The District Court in Bulgaria’s second city Plovdiv has upheld the conviction and sentences for two men found guilty of training pitbulls for dog fights, the Prosecutor’s Office said on July 8.
Ivan Ivanov has been sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for four years, and fined 4000 leva (about 2000 euro). Kostantin Ivanov has been sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for three years, and fined 2000 leva.
The two initially were convicted and sentenced by the Plovdiv Regional Court for, between January 2012 and October 2016, breeding and training pitbulls for dog fights.
Following the upholding of the verdict and sentencing, the ruling is not subject to appeal, the Prosecutor’s Office statement said.
The Prosecutor’s Office said that the dogs had been confiscated on behalf of the state and had been kept at a municipal facility in Plovdiv. The dogs are to be handed to the Agriculture Ministry’s Food Safety Agency.
Plovdiv news website podtepeto said that more than 40 pitbulls had been kept at the municipal facility. Staff of the facility, of the municipality, NGOs and animal lovers in Plovdiv had helped to care for the dogs. On average, the dogs cost the municipal budget about 200 000 leva.
The high cost of accommodating the dogs, as well as the fact that their presence meant a lack of space, “blocked” Plovdiv’s dog neuterisation programme, the report said.
Until the enforcement of the verdict, they were treated as material evidence, and none but their carers had access to them.
“The veterinary facility will fight for them, as it is clear to everyone what the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency’s ‘procedure’ is,” the podtepeto.com report said.