Four Paws starts mass sterilisation campaign of stray dogs and cats in Sofia

Animal welfare organisation Four Paws started on September 12 2012 a mass neutering campaign of stray and yard dogs and cats in four areas of Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia, the organisation said.

The campaign was taking place in the Sofia districts of Pancharevo, Kokalyane, Bistritsa and Zheleznitsa, Four Paws said.

The animals will be collected by Four Paws’ catchers and operated on in a mobile veterinary clinic at an Interior Ministry facility near Zheleznitsa.

Each neutered animal will be vaccinated against rabies and de-wormed, and will receive a microchip and a blue ear-tag. The campaign is implemented in co-operation with Sofia Municipality.

“For the second time we are working in Sofia – in the spring of last year in only a month’s time we were able to process 250 animals from the Roma districts,” Doctor Marina Ivanova, project manager of stray animal care at Four Paws Bulgaria, said.

“This year we decided to concentrate our efforts on another area, which has a constant flow of newly abandoned dogs. We chose Pancharevo and the surrounding villages, as it is no secret that every year in this part of Sofia there are many new animals that are abandoned – the unwanted offspring of yard dogs or watchdogs.”

The organisation said that the campaign by Four Paws and Sofia Municipality is part of long-term co-operation aimed at the radical reduction of stray dogs in Sofia in a humane and yet effective manner.

“The solution is to stop the influx of abandoned animals and block their breeding in the streets,” Ivanova said. “This can only be done through mass neutering of stray and yard animals and strict control over owners. We hope that during our campaign in Pancharevo and its vicinities owners of yard animals, who cannot afford to pay for neutering in a private clinic, will turn to us. We urge the citizens of Sofia to report to the Sofia Inspectorate whenever they witness the abandonment of a pet on the street – so that each of us can become part of the solution. ”

The campaign will continue until the beginning of October and there are currently discussions about future co-operation, the organisation said.

Four Paws said that its method of operation allows mass neutering of a large number of dogs and cats within a short period of time.

Animals are collected by a team of catchers and transported to the mobile clinic of the organisation. Using modern medical technology, experienced veterinarians examine and neuter animals under general anesthesia, and then vaccinate and de-worm them. The animals then remain under observation for 24 hours, after which are returned to the place where they were captured. Any dog that has been treated by the Four Paws team can be easily recognised by the blue plastic ear-tag, which has the name of the organisation on one side, and an identification number of the other. Cats get a tattoo on one ear and a small cut on the other.


(Photo: René Madariaga/



The Sofia Globe staff

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