portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting global

animal rights

Obama, Bulgarian Boyko Borissov and Dog Shelters

In Bulgaria, and particularly in the capital city - Sofia, there is no truth dog sheltering. Most of the roaming dogs - lost, abandoned and unowned - are left outside alone until they become victims of the organized illegal activity or inner possible human iniquity.
When we talk about dog shelters, we accept that they are dedicated to help every pet animal in disaster, including the lost and leaved ones. Recently the American community heard in the news that Senator Obama has promised his family that they'll get a new dog after the November election. Best Friends Animal Society proposed to the senator and his family: "Don't buy from a pet store or breeder. Please adopt your dog from a shelter or rescue group." Probably one dog from an USA shelter will have the chance to be "the first dog of America.

Furthermore, the meaningful and transparent dog population management becomes possible because of the shelter's activity. For example, in Camden County, New Jersey as a result of that activity, the life of almost 80 percent of all roaming dogs has been saved. The data from the shelter records has shown that in 2006 3,822 roaming dogs were impounded. Of them, 576 were returned to their owners, 2,165 were adopted and only 694 were euthanized.

In Bulgaria, and particularly in the capital city - Sofia, there is no truth dog sheltering. The Sofia Municipality's official position before 2006 was that the unwanted dogs should be sheltered and euthtanized. But in 2005 a Germany's ARD-TV hidden camera documentary from Sofia showed that roaming dogs were caught and immediately taken in a fur mill. In spite of all, since 1999 Tierhilfe Sueden Bulgaria, a branch of Germany-based SPCA, had started sterilization and release of unwanted dogs in Sofia; and there were complaints that the most of the dogs also disappeared in the Municipal dog pound.

Since 2005 year, after becoming Mayor of Sofia, Boyko Borissov has demonstrated full agreement with Tierhilfe Sueden, and even has enforced their practice as official. At the present moment, the basic activity is sterilization of unwanted dogs of unknown origin, which every year appear in the streets. Here is the 2007 data from the Sofia Municipal Dog Shelter (*): 4,748 dogs were impounded; 749 were euthanized; 3,649 were sterilized and released in the street; and just 275 were adopted. Not a single lost dog was reported as found and returned to the owner.

The lack of adequate dog sheltering in Sofia is scandalous, but still stays out of the community's attention. Even the popular animal advocates don't make a difference between the terms like "shelter", "sterilization clinic", and "hospital". Their representatives did not recommend to the institutions any activity resembling the humane population management.

On June 25 2008 Sofia Mayor Boyko Borissov unveiled a new dog facility. The project was a result of the cooperation between the Municipality and Tierhilfe Sueden Bulgaria, as the Municipality was provided the construction plot. Some announces noted that the primary attention will be focused over the taking care of old, sick and injured unowned dogs. The capacity is for one hundred animals. In that case, obviously, we are talking about some kind of hospital & orphanage. But according to the Sofia Animal Control Agency Director Miroslav Naydenov, "this is the third officially working dog shelter in the Capital." By the way, the news media reported that two private dog shelters work illegally nearby Sofia, in the villages of Lukovo and Rosoman.

The situation today stays the same as in 90th. Most of the roaming dogs - lost, abandoned and unowned - are left outside alone until they become victims of the organized illegal activity or inner possible human iniquity. In accordance of this, they still disappear in large number. So the Animal Protection Act has already been violated, because it requires that the unowned dogs in the living areas and also the NGOs or physical persons responsible for their care and supervision should be registered in the Municipality.



---------------
* Estimation derived from the September 1 2006 - February 29 2008 data announced by the Sofia Municipal Animal Control Agency Director Miroslav Naydenov

address: address: 18 Yanko Sofiiski Voivoda Str, 1164 Sofia, Bulgaria