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Maria shares her stray stor(ies)

Life is full of surprises, and one internship in Georgia turned out to be a game-changer for me. Back in 2019, it was my first encounter with stray dogs, and I was shocked by the sheer number of them and their dismal health conditions due to starvation. Amidst this distressing sight, I met Mariam, with whom I’ve been in touch every day since April 2019. Mariam became my guide, enlightening me about the plight of strays and the challenging situation in Georgia.

Thanks to Mariam, I met Belka, a three-legged shelter dog whose presence has brought immense joy into my life since April 28, 2021. In 2022, Mariam introduced Dodde and Millen to our family, two seemingly hopeless adoption cases who have since filled our lives with even more happiness. Together, the four of us—Belka, Dodde, Millen, and I—embark on a journey of discovery, witnessing their unique personalities blossom each day.

But Mariam didn’t just expand our paw family; she also sparked an idea—a website aimed at promoting adoptions, sterilizations, and fundraising efforts to support rural families fostering strays in Georgia. With Mariam’s determination and Rusudan’s graphic design expertise, we launched the website, showcasing Rusudan’s stunning artwork and graphics alongside photographs of foster dogs taken by a volunteer photographer.

The work of Zero Strays Georgia is entirely driven by volunteers like us. While Rusudan dedicates her free time to designing and building the website, Mariam tirelessly cares for strays, taking them to vets, providing food, and preparing them for adoption. As for me, I contribute by fundraising and covering foster fees and website expenses to keep our mission going.

Now, we’re focused on strategizing, delegating responsibilities within our team and friendship circle, and reaching out to others for support to advocate for new legislation and its implementation, paving the way for a sustainable future in animal welfare in Georgia.

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