Mayor: Stray Dogs Are Sofia's Top Problem
Stray dogs are the number one problem of Bulgaria's capital Sofia, according to Mayor Yordanka Fandakova.
Speaking in an interview for TV7, Fandakova explained Wednesday that the City Hall is launching public procurement bids for clinics to neuter the stray animals under very strict municipal control.
According to the Mayor, this is a 20-year-old problem overlooked by many.
"Unfortunately someone had to die so that we focus on this. At the City Hall we had insisted for a while that we need legislative changes and I am glad that Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Naydenov, signed them so that we can build more shelters to house the packs of aggressive dogs," said Fandakova.
She was adamant that veterinarians must determine the level of aggressiveness of the dogs. Those found dangerously aggressive must be euthanized as it is all over Europe and not offered for adoption.
The Mayor pointed out that currently people who adopt a large number of dogs, in some cases 100 and over, are protected by the law while she would like to encourage responsible adoptions inly.
Fandakova also noted that people are constantly keeping a tight watch on the teams from the municipal company "Ekoravnovesie" (Eco-balance) in charge of controlling stray dogs' population in the capital, which, according to her, was fine, but sometimes interfered with their work.
The new legislative changes would further allow for the construction of cheaper dog shelters since under the previous ordinance a shelter for 500 dogs had a cost of BGN 6 M.
The Mayor said that there are currently an estimated 9 200 stray dogs in Sofia, but many are arriving constantly from other parts of the country.
"We can reduce this population significantly if we have the support of the public," she concluded.
The problem with the stray dogs came into the spotlight over the demise of Professor Botio Tachkov, a renowned economist, who died Sunday after being brutally attacked by a large pack of stray dogs in Sofia. The accident triggered public outrage, as the city has been struggling to cope with its increasing stray dog population for years now.