Sofia Plans More Effective Measures on Stray Dogs
Sofia municipality has decided to take more effective measures to tackle the problem with the large number of stray dogs in the city, the Bulgarian "24 Chasa" reported.
"A work group is already forming. I hope that we will be ready by February so that we can start the counting of the stray dogs then," said Maria Boyadzhiyska, Deputy Mayor of Sofia on Ecology.
According to data from the municipal company "Ecobalance", there are about 9,500 stray dogs in Sofia and 1,000 in shelters for dogs.
The newest shelter for dogs in the village of Gorni Bogrov near Sofia has accommodated 500 dogs. This year, a new shelter for 1,000 dogs is planned to open doors in a Sofia district.
The Sofia mayor, Yordanka Fandakova, has said in an interview for the Bulgarian Nova TV that the problem with the stray dogs population is one of the most difficult she has to face. She noted that the program for free of charge castration and registration of yard dogs will continue throughout 2011 as well.
"Stray dogs come from yards, construction sites and homes," Fandakova said.
Strict measures against throwing out home dogs are envisioned in a new order, which is to be voted in January in the Sofia Municipal Council.
People who throw out their dogs or have forgotten to castrate them will have to pay a fine of BGN 100-250. Up to BGN 400 will be the fine for people who have not paid the dog tax, who do not have registration or are walking their dogs without a leash.
The sanction for owners of aggressive dogs who have attacked or bitten people will be BGN 2,000.
Another requirement that is to be implemented envisions that dog's leash should be up to 80 cm long and the dogs who are more than 10 kg should be walked with a muzzle on. Also, teenagers below 18 years will not be allowed to walk dogs.
In 2011, the Sofia municipality will continue the program for limiting the population of stray dogs. About 14,000 stray dogs have been castrated since the introduction of the program in 2006.
More hunting teams and cooperation with eco-organzations, which also castrate dogs, are envisioned for 2011.
More than 250 dogs, who were placed in shelters, were adopted in 2010.
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