Sofia's Stray Dog Problem? Learn from LA!
Following is a piece of news that the governing bodies in Sofia could do well to look at as a means of helping with the stray dog problem in Bulgaria.
LA Council Votes to Ban Sales in Pet Stores
By LAdogs on November 1, 2012 in Los Angeles, News
Los Angeles has officially become the largest US city to ban pet stores from selling animals obtained from commercial breeders.
The LA City Council voted today (October 31, 2012) 13-2 in favor of a 3-year ban on the sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores. After the 3-year period, the ban will be reevaluated.
The objective is to direct pet owners to local animal shelters, thereby reducing overcrowding in the shelters and reducing the number of animals that need to be put to sleep every year. It also addresses breeders who cut corners at the expense of the animals' health, in order to lower expenses.
Under the law, proposed by City Councilman Paul Koretz, individuals will still be allowed to buy directly from breeders, while pet stores will be allowed to sell animals that come from humane societies, animal shelters, and registered rescue group.
Purebred puppies sold through the pet store chain undoubtedly contribute to the local pet overpopulation problem. And reducing the pet supply and demand will certainly reduce the overall local dog population dynamics. So I aggree with that. However, purebred grown ups in Bulgaria just create a hidden overpopulation of companions offered through "given for free" ads rather than join the street and shelter overpopulation. Solving the particular street dog problem requires to adequately address the source of strays, namely subpopulation of latch-key dogs. And Bulgarian authorities should learn from the British experience described by Louisa Tasker in its 2007 report entitled "Stray Animal Control Practices: Europe". New legislation adopted ca. 1990 required local authorities across UK to appoint animal control officers known as "dog warden services". Their leading role in influencing the pet owners' responsibility in order to reduce dog roam and unplanned dog breeding was unquestionable.
-- Emil Kuzmanov