House with a tail

This project aims to socialize and help animals who have lost their home, as well as caring people who want to help them.

Photo of Елена Дебеляк
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize and, based on its description, I am eligible to apply:

  • Yes, I’m eligible
  • Yes, I’m 18 years old or older

Should you be successful, please confirm your availability to attend:

  • Additional Skype interview(s) during the week of March 16-20th 2020
  • The Purina BetterwithPets Forum in Paris, on 3-4th of June 2020

Initiative's representative name

Debeljak Elena Vyacheslavovna

Initiative's representative date of birth


Initiative's representative gender

  • Woman

Headquarters location: country

  • Russia

Headquarters location: city

184511, Murmansk region, Monchegorsk city

Where are you making a difference?


Website or social media url(s)

Date Started


Focus Areas

  • Fostering emotional intelligence and behavioural competences
  • Promote inclusivity
  • Enhance physical activity and wellness
  • Re-imagining the role of pets in society
  • Revolutionizing veterinary care for pets

What is your current yearly budget for the initiative? If you are an idea stage, what early budget you would need to kick-off and run operations in your first year?

  • €10k - €50k

Organisation Type

  • nonprofit/NGO: an organisation that uses its resources to achieve a purpose outside of creating profit

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

The project of a homeless animal shelter “House with a tail” was designed on November 30, 2017. a group of initiative citizens of the city who decided to change the thinking of the citizens of their city to the problem of homeless animals. The initiative group consists of only five people. On June 28, 2018, the nonprofit shelter was officially registered and, despite all the difficulties, exists to help animals find their home.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

The problem of homeless animals in Russia exists in every city, but the state stubbornly does not want to notice this in order to solve this problem constructively, so caring people come together to help animals together. For this, public shelters for animals that have lost their homes are being created.

3. Your solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

To solve the problem of homeless animals, it is necessary to provide such animals with a temporary home in which they will feel safe and love among people who give their heart and love. Such animals will forget about aggression, hunger and cold. Such animals can be re-attached to the family.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

We use home furnishings and daily routines to meet the needs of former pets. The innovations of our shelter are that each animal has the opportunity to feel at home, because we allow them to lie on the sofas that the townspeople bring to the shelter. We sometimes joke that our ward dogs are not homeless, but real "sofa" dogs, ready to move to any house and family ;-)

5. How does your project harness the pet-human bond to help people develop important social competencies (For example: emotional intelligence, collaboration, empathy, resilience, inclusivity) and overcome serious societal issues (for example: violence, abuse, trauma, isolation, abandonment)?

Our project is an open platform for everyone who once experienced the psychological stress of losing their animal. Such people can always come to our shelter for psychological relief or choose a pet. We are also often visited by disabled people, pensioners and students who find it difficult to get an animal but really want to communicate with them. Thus, they join our team of volunteers and get communication, like-minded people and the knowledge they need.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

Thanks to the propaganda of a humane attitude towards domestic and neglected animals, cases of cruelty to animals have practically ceased in the city. Residents of the city are involved in zoo-volunteering, developing a humane and responsible attitude towards animals. Public organizations of the city contribute to helping homeless animals in our shelter. Joint promotions and events. Among them are volunteers: “Combine of Good”, “Silver Volunteers”, the Children's Home for Disabled, initiative groups of schools and kindergartens, youth communities, employees of city organizations, entrepreneurs, as well as employees and officials of our Administration of the city of Monchegorsk.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

At the moment, thanks to our shelter, 6 public shelters have already been created in neighboring of the region, which have taken over our experience and accepted the support of the population. We plan to create shelters based on the principle of responsible animal welfare in every village in our northern region.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for different stakeholders?

1. Change in society a negative and passive approach to the problem of street animals to a positive and active, while improving the quality of life of disadvantaged animals. 2. Break the system of sadness and sorrow and change the stereotype of people that a shelter for homeless animals is only death, pain and tears. 3. Create an interesting and safe area for communication with animals children and adults. 4. Try to change the indifferent or squeamish attitude towards homeless animals into loyal and merciful.

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

Project financing is in the nature of voluntary donations from individuals and legal entities. Appeal to donors occurs through the media, charity events, social networks and the distribution of letters of application to various organizations, as well as through participation in social projects, grants and competitions for non-profit organizations. Part of the donations is made by the founders, volunteers and volunteers of the shelter.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

Our team has roles: the head of the organization, the volunteer-veterinarian, the volunteer-dog handler, the volunteer-head of the household, the volunteer-cook, the volunteer-guard, the volunteer-driver.

11. How do you plan to influence your field of work if you are a winner of this edition of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize?

We will spend the fee for the reconstruction of the shelter's premises for expanding places for keeping animals, we will purchase food and medicine, and we will also make the shelter more comfortable for visitors people and animals.

12. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media
  • Search engine
  • Recommended by others


Join the conversation:

Photo of Валерия Кондрашова

Огромные молодцы! В некоторых ваших подопечных узнала своих домашних собак. Надеюсь, что у вас все получится!

Photo of Анастасия n/a

От всей души желаю вам удачи!