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About us

Zero Stray Georgia was founded in 2015 by Mariam Shekiladze, an animal rights activist from Georgia. Georgia, a country of up to 4 million people, is home to an estimated half a million stray animals. Growing up in Zugdidi, an underserved town in Western Georgia, Mariam felt alarmed and determined to help stray animals from a very early age. Since 2015, she has been actively coordinating rescue missions, building a network of international friends and partners, and spaying and adopting hundreds of dogs. 

Today, Zero Stray Georgia brings together a handful of international volunteers with years of experience and training in stray animal management. We are working tirelessly to eliminate the stray dog and cat populations in Georgia one animal at a time. We rescue, treat, neuter and put them up for adoption, either in Georgia or abroad. We refuse to put our rescues in shelters as this results in behavioural issues and a loss of identity for the animal. Instead, we put them up in foster homes as temporary shelters for strays before their adoption and ensure that they are properly socialized and cared for. At the same time, we support underserved, rural families in Georgia through foster fees. 

Meet our team!

Mariam Shekiladze

Since 2015, Mariam has singlehandedly rescued and neutered hundreds of strays, and sent many of them abroad for adoption. Heartbroken by the worsening situation in the streets of Georgia, she can't bring herself to stop, so she founded Zero Strays to make it a group effort

Lola Grzegorczyk

Adopter of a Georgian stray dog named Georgia and lead fundraiser who collects funds and vet volunteers to sterilise strays in Georgia - primarily in Zugdidi. Lola has successfully helped Mariam to neuter 300 + stray dogs and cats in Zugdidi and surrounding villages.

Natia Chikovani

Natia spends every free hour she gets on animal rights activism. As a co-founder at the Animal Project, she has saved countless lives. At Zero Strays, she takes care of our PR.

Nona Nachkebia

With a track record of rehoming countless strays, Nona is a local stray life-saver from Zugdidi who never gives up on trying to improve the situation for the strays of Georgia

Simona Sterlyova

Simona is a traveler living in the Czech Republic. She has already established several collections in the Czech Republic to help Georgian dogs. She advises every Czech traveler who finds himself in trouble in Georgia because of a stray dog.

Rusudan Djakeli

Known as the crazy cat mom among friends, Rusudan pitches in with UI and graphic designs and fundraising advice at Zero Strays. She has dedicated her life to the nonprofit world.

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Jitka Doubkova

Doing the best of what she learned from her parents - that helping animals and be kind to them is normal. In work she tries to help people and in free time she tries to help animals. She is a proud owner of a dog, horses and many saved cats.

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Kateřina and David Zelinkovi

A married couple from the Czech Republic, travellers who love animals and nature. Adopters of Georgian stray dog Gruz, a new friend for their white shepherd Severus. Together with Jitka, they founded a Czech sister organisation to help Georgian strays.

Maria Peterson

Adopter of Belka (2021), Ziggy and Millen (2022) who lived in Georgia in 2019 and who tries to support the work around improving the situation for strays in Georgia.

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Evgenia Petrova

Evgenia moved to Zugdidi with her family one year ago and has since adopted four stray dogs. She helps with rescue missions and is our volunteer photographer.

We’re always looking for volunteers who can help with research, writing emails, creating content, etc. Join us here: