animal kind international

Animal-Kind International Partner Organization: Save the Animals Armenia (SAA)

Above: Save the Animals-Armenia's shelter, where all the dogs get their share of belly rubs

Save the Animals-Armenia is AKI’s partner organization in Armenia. The SAA shelter provides sanctuary for about 220 dogs.  All dogs get out of their kennels every day for exercise; they are all treated by a vet when needed, are vaccinated, and get spayed (and males get neutered when funds allow); they get good, healthy meals every day (as you can see in the picture above, no ribs are showing!); and they are adopted into good homes—although in Yerevan, there are still very few adopters, especially for large, mixed breed dogs. Until they are adopted, they have a permanent home at the SAA shelter.

SAA also feeds, spay/neuters, and provides other vet care to street dogs and cats, which local communities then take care of.

SAA helps all these dogs, yet gets no government support. They are able to raise only a small percent of the money from within Armenia that’s needed to maintain the shelter.  Our partnership with SAA has made a huge difference for the dogs at the shelter. Click on the photo gallery to see how AKI donors have improved the lives of SAA dogs and community dogs and cats.


Stray dogs in Yerevan are often killed by the municipality. Nune, a piano teacher, could not stand to see the dead bodies of dogs on the streets of Yerevan city and hear the shootings every night. So she took it upon herself to form a charity that would save the dogs from the killing. Save the Animals provides the only sanctuary these dogs have from this cruel form of “animal control.”

Operating an animal shelter any place in the world is costly and time consuming. Even so, in 2003, Nune decided to start the Save the Animals’ shelter in Yerevan, Armenia. She rented a small, run-down factory, put her friends and supporters to work building the kennels, and repaired the existing building, making a space for the kitchen, with a small hub to cook food for the dogs. At that time, Nune probably never imagined she would have over 200 dogs at the shelter, and a staff that includes a manager, cook, cleaners, and a security guard.

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(Photo above: Save the Animals: A registered charity in Armenia and the only animal shelter in Yerevan.)

Please read this article about the situation for dogs in Yerevan:

And watch this video of Nune at the shelter and see why AKI supports SAA; we hope you will too!

(Photo above: Roofs at the Save the Animals' shelter were repaired and replaced with AKI funds.  Thanks to these new roofs, the dogs stayed warm and dry during the cold winter of 2012.) 

(Below) These are four of the oldest dogs at the Save the Animals' shelter (click on each photo to read the dog’s story).






This (photo left) is one of three puppies dumped outside the SAA shelter in early 2014.

But AKI received good news from SAA in March. One of the three puppies dumped outside the shelter was adopted; and later, the others were. And then in June, two other dogs were adopted! (See pictures below.) We’re slowly seeing a change in Armenia—interest in mixed breeds and in adoption is growing.





When you designate your AKI donation for Save the Animals-Armenia, Nune will use the funds to buy dog food, to spay/neuter dogs at the shelter, to get needed vet care, to fund shelter repairs, and to help support the SAA community dog and cat program (See photo gallery for more information and see photos below of the shelter.)



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Some Photos/Info

Rally around the Armenian Gampr. The Armenian Gampr is the national dog of Armenia. It is a sheepherding dog, strong and proud. Save the Animals hopes to encourage Armenians to be proud of this national symbol of their country.


I came across this nice scene when I was working in Armenia....a vision of kindness.  -Karen


Gudrun contacted AKI about 2 dogs living outside of Yerevan, who were chained and not well-fed or given water. She was hoping to bring the dogs to the Save the Animals' shelter in Yerevan, but the owner refused to give them up. Instead, she worked with him so that he would provide better care.

Gudrun tells us, "I never saw that people were bad to the dogs. Most were indifferent, but they were not bad to them." Read her article about her experience with the street dogs and owned dogs of Armenia. Click here.

Ovsanna, an Armenian animal activist, sent these stories of animal rescues to AKI; click here to read them: