Infographic by Tanja LindnerHelsinki Humane Society HESY (The Helsinki Society for Animal Protection) aims to protect all animals to the best of our abilities. We focus on providing aid to homeless animals and increasing the appreciation of animals. Furthermore, we give advice on animal protection and animal care.

Our society opposes animal abuse, which can be found in factory farming, fur farming, hunting, animal testing, circuses, entertainment and other areas. Our society honours our worthy traditions and only acts by lawful means.

Our society maintains an animal cemetery, located in Helsinki Central Park. We are best known for our Animal Rescue Centre (animal shelter) in East Pakila, Helsinki.

In the last 20 years, we have taken approximately 20 000 homeless animals into our custody and found new homes for them. In 2017, we rescued 477 abandoned animals – mainly cats, but also dogs, rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchillas, gerbils, birds, and turtles – and offered them a better life.

Animal Rescue Centre (Animal Shelter)

Address: Yhdyskunnantie 11, 00680 Helsinki, Itä-Pakila.

The Animal Rescue Centre can be reached by bus number 64.

We assist in all matters concerning lost animals and animal protection. You can call our helpline on 09 5420 0100, Monday to Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Opening Hours

Office (Yhdyskunnantie 11): Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Closed on Saturdays.

Animal Premises (Yhdyskunnantie 11): Monday to Friday and Sunday, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Closed on Saturdays.

Accessibility: The premises at Yhdyskunnantie 11 are located in an old building. While the ground floor is wheelchair friendly, the Animal Rescue Centre is on the second floor, which is unfortunately quite difficult to access with a wheelchair.

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When Your Pet Goes Missing 

Has your pet gone missing? Any lost pets in the Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen, and Kirkkonummi areas should be reported to Viikin löytöeläintalo (Viikki Animal Shelter) in Helsinki. To make a report, please call 045 113 4683 during shelter opening hours (Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) or complete the eForm on the shelter website.

An exception to this rule is for missing dogs in the Kirkkonummi area – in this case, the report should be filed with Kirkkonummen löytökoiratarha (Kirkkonummi Dog Shelter) by calling 040 772 6552.

When filing a lost pet report, make sure you provide an exact description of the missing animal, the time and place of disappearance, and the owner’s contact information.

HESY operates as a shelter for cats and other small animals found in the Siuntio area. Any dogs found in the Siuntio area should be taken to Lohja Dog Shelter, Lesy ry (tel. 045 6041 818, Maksjoentie 11, 08200 Lohja). Lost pets in the Capital Region (Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen, Kirkkonummi) do not need to be reported separately to HESY. Information on other municipalities’ animal shelters can be found on the homepage of the municipality in question.However, if a pet adopted from HESY goes missing, we do need to be informed. This can be done by calling 09 5420 0100 during telephone service hours (Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) or by sending an email to hesy[a]hesy.fi.

Lost animals are kept at Viikin löytöeläintalo for a minimum of 15 days, which is the period stipulated in the Animal Welfare Act (247/1996). After that, some of the animals whose owners were not able to be found are brought to HESY.

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When You Find a Stray Pet

When you find a stray or lost pet, first check whether it has a collar on, and if so, whether there is any identification or contact information – make sure you check the inside of the collar as well as the outside! It’s also a good idea to ask around the neighbourhood, in case someone already knows who the owner is.

If there is no ID or contact information visible, check for any tattoos. These can usually be found on the animal’s left ear, but some dogs may have it on the left groin. Pedigree dogs sometimes have their registration number tattooed on the inside of their ear, in which case the owner can be easily found. The register is maintained by Suomen Kennelliitto, The Finnish Kennel Club.

The Finnish Feline Federation, Suomen Kissaliitto, maintains a register for pedigree cats. If the stray is a pedigree cat, the owner can be found from the registration number in the Feline Federation’s database.

The animal may have a microchip, invisible to the naked eye, underneath its skin in the neck area. Most animal shelters and several veterinary clinics will be able to scan for microchips; the pet’s owner can be found by retrieving the microchip number. Online services such as Turvasiru and Siruhaku maintain databases on pets which have been microchipped.

Bringing the Lost Pet to an Official Shelter Notify your municipality’s official animal shelter immediately after finding the stray animal, and then bring it to said shelter. Any pets found in Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen, and Vantaa should be taken to Viikin Löytöeläintalo, which is located in Viikki. Any stray pets in Kirkkonummi, with the exception of dogs, should also be taken to Viikin löytöeläintalo (open Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., tel. 045 113 4683). Dogs found in the Kirkkonummi area are taken in by the Kirkkonummen löytökoiratarha (Kirkkonummi Dog Shelter, tel +358 40 772 6552). For more information on matters related to stray pets in the aforementioned areas, please contact Viikin löytöeläintalo.

HESY continues to operate as a shelter for stray pets (with the exception of dogs) in Siuntio. Our helpline number is 09 5420 0100, which is open Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Our office is open on weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Taking the Stray Pet to a Shelter We will take stray pets to the official shelter in the area covering Helsinki, Vantaa, Kauniainen, Kirkkonummi, and Siuntio on weekdays between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., if the person who has found the animal is unable to do so. We can only transport animals that have already been caught. After 5:00 p.m. and on weekends, the police will help with transportation.

Animal Welfare Act Decrees In accordance with the Animal Welfare Act, the owner of the animal is entitled to reclaim his/her pet after reimbursing the shelter for the cost of care. Animals cannot be rehomed until they have been in the shelter for a minimum of 15 days. Therefore, in order to comply with these requirements, they must always be taken to the local municipality’s official animal shelter.

It is also worth notifying your neighbouring municipality’s animal shelter and official humane society/animal rescue centre about the stray pet. If you are in the countryside, the local hunters’ association may be able to help you find the owner. Check the area notice boards and “missing pet” ads in newspapers, and put up your own “found pet” posters.

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IBAN: FI09 2001 1800 113063

Please remember to write “Donation” in the message field, or use the reference number 100586.

Account number for donations for the renovation of the animal rescue centre:

IBAN: FI60 2001 1800 133194

Please remember to write “Donation” in the message field, or use the reference number 100586.

Registered Charity No: RA/2017/1022
Registered Charity No valid:  1.1.2018–31.12.2020  

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We would not be able to do what we do without our volunteers! HESY needs help in all kinds of tasks, whether it be at fundraising events or in the day-to-day running of the organisation. No matter what your skills or talents are, we appreciate any time that you are willing to give.

If you would like to start volunteering for HESY, simply send an email to hesy[a]hesy.fi. Please note that at least some Finnish language skills are needed when interacting with the public.

We care very much about the safety of our volunteers, but unfortunately they are not covered by our insurance policy. For this reason, if you wish to volunteer for any task involving animals, we strongly recommend that you take out insurance which covers recreational accidents (if you don’t have it already).

We currently need volunteers in the following areas:

Cleaning the Animal Facilities

Depending on the season, our shelter takes care of 40–100 cats, as well as fluctuating numbers of rabbits, small rodents, and other animals. They all require medical treatment and companionship all year round. Cleaning work is physically demanding and there are risks involved, so anyone wishing to assist in this area must be over 18 years of age. We also strongly recommend that you have insurance which covers recreational accidents. Finally, we hope that you get along equally well with both animals and humans! Cleaning time is from around 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Dog Care

All dogs under the care of HESY currently live in kennels or in foster homes. Therefore, we are unable to accept new volunteers to work with dogs at this time. Do check back in December 2019!

Baking Circle

The Animal Rescue Centre occasionally hosts public events which showcase its activities. They also organise more general animal-themed events. At these events, homemade pastries are available for guests to purchase, with the proceeds going towards the shelter’s activities. If you can bake up a storm, consider joining our baking circle!

Event Planning

The Animal Rescue Centre occasionally hosts public events which showcase its activities. They also organise more general animal-themed events. At these events, homemade pastries are available for guests to purchase, with the proceeds going towards the shelter’s activities. Volunteers can help organise the event, serve in the cafeteria, make coffee, or sell raffle tickets. We also welcome event ideas or suggestions for programme items! Dates and times for each event are announced on the HESY homepage.

Fostering Pets

Foster carers provide animals such as dogs, newborn kittens and mother cats, and birds with a temporary home, until they are either reunited with their owners or find their forever home. HESY covers the cost of veterinary care and bedding materials, and we can provide some reimbursement for food. The foster home provides day-to-day care for the animal for an average of 3–6 months. Foster carers will be contacted only when needed – the peak time is usually during summer and autumn.

Calling All Professionals!

Do you have skills in copywriting, layout design, translation, photography, marketing, or advertising? Maybe you’re a student or a professional in law, biology, or veterinary science? HESY is always on the lookout for volunteers who are willing to lend us their professional expertise. If you’re a specialist in communications, we would love your help in creating the magazine and various campaigns. We would also greatly appreciate the advice of experts in law and zoology when it comes to difficult animal welfare issues and drafting statements.

Catching Outdoor Cats

This usually takes place in the evenings and at night. When it’s cold outside, the trap needs to be checked at least once an hour, but this can be done less frequently in warmer weather. Volunteers must have their own car for the transport of any cats which have been successfully caught. Cats are often quite good at avoiding capture, so volunteers will need lots of patience! However, they must be caught so that we can help them, and HESY does not have enough paid employees to take care of this task on their own. So, if you could help us out – even if it’s just in your own backyard – please let us know! For this task, we strongly recommend that volunteers have recreational accident insurance, in case any injuries occur.

Transporting Animals

We transport any stray pets found in the Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen and Kirkkonummi areas to the official shelter in Viikki, and to HESY’s own shelter for animals found in the Siuntio area. We need help in transporting these animals on a weekly basis. Volunteer drivers must have their own car. We can provide pet carriers if needed. We also strongly recommend that volunteers have recreational accident insurance, in case any injuries occur.

If you live in the metropolitan area, are 18 years or older, and would like to help, please send us an email detailing any tasks you are interested in. We will contact you as soon as possible. Please also feel free to visit our Animal Rescue Centre and get to know our activities onsite!

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Become a Member

You can support us by becoming a member. The annual membership fee is 25 € for adults and 15 € for youth members (persons under 18 years). If you want to become a lifetime member, the fee is 375 € (annual fee x 15).

Membership fees help us cover the costs of caring for homeless animals. It takes about one million euros a year to run the Animal Rescue Centre.

Having a large number of members is beneficial in other ways, too. For example, when new laws regarding the prevention of cruelty to animals are being created, legislators are more likely to listen to organisations with large memberships.

As a member, you will receive our HESY magazine (published in Finnish only) twice a year.

If you would like to become a member, please fill out the membership form below and pay the membership fee via direct deposit to our account. The account number is IBAN: FI11 1745 3000 1300 31. Remember to write your name, address and date of birth in the Message field. If you are paying the annual membership fee, write “membership fee” in the Message field, and if you are paying the lifetime membership fee, write “lifetime membership”.

To notify us of a change of address, please send a message to hesy [a] hesy.fi

Rules of Helsingin eläinsuojeluyhdistys HESY (available only in Finnish).