The death of an elderly Sofia man after he was savaged by a pack of stray dogs – the second such death this year – has resulted in yet another promise from mayor Yordanka Fandukova, this time to speed up the building of shelters for street dogs.
The man, named as Hristo Pankov (88), died on June 17 2012 in the Bulgarian capital city’s Pirogov emergency hospital after urgent operations to deal with his severe injuries failed to save him.
He had been found near Festivalna Hall in Sofia’s Reduta area.
Fandukova expressed condolences to the relatives of Pankov, and said that the building of shelters for stray dogs would be accelerated, and that within a year they would be able to accommodate 4000 dogs.
On the basis of official estimates,Sofia is said to have about 9000 street dogs, but public perceptions are that the number is higher.
Fandukova said that a meeting of specialists working on the stray dog issue had been convened on June 17.
“We want to accelerate the procedure for building a shelter for 1000 stray dogs. We are ready to begin the procedures for a second phase for a further 1000 dogs and for the design of a shelter at Kremikovtsi for a further 2000,” she said.
Fandukova was elected in a first-round victory in autumn 2011 for a second term in office asSofia’s mayor. Among her campaign promises was a huge reduction in the number of street dogs.
The death less than three months of an elderly man who had been attacked by a pack of street dogs returned the issue to the fore, and the municipality sought permission from the central government to be able to proceed with building dog pounds without meeting all the construction requirements generally required by law.
Fandukova said that on June 18, she would meet the local mayor and representatives of environmental organisations to discuss with them their possible involvement in the construction of the new dog shelters.
These organisations include Four Paws, Animal Rescue Sofia and two German organisations, one of which already had applied for land to build a shelter for stray dogs. The municipality is to offer two properties, and once one is chosen, it will be provided free of charge.
She urged the Agriculture Ministry to submit as soon as possible legislative changes to address the problem of stray dogs in the country.
(Photo: Cathy Kaplan/sxc.hu)