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News :: International
Bulgarian elected officials boost stray dog removal industry
19 Jun 2012
GERB Party's policies in animal control ensure big pet population dynamics, big dog pound capacity, and big money that may satisfy the illegal dog dealers' interests only.
Two fatal dog attacks occurred within just eleven weeks in Sofia. After death of Professor Botjo Tachkov who was mauled by a dozen strays, another elderly man - 88 year old - was severely injured by two unmanaged dogs. He died on 17th June 2012 in hospital.

"Municipality will open new animal shelters in three monts. 4000 strays will be impounded in one year. I will urge lawmakers to approve euthanizing unowned dogs," Mayor Fandykova of GERB Party told media the same day. Recently he reiterated intentions to increase the dog catchers teams number "to at least 10".

During the past 30 months in office, Fandykova failed to take any adequate step to curb overbreeding in local dog population. Owned dogs are estimated 200,000 and annual dog population increase is at least 10,000.

Bulgarian Animal Programs Foundation remains the only proponent of the humane and comprehensive pet population management at local and national level. Solutions proposed in written public comments and letters to the Prime Minister and Sofia Mayor include registration and monitoring of neighborhood dogs; animal shelter accountability on intake and disposition of strays; appointing animal control officers instead of dog catchers teams in order to promote responsible pet ownership rather than simply serve the animal shelter system; and subsidizing low-cost neutering schemes for cats and dogs that involve private veterinary clinics.

Fandykova's team just inserts the item "free surgery" in its 2012-2016 Curbing Stray Dog Population Program approved by City Council in early May 2012. However, neither budget quantities, nor targeted sub-population and number of provided sterilizations are specified in this paper.

So far, Fandykova has poured over 4 million leva in false animal birth control and adoptions outside Bulgaria. The only comprehensible outcome was a total of about 12,200 dogs impounded according to the municipal officials' media announcements. Yet dog catching is routinely presented to the public as a part of an unreported City Hall's "catch-neuter-release program".

Behind the rulers' talk about either catch-neuter-release or "final" stray dog removal, it can be seen tens of thousands unwanted and lost animals impounded over the years and an intention to move the dirty dog farming industry from public spaces to increased animal shelter system.
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