Project Orphans & Their Dogs 2019

The project “Orphans & Their Dogs” was founded by Ardem Tutunjian (a volunteer of Armenian Volunteer Corps - AVC). The objective of the Project is to unite stray dogs and orphan children, particularly those with disabilities in Armenia, to achieve a win-win solution for both.

On the one hand, the children would have the opportunity to play with dogs and receive the benefits of dog therapy. In addition to the therapy, on an intrinsic level these children would get to feel like they have some form of ownership, having a dog they could claim as their own. This shift in thinking will be invaluable for a group of children who have spent their lives being looked after, without any sense of ownership of their own. On the other hand, dogs exposed to the dangers of life on the street would be rescued and provided a chance at life in a healthy and safe environment.  

We will adopt stray dogs in Armenia and have them cleared for exposure with children through vaccination and medical check-up. They would then be socialized and trained to work with children. Once the dogs are ready, we will be visiting various orphanages and children's relief centres in Armenia to provide dog therapy to the children who are in need. The adopted dogs will live at the Not for profit Animal Sanctuary "I.Am.Centaur". With your support, we plan on helping feed the dogs, get them adopted and into homes, pay for medical bills and therapy visits at various orphanages. Also, we would like to renovate all the existing, run-down ten kennels at Centaur. This will result in the following benefits:

1. The dogs in the existing kennels end up being constantly dirty and smelling bad, not being suitable for exposure with kids. The new kennels will be completely insulated from the elements and very easy to clean. They will therefore allow us to increase the number of therapy dogs we have as well, thereby making it possible for us to visit more orphanages. Cleaner kennels also make for cleaner dogs, which enable us to have the dogs rescued adopted out more easily, making room for more dogs which can be rescued. 

2. The kennels now expose the therapy dogs to the other non-therapy dogs, making it difficult to train them to lose the habits of street dogs, since they are constantly exposed to them.

3. The existing kennels are older and can house fewer dogs. Newer kennels will allow for more dogs.

4. The idea is to eventually have day-trips for the children at orphanages to come to Ushi, in addition to the orphanage visitations. A trip away from the orphanage is exciting and we are constantly asked by staff and children at the orphanages if it would be possible to come and visit the sanctuary, where many animals are kept. The modern, cleaner kennels which are insulated from the cold in the winter will help facilitate these visits.

5. The newer kennels which will result in cleaner dogs will help us in the adoption process of the dogs, allowing us to ultimately take more dogs off the streets. Note that all the dogs we have trained are ready for adoption.

Donations (32)

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  • Aileen Avekians
    • $150 
    • 4 yrs
  • Nicole Jacobs
    • $36 
    • 4 yrs
  • Edison A
    • $106 
    • 4 yrs
  • Margarit Hayrapetian
    • $133 
    • 4 yrs
  • Hanrie Zadoorian
    • $133 
    • 4 yrs
See all


Ardem Tutunjian
Scarborough, ON

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