Thursday, 17 December 2009
Vitali Klitschko will help Ukrainian stray animals survive the 2012 European Football Championship
Mum is a great fan of Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, the famous handsome heavyweight boxer brothers, so it's really about time that we write something about them.
Vitali was born in Belovodsk, Kyrgyz SSR, and Wladimir in Semipalatinsk, Kazakh SSR. Their father is an Air Force General. Later on, the Klitschko family moved to Germany, where the brothers began their boxing careers. On the side, they both studied in Kiev and got Ph.D's in Sports science. After presenting his dissertation in 1996, Vitali was apparently the first boxer to hold a Ph.D. Wladimir followed in 2001.
Wladimir currently holds the IBF, WBO, IBO and Ring Magazine world heavyweight titles. Vitali is the current WBC world heavyweight champion, and he is the fourth boxer to ever win a heavyweight belt three times, after Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis.
The brothers are active in several charitable causes helping children around the world. Now Vitali has also stepped up to help furry children in need in his home town Kiev.
In his free time, Vitali is involved in local politics in Kiev. He is right now a member of the city parliament, and sits in the organisational committee for the 2012 European football championship.
The Football championship is something that deeply worries friends of animals in Kiev. The authorities have already organized mass killings of stray animals to "clean up" the streets for their international visitors, and animal rights activists are working hard to stop them from further mass killings.
Mass killing is not a sustainable solution, since it doesn't do anything about the root causes for strays, not to mention that it of course causes immense suffering. Neutering stray animals to prevent them from reproducing uncontrollably, and, most importantly, enforcing an Animal Protection Bill that would prevent most animals from getting to the point of being abandoned in the streets in the first place, are a much more sustainable solution.
The local animal rights organization Society for the Protection of Animals (SOS) has been in contact with members of the city parliament, among them Vitali Klitschko, to convince them of a humane and long-term solution to the problem with stray animals. Klitschko is now convinced that a humane solution to the stray problem is the right thing to do.
Recently he visited SOS's animal shelter with TV cameras in tow, in order to raise awareness about the work the organization is doing for animals in need. He was full of admiration for the people at the shelter, who work hard to improve the lives of stray animals in Kiev.
Find out more about the Society for the Protection of Animals (SOS), and what you, too, can do to help them.
Photos from Streuner in Kiew.