Members of Rotary Club Prague International, along with Zdeněk Střžek, owner of Bejzment Burger Pub and also the promoter of the Jack Daniel’s BurgerFest in Prague, visited Psí útulek Trója to deliver several large bags of quality dog food and a pet carrier. This donation came from the proceeds of RCPI’s participation in BurgerFest 2016.

Psí útulek Trója is the city-owned dog shelter for Prague, and cares for 120 or more dogs at any moment, with sometimes more than 200 dogs coming through the facility in a single month. In 2016, the shelter cared for more than 2,000 dogs, and  the Prague animal protection service reached the milestone of having processed the adoption of 80,000 animals (dogs, cats and others) since it opened in 1993.
Dogs end up at Psí útulek Trója for various reasons. Some are stray dogs found wandering the Prague streets, often because irresponsible owners abandon them. Most come from owners who, for different reasons, no longer can or will keep a dog. According to Mr. Marcel Kovářík, a very skilled and caring dog attendant, who provided a complete and informative tour, most dogs are left by people who are going into retirement.
When a dog arrives, it is checked for fleas, ticks and other parasites, washed, and given a thorough examination by a veterinarian. Any medical conditions that can be safely and effectively undertaken to bring a dog back to good health are performed.
The dogs are housed in various sections of the facility according to size – small, medium and large – and dogs who have been outside for most of their lives are provided with comfortable shelter in outside pens. Very aggressive dogs are housed separately from the main population until such time as they lose their aggression through training and good treatment.
All dogs at the shelter are on offer for adoption, and stay until they are either adopted or their health collapses. “A dog may be here for three hours or for three years,” Mr. Kovářík explained. The shelter does not put animals to sleep unless they can no longer live a good life.
Dog are not the only animals kept at Psí útulek Trója – the shelter also gets an occasional pig, sheep, horses, exotic birds (including the peacocks witnessed on the property), quite a few snakes and lizards, and more. But not cats, which are kept at another facility, Útulek Měcholupy.
As you can imagine, it is not inexpensive to take care of more than 100 dogs and other animals every day, while also giving tours, promoting adoptions, and sending officers out to catch abandoned animals. When Zed Střžek suggested Psí útulek Trója as the designated recipient of the funds that RCPI would generate at BurgerFest, we were very happy to cooperate. Our ability to generate those funds was made greater when Mr. Střžek offered to let the club participate at BurgerFest without having to pay the participation fee, since RCPI is also a non-profit, with all-volunteer staff.
Nearly half of the RCPI members participated during the 2-day BurgerFest event, organized by co-chairs Christian Noll, Mamun Hassan and Casey Holt. Everyone enjoyed the days and the event, and the RCPI board has voted to make participation in it one of the club’s annual efforts. We are welcomed by Mr. Střžek and BurgerFest, and now that the logistics of being burger vendors have been worked out, we look forward to raising even more money for a good cause in future years.