German Princess Pleads for Stray Dogs in Ukraine

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German Princess Maja von Hohenzollern visits Ukraine to encourage humane treatment of stray animals in the run-up to the Euro 2012 football tournament. Activists say stray animals are being killed as cities prepare for the summer Euro 2012 matches.

Ambassador for the European Association of Defense of Animals, Princess Maja von Hohenzollern, visited Ukraine on Tuesday to help improve the fate of stray animals.

Activists say the animals are being euthanized in cities set to host Euro 2012 matches this summer.

Four Ukrainian and four Polish cities will host Euro 2012 matches starting in June.

Animal rights activists say in those Ukrainian cities, animals are being killed as the authorities attempt to beautify their cities.

They became concerned about the animals' welfare when images of stray dogs being poisoned, buried alive, and even burned in mobile crematoria were published on the Internet.

During her visit, the princess assisted in several dog sterilization surgeries at an animal centre in Kiev.

[Princess Maja von Hohenzollern, European Association of Defense of Animals]:
"I am pleased that we are on the right path, that people have realized that is the only legal and the most effective way and that the killing must be stopped."

She also met with the Union of European Footbal Associations' (UEFA) representative in Kiev to enlist his help in protecting strays.

[Markiyan Lubkivsky, UEFA Office Director]:
" ... we addressed other letters and request(ed) to Ukrainian government then to Ukrainian cities to improve the situation with the stray dogs and cats to construct new shelters. And now we are getting a lot of good signals."

Von Hohenzollern said she was pleased with UEFA's interest and hoped the organization will continue to help.