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Russia – Animal Welfare and Cultural Issues

Russia is the world’s largest country, spanning across two continents, and is home to a diverse range of animals and pets. The attitudes towards animals in Russia have evolved over the years, with a growing awareness and concern for animal welfare issues. This article will explore the prevailing attitude towards animals and pets in Russia, the laws surrounding pet ownership, major animal charities, pet supply stores, and cultural taboos or sensitivities associated with different types of animals.

Prevailing Attitude towards Animals and Pets

In Russia, pets have become an important part of many people’s lives, with dogs being the most popular choice of pet. Cats, birds, and fish are also popular choices, and exotic pets such as snakes and lizards are becoming increasingly common. However, the attitude towards animals is not always positive. There is still a significant amount of animal cruelty in Russia, with stray animals often being mistreated or killed.

On the other hand, there are also many animal lovers in Russia who are actively involved in animal welfare issues. For example, many Russians volunteer at animal shelters, organize fundraisers to support animal welfare organizations, and adopt stray animals.

Laws Regarding Pet Ownership

In Russia, there are laws that govern the ownership of pets. According to the Federal Law on Protection of Animals, pet owners are responsible for the well-being and safety of their pets. This law also prohibits animal cruelty, such as neglect or physical abuse, and outlines penalties for those who violate these rules.

Pet owners in Russia are also required to register their pets with local authorities and provide them with proper care, including food, water, and shelter. Dogs must be kept on a leash when in public areas, and owners must clean up after their pets.

Major Animal Charities

There are several animal charities in Russia that work towards improving the welfare of animals. One of the most prominent organizations is the Russian Society for the Protection of Animals (RSPA), which was established in 1867 and is one of the oldest animal welfare organizations in the world. The RSPA runs animal shelters, provides medical care for animals, and works towards changing legislation to better protect animals.


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Another major animal charity in Russia is Big Hearts Foundation, which focuses on rescuing stray animals and providing them with medical care and shelter. Other animal charities in Russia include the Moscow Animal Protection Society and the Cat’s House, which provides a home for stray cats in Moscow.

Pet Supply Stores

Pet supply stores are common in Russia, with many popular chains operating across the country. Some of the most commonly available pet supply stores in Russia include:

  • Zoosvit: This chain of pet supply stores has over 70 locations across Russia, selling a wide range of pet products including food, toys, and accessories. They also offer grooming services for pets.
  • Megazoo: With over 50 stores in Russia, Megazoo is another popular chain of pet supply stores that offers a variety of products for pets. They also offer pet grooming and veterinary services.
  • Petshop: This online pet store offers a wide range of pet products, including food, toys, and accessories. They offer free delivery across Russia for orders over a certain amount.

Cultural Taboos or Sensitivities

In Russia, there are a number of cultural taboos and sensitivities associated with different types of animals. For example, cats are generally considered to be good luck, and it is believed that touching a cat’s tail can bring good fortune. However, black cats are often seen as a bad omen, and it is considered unlucky to cross paths with one.

Similarly, dogs are often seen as loyal and protective animals, and are highly valued as pets. However, there is also a tradition of using dogs for hunting and working purposes, and certain breeds are considered to be better suited for these tasks than others.

Overall, while there are cultural taboos and sensitivities associated with different types of animals in Russia, the country also has a growing animal welfare movement that is working to protect the rights and welfare of all animals.


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