(Lithuania): "'Grinda' – Companion Animals' Ghetto?"

Many people take their companion animals to Vilnius Animal Sanctuary “Grinda” and do not think that most probably nobody will take care of their pets, but after 14 days they will be given lethal injections. “Animal Sanctuary” is a misleading name, so at present it is being considered to rename the Animal Sanctuary into Quarantine House. “Grinda” does not arrange animal pet’s fairs, does not advertise them for adoption, and does not keep them more than 14 days. It can hardly be called “care”.

Companion Animals Keeping Conditions are Tragical

The former worker Tomas (name is changed) says: “Everything is very simple, companion animals are euthanized in huge numbers – about two tons per month. But until the euthanasia they have to go through real hell: they get ill because of the viruses in the premises, they stop eating, become weaker and weaker, and then they are euthanized. “

Another worker adds: “I worked in old premises. There was even more terrible – because of starvation, shortage and psychological fray, both cats and dogs would eat one another. After I used to come to work after the weekend, I used to see about ten dead animals. Often they would just eat one another because of starvation.”

At present in “Grinda” Vilnius Animal Sanctuary both healthy and sick companion animals are kept in one premise. Healthy animals have no chance for survival. Volunteers of Lithuanian Society for the Protection of Animals Vilnius Branch who work nearby tell that the young die of diseases after several days already.

Healthy companion animals catch various viral diseases in “Grinda”. In 2009 five thousand animals were taken to “Grinda”, and only every eighth or ninth remained alive. Lithuanian Society for the Protection of Animals Vilnius Branch saves a lot of them. “Grinda” gives about 1, 5 tons of the carcasses per month to the Closed Joint-Stock Company “Rietavas Veterinary Sanitation”, which utilizes them. This company makes bone meals from the dead cats and dogs. Later the supplements for the food are made for the same cats and dogs.

The director of “Grinda” Algimantas Vilūnas, who has been working there for 17 years, denies such accusations, calling them “old wives’ tales”: “Do not dramatize with these animals. What happened to all of you? I do not see any bad behavior here. Every third Vilnius resident lives not worse than animals in our Animal Sanctuary. We emphatically reject any statements about cruelty with animals in “Grinda”.

All the responsibility must be taken by Vladas Masiulis, head veterinarian of the Animal Sanctuary “Grinda”. Recently he has received a warning from Vilnius Food and Veterinary Service, that should control the welfare of companion animals kept in “Grinda”, concerning an inappropriate use of strong psycho tropical medicine for animals. He received only a warning maybe because he worked in Kaunas Food and Veterinary Service for some time. By the way, it is said that V.Masiulis earlier worked as a sticker in Kaunas Meat Company. As the company was liquidated, it cannot be proved.

A Dog is Given, Later it is put to Sleep

Witnesses say that this June V.Masiulis irresponsibly gave a female dog of Shar Pei breed to the man with unstable mind. At the moment when this man was leading the dog through the territory of “Grinda”, volunteers of the Lithuanian Society for the Protection of Animals Vilnius Branch working in Life Wagons were watching the procedure, how the Shar Pei was given and the volunteers were surprised very much by the behavior of the young man who was leading her: he shouted loudly, swore, waved his hands, and shook his fist at the dog.

At home the dog snapped his hand, and then the man called his caregiver, who took the dog to other people to the Lithuanian city of Kelme. There the dog was placed in the basement of the house, allegedly she was also beaten. Neighbors contacted “Grinda” and Lithuanian Society for the Protection of Animals Vilnius Branch. After long persuasions V.Masiulis went to the city of Kelme to bring back the dog. Although he said that “after coming to Kelme, the dog did not look very ill and was a bit aggressive”, when she was brought to Vilnius Veterinary Clinic, she was in agony and soon died. The head of the clinic told us that the view was terrible – the dog was dizzy, urinated, vomiting and bloody – V.Masiulis had injected to the dog strong psycho tropical medicine “Do lethal”. Her body temperature hardly reached 32 degrees, because during the trip from the city of Kelme to Vilnius she was kept in the boot of the car. The Veterinarian did not comment the situation, only replied: “What happened, that happened”.

The former workers can tell more similar stories. One more former worker says: “Vilnius Food and Veterinary Service knows what happens there”. It is a closed circle. There were several people from Vilnius Food and Veterinary Service who loved animals, but when they tried to change something, at once they were down-graded and their salaries were reduced.

It is said that money-laundering is done in “Grinda”. “The capture of an animal is declared, it exists only in papers, after that fictitious euthanasia takes place. The municipality pays money for every animal, for medicine used for euthanasia. As there is no a captured dog, nor used medicine, we can only imagine to whose pocket money goes. “Surely, these things are denied by the administration of “Grinda”, by the head veterinarian V.Masiulis and by the employees of the municipality. V.Masiulis did not allow the journalists to take any pictures. After a savage conversation he babbled: “I do not want to talk. I do not want to say anything unnecessary”. A.Vilūnas, the head of “Grinda” also did not give the permission.

Troubles in the Accountancy

Joint-Stock Company “Grinda” has troubles in other fields of its activities too. This year, in May the Audit and Control employees from municipality made an inspection. They discovered a strange fact – the bookkeeping, where entries can be corrected at any time and in any way, when not leaving any mark. There is no a united accountancy program, that would ensure a solid accountancy system, would interlink all the accountancy fields, ensure safe change in accountancy data and would allow to process this data in several ways. The data of financial accountability is entered with simple “Microsoft Excel” program, so in all aspects of records, corrections can be done in any time and in any amounts and can be corrected without separate documentation and registration.

There is no administration record, at the same time activity costs are not counted, it is referred to a certain economic- industrial analyses, intuition and qualified decisions.

A.Vilūnas, the director of “Grinda” denies these conclusions, made by Municipality audit and says: “The statement about the uncertain accountancy is unfounded at all, because State Tax Inspection, Social Insurance and independent audit do not have any pretense. Here we can only discuss about the application of one or another accountancy program.

Although the facts were established by the appropriate institutions several months ago, the situation has not changed yet. (Lithuanian)