Sofia Municipality Pours Money into a Private Dog Shelter With No Clear Program
by Emil Kuzmanov
(This article was first published in Indymedia UK 27 March 2010)
Despite sufficient resources available, Municipality of Sofia so far do not consider an adequate program to deal with the pet population dynamics i. e. the core animal control issue.
The Animal Rescue Bulgaria Foundation website announced that Sofia Municipality undertaken major overhaul of the dog shelter in Dolni Bogrov, near the city. That holding facility is a private property hired by the municipality. The explanatory memorandum to the 2010 Sofia Budget approved on February 4 2010 provided annual expense of 232,416 Leva for renting the same shelter.
According to the website, Animal Rescue get the property free-of-charge. Since 2006, two municipal holding facilities - "Hladilnika" and "Slatina" - were given free-of-charge to other two NGOs - Deutsch-Bulgarische Strassentier-Nothilfe and Tierhilfe Sueden.
The foundation staff is coming from informal group around the popular forum dog.bg. Recently, that group did not consider cruel practice run by the municipal dog control named "Ekoravnovesie". This issue emerged from a few forums with links to Youtube clips showing how in the municipal dog pound "Seslavci" between 2006-2009 numerous puppy litters were left to just die with no food and fresh water provided, nor urine & feces clean up.
The Animal Rescue website informed that the team activity is currently focused on feeding and adopting shelter animals, including by their transferring to the Netherlands; "conducting its own castration program" is forthcoming. Year ago, Deutsch-Bulgarische Strassentier-Nothilfe is saying that they also run transferring animals from Bulgaria to Germany. Miglena Dimitrova (Tierhilfe Sueden) is also known as an international contributor.
However, Sofia authority has no strategy approved to reduce massive pet reproduction at private property. Both Animal Programs Foundation and Four Paws Foundation independently assess the local dog population number of ca. 200,000, most unaltered. According to Animal Programs, that contributes producing a surplus of several tens of thousands of pet dogs every year. But Sofia Mayor Jordanka Fandykova repeatedly told the media that dog registration and enhancing shelter capacity shall be priority measures in this area.
Sofia dog control cost approximately 921,000 Leva in 2007; 1,219,484 in 2008; 1,290,755 Leva in 2009; and 1,446,622 Leva in 2010 (except payment for the shelter in Bogrov). Practically all money were poured in CNR activity involving some 12,000 supervised dogs. Still no funding provided to promote owned pet sterilization.