The number of stray dogs captured in Bulgaria through municipal programmes for controlling strays has increased, according to a government report approved by the Cabinet on September 8.
In 2015, a total of 22 186 stray dogs were captured, compared with the 2014 figure of 20 271, a government statement said.
The number of dogs that were were neutered, medically treated and returned to the places where they were captured was 17 300 last year, a total of 2262 more than in 2014. This process was carried out in terms of the Animal Protection act.
The number of stray dogs that were adopted in 2015 was also higher than in 2014. The 2015 total of adopted stray dogs was 2960, a total of 624 more than in 2014.
Adoptions happened most often in the regions of Rousse, Sofia, Bourgas and Stara Zagora, the report said.
The statement said that the main source of stray animals was not the street dogs themselves, but domestic pets and their unwanted offspring.
There was a trend for the number of street dogs to increase in the autumn, when people with holiday homes leave and abandon their pets.
There were 65 018 registered domestic and stray dogs in 2015.
According to a national registry, compiled by the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency, there were 41 registered animal shelters in Bulgaria, none in the districts of Blagoevgrad, Vratsa, Pazardzhik, Razgrad, Sliven, Smolyan and Sofia, as well as the city of Sofia.
The report said that the municipal programmes for controlling the stray dog populations had used different methods, which were not achieving the desired results.
In response, in 2016 legislative changes were made, on the basis of which the Ministry of Agriculture and Foods, in collaboration with “stakeholders”, developed a national programme to control the population of stray dogs in Bulgaria.
This would include steps to control the population of stray animals humanely, without compromising human health, the statement said.