár for operation, renovation and events, and the Herosz Fehérvár Animal Shelter Foundation received 2.440.000HUF. In the national competition, which was announced for the first time this year by the Herman Ottó Institute, the Fehérvár Animal Shelter won a grant of 3.800.000HUF, which can be used for expenses in 2023.
Our Facebook page has reached 33,000 followers, thanks to the coordinated work of volunteers and staff, who keep providing material to Edit Sohonyai, who is the editor-in-chief of the Facebook page and constantly monitors and analyses the statistics. We have 4-5 posts a day, more and more videos, and occasionally we attract attention with live check-ins. Messages to the site are managed by two volunteers, helping us to communicate better. We are very pleased that all our appeals are well received and our followers respond by sending money or parcels to help us provide better care for the animals.
Fortunately, the interest of the press was not lacking. We issued press releases, first a report on the year 2021, then a brochure on the day camp, and a brochure on the 30th anniversary. The mayor's visitreceivedthe most attention. Fehérvár Television filmed several times in our shelter, Best FM, and our news and animals regularly appeared on local online platforms. Every second Sunday, Vörösmarty Radio broadcasted a programme with Csilla Sasvári and Gyöngyi Krepsz about our animals looking for homes. And Andrea Benkő spoke almost every week on her animal protection broadcast on Kossuth Radio, interviewing the leader of our shelter about general and local topics.
In 2022 our volunteers remained committed to helping us. By walking groups and individual kennels on weekends, attending various events and producing materials for publication in the online space, they have played a huge role in getting us through this difficult period.
Our German sponsors were able to take over fewer animals due to the situation in Ukraine, but they supported the shelter with regular donations. At the beginning of the year, the Kolwer couple gifted to us a brand new operating table, which will greatly assist our vets in their work.
Among our domestic supporters we have to mention the Municipality of Székesfehérvár, thanks to the Mayor of Székesfehérvár, we received an additional HUF 4 million for the operating costs of the shelter's birthday, and HUF 5 million for the renovation of the kennels, part of which was used to cover the increased overhead costs due to the energy crisis. In addition, many of the Members of Parliament supported our work from their own budgets.
In 2022 our Supporters Association raised 890.050 forint thanks to its members who support our work with regular monthly payments. We have had regular virtual adoptions, in addition to the donation box, we have received many cases of support by postal parcel, and many people have supported us by transferring money to our account. In the autumn, when it became clear that we would not be able to afford the escalating gas prices and that our electricity bills would be very high, we were able to switch to air-conditioned heating for several buildings with the help of two individuals. These were two very significant gifts without which buildings would have been left without heating.
Unfortunately, since covid our financial situation has been getting worse, last year's price increases have made our work very difficult, donations have not decreased, but they cannot compensate for the extent of the price increases.
It is very difficult to plan anything in such difficult and totally unpredictable times. The war is not over and this is affecting prices, the energy crisis is deepening. As a non-governmental organisation, we do not get any discounts, we have to pay energy prices at market prices. Our donors are affected in the same way, so there is no way of knowing how far our income, which is largely from donations, can keep up with inflation and the terrible price rises. The only thing we can do at the moment is to try to get through the difficulties, to manage a very tight budget, while not compromising the care of the animals.
We don’t know how we will get through this year. Our financial reserves are exhausted. A lot will depend on the support that the municipality will provide in the framework of the contract of service. Of course, we will continue to use all the tendering opportunities in 2023. The outcome of the tenders is not foreseeable, which also makes planning difficult, while there are many sick animals arriving who need immediate care.
Head of the HEROSZ Fehérvár Animal Shelter