ABOUT US

OUR WORK

We sincerely believe that all animals left without home deserve a second chance, so we take care of them, heal them and do everything we can to find their dream home. Animal rescue organisation “Lese” was found in 2007. Currently, we have two subunits – in Vilnius and Kaunas. Our goal is finding home for all sheltered animals, thus they stay in the shelter until they find new owners or die of old age. The organization is based on people who volunteer at the shelter. Our main activities: 

  • pet neutering and carrying out “Catch – Neuter – Release” program
  • temporary foster care for pets
  • a search for new homes for animals
  • animal rescue and treatment
  • donated, lost and found animals webpage administration at www.gyvunugloba.lt.

Our goals:

  • Reducing the number of stray animals in a humane way
  • Finding new homes for foster pets
  • Development and implementation of an efficient animal rescue system
  • Establishing an animal shelter that meets European Union standards 
  • Organising and fulfilling public education programs concerning the activities of the organisation and animal care in Lithuania

Our mission:

  • Sharing information that contributes to animal welfare
  • Providing high-quality supervision for sheltered animals  

Our vision We seek to continue being an organisation that actively improves the situation of stray animals throughout Lithuania, defends and fights for animal rights and develops a responsible attitude towards animals.  Our values:

  • life
  • humanity
  • clarity
  • responsibility
  • dedication
  • socialisation
  • diligence

 

Work statistics

Lesė katės
Lesė šunys
Lesė gyvūnai

50

Events

30

Excursions

15

Lessons

VILNIUS SHELTER STORY

We are a non-governmental, non-profit animal welfare organization based on volunteers. Some of our members started their animal care work at “Pifas” Animal Care Service back in 2006. In 2007, the Vilnius team established a separate organisation, “Vilniaus Pifas”, which was later renamed to “Lese”. Initially, we performed animal rescue work, treated and took care of animals at the homes of volunteers. We started with very limited resources. Most of the cost of animal care and treatment was covered by shelter members.

In 2008, we rented the first shelter premises – the Philaret Clinic based in Užupis, where we housed about 20-20 animals, 5-10 of which were dogs. 

In 2010, we moved to our current rented premises in Buivydiškės, where we became able to foster more animals, especially dogs. Over 100 animals, including about 30-40 dogs, can be sheltered simultaneously. The premises are rented from Vilniaus Kolegija. 

We believe that working in a shelter alone is not enough to ensure better conditions for animals in Lithuania, so we are actively engaged in education and school visiting. We often attend various events, greet guests and guest groups at the shelter. Each animal in our shelter is firstly a friend of ours, so we do not put them to sleep unless it is an exceptional, incurable disease. We always welcome the help of new volunteers as well as invitations to events and other animal-related activities. 

Since its establishment in 2007 Vesta Auškalnienė, who is also the director, founder and sole shareholder of “Lese”, is the head of the Vilnius branch of “Lese”. Vesta makes decisions on the ongoing refurbishment of the Vilnius shelter, animal adoption, care, treatment and “Catch – Neuter – Release” program. 

Vesta started effective animal rescue activities back in 2006 before the first voluntary animal welfare organisations were formed. Together with other animal lovers, she started promoting and searching for a new home for the animals at Kaunas Aleksotas shelter (closed in 2010) and for the animals at the Vilnius Sanitary Service “Grinda”, until then almost all animals died there.

In 2006, Vesta was also one of the founders of “Pifas” (the first voluntary animal welfare organisation). Since 2011, Vesta is the first official employee at “Lese” (after five years of voluntary work)

KAUNAS SHELTER

Kaunas “Lese” is a subunit of the Animal Care Organisation “Lese”. It is a public, non-profit, non-governmental organisation that takes care of stray dogs and cats, doesn’t put them to sleep, foster them until old age or until a new home for them is found. Kaunas subunit is based on people who work in a shelter voluntarily. 

Kaunas shelter often participates in various events, greet guests and guest groups at the shelter. We always welcome the help of new volunteers as well as invitations to events and other animal-related activities. 

In 2008, several enthusiastic volunteers, who cared for stray animals, established Kaunas “Lese”. Considering that almost all of the activities of “Lese” were carried out only in Vilnius and there were only three volunteers in Kaunas, it took a great passion and determination to start the new activity from scratch. Volunteers started to take care of stray animals in their homes, look for new owners, organise and establish a sterilisation financing program in Kaunas. In 2008, during this program, “Lese” paid part of the cost of animal sterilisation for more than a hundred animals. 

In 2010, a team of volunteers from “Pifas” Animal Care Service with extensive experience in animal care joined the “Lese” team. The “Catch – Neuter – Release” was significantly expanded in Kaunas. Education for students was also actively initiated, pointing out the responsible animal care, the situation in Lithuania and the importance of sterilisation. 

In February 2011, the rent contract of industrial and warehouse premises in Sausine village was signed, and the repairs were started. The agreement was signed for five years until 15th February 2016. In February 2016, industrial and warehouse premises were purchased and are currently owned by the public enterprise “Lese”. 

Since 2008 Egle Balezentiene is the head of Kaunas branch of  “Lese”. Egle makes decisions on the ongoing refurbishment of the Kaunas shelter, animal adoption, care and treatment in Kaunas. She started animal rescue activities back in 2006 at “Pifas”, the first voluntary animal welfare organisation, where she was responsible for animal rescue and coordination of volunteers.

WILD LESE

Founded in 2014, “Wild Lese” was the first voluntary organisation in Lithuania to save wild animals. It is a subunit of “Lese” in Kaunas. In “Wild Lese” you can meet foxes, crows, roe deer, winches, hares, parrots, storks and many other animals that are unusual to find in other shelters. Wild animals are taken from nature when they are injured or at risk. Cured wild animal, if they can still adapt in nature, are released, if they can no longer do so – remain under the care of “Wild Lese” or are donated to people who have permission to keep them at home. 

 

Parrots and other pets are usually taken to “Wild Lese” when their owners no longer want to keep them, move away, or no longer can take care of them. Such animals are given as gifts. “Wild Lese” is always looking for volunteers with experience! If you know how to deal with wild/exotic animals, got the understanding of the risks and potential dangers, write to us here – laukine@lese.lt 

PROJECTS

We are the first animal care organisation accredited to accept volunteers from abroad for long term projects (10-12 mos.). This program is called the European Solidarity Corps (ESC). Each year we accept 4 foreign volunteers in Vilnius and 1 in Kaunas, providing them appropriate volunteering conditions and human resources. ESC volunteers help sheltered cats or dogs as well as participate in various events with Lithuanian volunteers. As a result, “Lese” volunteers not only help the animals but also strengthen relationships with people from other countries and get to know different cultures. 

In partnership with the organisation “Socialinis veiksmas”, we accept volunteers under the “Atrask save” program. It is a Lithuanian-funded project for Lithuanian citizens who are not working and looking for activities. In this project, people volunteer at the shelter for up to three months. If they like volunteering in the shelter, they are always welcome to come back and continue it. By participating in “Atrask save” project, we encourage Lithuanians to volunteer and help us. 

One of the biggest and most successful projects is the “Catch – Neuter – Release”  project, in which caught wild cats are sterilised and released back to their habitat. 

We are also involved in smaller projects such as “One Day Volunteer”. During this project, we meet new people at various events and invite them to visit our shelter. Upon arrival, visitors are introduced to the shelter, its daily routine and animals. “One Day Volunteer” is another way we try to expand a team of active volunteers and engage the community.

“Senjoras senjorui” is a sensitive project whereby seniors are allowed to take care of and love pets, as for the older pet to live a respectably and peacefully at the old age. All pet involved costs are covered by us, and if the senior is no longer able to take care of the pet, we take it back. 

We are always looking for suggestions or ideas where we can join! All you have to do is email us: vilnius@lese.lt, and we will definitely consider it.

EVENTS

In addition to our daily work in the shelter, we also participate in various events. One of our goals is to educate society. At the events, we meet many like-minded people with whom we share experiences, insights on animal care and their welfare. We also try to meet potential volunteers during events, so we talk about the benefits and challenges of volunteering. Whenever possible, we take our pets together, who lift everyone’s mood, play with the visitors of the event, wait for pats and hope to find a home. Events we participate in include volunteering fairs, studio fairs, music festivals, Christmas and other festivities. 

We always welcome invitations to events, where we could be helpful. If you would like to invite us, please email us: vilnius@lese.lt

EDUCATION

Especially, we pay attention to education. We started by welcoming groups of students in our shelter, and now we are trying to educate not only young people but society as a whole. We use social networks for this purpose and also participate in various events. During school trips, we discuss the issue of stray animals with students: where they come from, what to do to reduce the number of homeless animals and what animal shelters do. Students learn about dog body language, pet care, volunteering. Our cats are not forgotten as well – they get a lot of attention and gentle cuddles from school children. We are also visiting schools and teach there if schools invite us. The purpose of the lessons is to nurture the younger generation’s responsible attitude towards pets and to help them understand how to interact with their dog. Lessons content is customised to different age groups. If you want to invite us, contact us here: svietimas@lese.lt.