Sofia municipal company Ecoravnovesie, which is in charge of regulating the Bulgarian capital city’s stray dog population, has hit out at people’s “irresponsibility” in abandoning dogs and puppies.
The firm held a report-back news conference on July 10 2012, saying that in the month of June, it had impounded 521 stray dogs.
All of the dogs were neutered and implanted with chips. Two were put down because they were incurably sick and four others died at the shelter. Twenty-two dogs were adopted in June, while 415 were returned to the places from where they had been picked up.
In the first six months of this year, the firm spent 475 563 leva out of planned spending of 490 438 leva, and said that it would use the savings towards expanding its dog pound at Seslavtsi.
This expansion would entail adding about 40 to 50 places, and estimates are that individual cages for dogs will be ready within about 15 to 20 days.
A new shelter is to be built at Kremikovtsi, with up to 2000 places. Once the Kremikovtsi shelter is ready the shelter at Seslavtsi will be used mainly as a neutering centre.
The firm’s director, Dr Manol Neikov, said that the main problem regarding stray dogs was with people. In 10 days, from June 25 to July 6, the firm had been called out to pick up 53 puppies that had been abandoned.
Neikov said that it was people’s irresponsibility that was leading to the rise ofSofia’s dog population.
Unless people stopped being irresponsible about allowing the breeding of dogs, eventually the city’s dog shelters would not be able to cope, he said.
The most recent official estimates of the Bulgarian capital’s dog population put it at 9000, but it is widely perceived that the true figure is significantly higher.
In Sofia, the fines for unauthorised breeding of dogs is 100 to 150 leva for a first offence and 300 to 500 leva for a second offence, but – according to Neikov – it was difficult to follow up complaints because people usually abandoned puppies under cover of night.
The firm said that in June, there had been 1076 complaints about street dogs, of which about two-third were by e-mail and the rest by phone.
Neikov complained of people’s attitudes towards Ecoravnovesie staff being “very bad”, saying that callers frequently were rude to employees answering the phone. “I urge the media to explain to people that our girls are normal people are do not deserve such treatment,” he said.
(Photo: vee bee/sxc.hu)