Animal rights in the Republic of Azerbaijan are non-existent. Stray dogs are euthanized, poisoned, burned alive or shot. Adding to the already dire situation, citizens buy purebred puppies at pet stores and dump them on the street when they grow in size, shed too much hair, or at the first sign of an illness. For those that are kept as pets, most live in backyards on short chains, in extreme temperatures.
In 2016, Farid Mansurov began sheltering stray dogs in his father’s seasonal townhouse in Baku, Azerbaijan (former Soviet Union). The shelter started with a donkey named Oscar, and is now a safe haven to over 500 dogs. This sanctuary became to be known as Good World shelter.
Calls come day and night about animals found injured, abandoned or gravely ill. Despite the daily struggles with the shortage of food and resources, there is not an animal that Good World will turn away. Oftentimes, Farid goes days without sleep thinking about how to feed the dogs next day, trying to save a dog that just got hit by a car, or arranging for a sick or injured dog to be transported to the shelter. There is no 24-hour vet care in Azerbaijan; the latest time a veterinarian clinic stays open is 6:00 PM. Animals found injured after closing hours, have to be taken to the shelter and closely monitored to the morning by Farid.
Year 2019 was eventful for Good World. Although the volume of dogs living at the shelter was record-breaking, there was a lot to celebrate. In June 2019, for the first time in Good World history, dogs started flying to USA for adoption. To date, over sixty dogs have flown into New York, all of which have been adopted into loving families.
In September 2019, Leyla Aliyeva, the first daughter of the President of Azerbaijan, visited Good World and installed a mobile clinic inside the shelter dedicated to the neuter and spay of homeless dogs and cats. Since then, hundreds of stray animals and domestic pets throughout the Republic have been neutered and spayed. We filed several animal cruelty lawsuits against animal abusers. And Good World officially became Good World Animal Rescue and Protection Inc. (“GWARP”), a registered 501(c)(3) New York non-profit organization.