BAPF is considering dozen issues that affect the pet population dynamics, i.e. the average pet's lifespan in Bulgaria. Many of them should be regarded as an outcome of inadequate, scarce, even missing services.
Missing relevant positions
In Sofia's suburban areas, construction sites and business yards, there is a subpopulation of so-called "latch-key dogs" that are constantly giving birth and whose offspring is constantly repopulating the residential areas. Ideally, owned dogs should be kept confined and not allowed to reproduce freely. Best practice in Western World includes appointing animal control officers (also known as "dog wardens") - local/municipal officers that are charged with responsibility for increasing compliance with the law among pet owners by regular door-to-door checks. It is neither established in Bulgaria nor discussed by authority. Instead, archaic dog catcher teams are operating across Bulgaria. All they are subordinate to the relevant animal shelter and serve it by simple and in some extend indiscriminate dog collection, while the sources of strays (e.g. latch-key dogs) remain unaffected.
Missing adequate neutering services
A major part of the national cat population in Bulgaria consists of free-roaming owned cats (both outdoors and indoors-outdoors). Domestic and neighbourhood cats living in people’s backyards are reproducing unrestrictedly even in urban downtowns. The unplanned reproduction of hundreds of thousands pets is presenting a tremendous animal welfare problem year after year. The BAPF's most conservative estimate finds at least 770,000 surplus owned kittens born every year. Despite proposals made by Animal Programs Foundation, Bulgarian government still does not consider launching legal cat population management nationwide (e.g. by subsidizing widely accessible low-cost neutering services).
Animal Programs is offering Sofia authorities with solutions to improve and reform local animal control services.
Letter to Sofia Mayor (in Bulgarian only). Sofia to effectively deal with pet overpopulation, Deputy Mayor Bojadzhijska to be fired. Mayor of Sofia, Jordanka Fandykova, received a letter emailed from Anima Programs dated August 9, 2011. It criticizes incompetent policies conducted by the Deputy Mayor Maria Bojadzhijska over the past six years and also proposes creating a multi-stakeholder committee to prepare a program for effective local dog and cat population management.
Open letter to Sofia Mayor
Letter to Sofia Mayor and Agriculture Minister