From NY to LA, over 3000 miles. It's a journey for animals. My name is Przemek Malik. I used to live in the US, then traveled around the world. I've been to Bristol, London, Barcelona, Norway and Ibiza. I built a school for children in Gambia. Today I am an activist for an international organization that works for animals and conservation, the Centaurus Foundation.
My organization sent me to the US to tell what we do. Because Poland is leading the trade in horses for slaughter in Europe. Centaurus has saved nearly 2,500 horses in its 16 years of operation. We are creating the largest asylum for horses in Europe. We built the Animal Farm near Wroclaw (Poland), and for many years we have been running a 400-hectare reserve with a national park, where we graze hundreds of horses. We are starting to build a resort on 140 hectares of mountain land that we purchased in 2020. And as of 2022, we own a 130-hectare center of the Baltic Sea in Modlimov, where we are building the largest volunteer center on the old continent. We care for nearly 1,500 horses and donkeys, our animals are in adoptive homes in many European countries such as Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France and Sweden. Under the wings of our farm are numerous domestic and farm animals. Every day we provide them with livelihood and veterinary care thanks to the support of people from all over the world. Our organization has built everything based solely on voluntary donations.
The current situation in Poland is very difficult. Since the outbreak of the war, nearly 5.4 million Ukrainian citizens have crossed the border into Poland. There are currently 1.3 million refugees from Ukraine in our country. Poland is depleted, tired and support for animals has dropped dramatically. The number of war animals adopted by Poland should also be taken into account here. My Centaurus alone took in 1,300 animals, provided assistance to many more animals. We are an organization that has created conditions for horses in particular. We are happy and eager to help all animals, but this number of animals almost overwhelmed us. We have managed, thanks to tremendous mobilization, to find good homes for most of these dogs and cats all over Europe. However, we are left with almost 300 dogs that are the most sick, elderly and with behavioral problems, whose chances for a home are very slim. Of course, we are constantly looking for these homes, because the best shelter can never replace a real home, nevertheless, at this point we have decided to build a massive dog asylum in Modlimov. Not only because we need to provide the best possible conditions for the dogs that have already come into our care. However, we also see the enormity of the need in the east, as we constantly maintain cooperation with the Ukrainian side and take in individual dogs that are in danger of dying there due to lack of care. These are mainly dogs with physical disabilities, blindness and chronic diseases. For them we are creating almost 300 places in Modlimovo.
However, Modlimowo is primarily intended to be a global volunteer center. We want volunteers from all over the world to care for the animals there. We organized a field kitchen and camping area on site as early as the summer of 2002, and volunteers helped with the first construction of horse stables, paddocks and dog pens and runs. This initiative provided plenty of cordiality, closeness and walks for our dogs. It also found some homes. That's why we want to develop Modlimovo, just like our other centers.
The idea of our organization is pioneering. We want to go all over the world in a camper to tell the story of horse rescue and raise funds for it. We want to build a massive rehabilitation center for horses and other animals and the aforementioned asylum for dogs in Modlimowo. The cost of the entire project, along with volunteer facilities, is about $9 million. We have already managed to find a sponsor for the first building, which will be adapted into a stable, warehouse and veterinary clinic, as well as the first few rooms for volunteers in the attic. The fencing of 130 hectares with a permanent fence will also begin in a moment. But there is still a lot of investment ahead of us necessary to get the center up and running, and to be able to host animal residents and their caregivers from around the world.
Centaurus rescues horses that have either given their entire lives to man and been condemned to slaughter, or have been bred for slaughter from the beginning. In Poland, the protection of animal rights is very difficult, the courts extremely rarely grant animal rights to organizations based on a verdict of abuse. The vast majority of horses under our wings are horses bought thanks to fundraising among animal lovers. When such a horse comes to us, the expenses are just beginning. Monthly maintenance of a horse is about $150 per month if the horse is healthy. If the horse is ailing or older, it's as much as $500 per month. With nearly 1,500 horses and donkeys, these are massive amounts. In view of the prevailing huge inflation in Poland (16 percent in August 2022) and the exhaustion of huge aid to Ukraine engulfed in war - the functioning of centers such as ours is going down the drain as far as social needs are concerned. Ordinarily, our livelihood began to be threatened. And with the current number of animals, we can't afford any financial downtime, because financing such a huge herd of animals is a huge challenge that we have been taking on every day since 2006.
That's why I'm traveling the roads of the US today in a camper, whose main sponsor is our friendly company Babyloon. Babyloon has done many film productions for us, and now they have supported our initiative of a fundraising trip across the United States. My goal and the purpose of this trip is to raise funds for the ongoing maintenance of animals in Poland, for the construction of a shelter for several hundred dogs in Modlimowo and the construction of an entire animal rehabilitation center in Modlimowo. We have had many Donors in the US over the years and they have encouraged us to make this trip.
I want to travel from New York all the way to Los Angeles, more than 3,000 miles, and draw the world's attention to our asylum, which badly needs help today. Traveling with me is Sirco, my dog, whom I picked up from Ukraine. Sirco was evacuated from Borodyanka, from a shelter that was abandoned for weeks by its caretakers, for which many animals paid with their lives because they simply could not survive without food and water. Sirco survived. And he is also here with me to encourage the adoption of dogs from Ukraine who are waiting for new homes with us.
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