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The "Protect Me" Animal Shelter

The worst and saddest thing you can be in Albania is a dog. Unless you are a dog in Liljana Breshani's animal shelter. Liljana founded the "Protect Me" organization in 2012 in one of her private lots in Vlore, Albania. She rescues, rehabilitates, and re-homes as many dogs as her group of volunteers can. She currently fosters 80 dogs and has recently castrated 100 street dogs.

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Liljana gives the dogs medical attention as well. She has learned a great deal about the health of dogs in the past few years.

The "Protect Me" Organization for Animal Protection in Albania is the only functioning animal shelter in southern Albania. Liljana works tirelessly to get the strays off the streets.

"We must rescue three types of dogs first before any others: puppies; pregnant dogs; and injured dogs. I have to help these dogs before I can help the young, healthy dogs in the streets."

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Liljana also works hard to change the average Albanian's perspective of street dogs. The most common reactions to these dogs is either fear or disgust. Albanians are afraid that the dogs have diseases and that they will be bitten. The owner of one of the hostels in Vlore claimed that he wasn't afraid of being bitten; he was afraid of getting rabies after being bitten. It is also common to see people abusing the dogs on the streets. Last month, Liljana rescued a beautiful three month old puppy who was being "kicked like a ball" by a local in Vlore.

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Vaccinating, castrating, and protecting street dogs should be the responsibility of the Albanian government. "Protect Me" has received some funding, but it is not nearly enough. There are thousands of dogs who need medical attention and homes. More attention must be paid to the treatment of innocent stray dogs. Albania needs more than one shelter.

For this reason, we will be applying for grants and organizing private fundraising in the EU and the USA. We will also welcome international volunteers to spend some time in Vlore and in the shelter. Our goal is to send the dogs to loving homes in Albania and the EU.

For more information, please visit Protect Me's Facebook page, or contact Liljana directly at .

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