Bulgarian Man Tied and Dragged His Dog. Now What?

Letters to the Editor | August 17, 2013, Saturday // 17:53

Hey Novinite!

I wanted to let you know that Malcolm Plant, the initiator of the 'Making The Link' study program - a European Study Program to identify psychological effects of children regularly exposed to community animal abuse and evaluation of efficacy of interventions - has written to the Bulgarian Prosecutors regarding the trial set for 18th of September concerning the case of Raycho Ivanov, the 55-year-old man from Topolovo, who tied his dog to the drawbar of his car and dragged him for many kilometers.

For your information: 'Making The Link' is a major collaboration of world-leading international organizations and some of the most influential academics in the link between animal abuse and its impact on individuals and society.

Below is the letter (in English and Bulgarian) that has been sent to both the Regional Prosecutor and the District Prosecutor, and of which copies have been sent to Viviane Reding - Vice-president of the European Commission and Commissioner responsible for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship; Mr Nils Mui?nieks - the Commissioner for Human Rights; and Mr Andrea Zanoni, Vice-President of the European Parliament's Intergroup on the Welfare and Conversation of Animals.

Please consider publishing this letter under your section LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

Thank you, in advance.


Pia Berrend
108, route de Mondercange


SUBJECT: trial set for 18th September, 2013, regarding the case of Raycho Ivanov, the 55-year-old man from Topolovo, who tied his dog to the drawbar of his car and dragged him/her for many kilometers to a nearby ravine in the village and threw him/her there

August 13, 2013

Your Honor,

I welcome your openness to hear the words that I will write...
I welcome your fairness of mind to consider these words...
And I hope for your passion for your country, that you will seek to enact all that is written here.

For many years countless individuals and organizations have endeavored to highlight the significantly higher levels of animal abuse in your country along with others in the region. Many petitions have been raised in futility. Many appeals have been made in futility. But always as new knowledge emerges, it provides an opportunity to re-appraise all previous responses. This is what I invite of you now.

A vast body of research has indicated that animal abuse does not exist in isolation, and can not be readily ignored or dismissed. This volume of research guides governments, organizations and institutions which include the FBI in the United States.

It simply identifies that any person perpetrating abuse upon animals is highly likely to exhibit the same abuse/violence against people and property.

This, I would suggest, provides a new and significant challenge to the law enforcement agencies of Bulgaria where although the Bulgarian Penal Code embraces animal protection rights and even prescribes penalties, as you know, these are rarely enacted. But now the issue and concern is no longer only with the previously and historically readily dismissive animal abuse domain, it is now about people, about children... and by association, about the society over which you have responsibility.

The connection showing that he, who abuses animals will almost certainly abuse people, has not only been conducted in distant locations, the ‘Making the Link‘ Study was conducted in Bistrita, Romania, and concurred with all previous research... except that the availability of potential aggression subjects was far higher than in Western societies.

May I share with you some of the correlations with those children who abuse animals?

They display anger and aggression against people and property, inclinations towards arson and theft. They have significantly reduced empathy towards others and they have heightened inclinations towards suicide.

Children! Children in societies over which YOU have power to enact change...

It begins with enforcement of the animal protection laws. Protect the animals and you protect the children. It begins with you.

We know all the historical, socio cultural reasons why such steps have never been taken resulting in essentially cosmetic ineffective animal protection laws in many EU countries, but I would invite you to reconsider whether by enacting these laws, respect would be gained, abuse reduced, impact on children reduced and a new society begins to emerge.

With the ‘Making the Link‘ study we would seek to underpin all these principles in that impact on children's and societal health will be established and measured after interventions are introduced. Cause and remedy will be exhibited.

I would hope that you would agree that this is a prescription for a better and safer society and a possibility for Bulgaria to take a quantum leap as a society.

Because of the ‘Making the Link‘ project, a team of world experts in the link between animal abuse and its impact on individuals and society are now participating. From diverse locations, from Australia to the United States, they are eager to see how this is enacted in Bulgaria.

It must be noted that this is not simply animal welfare groups crying with previous futility, these are some of the most influential academics in this domain.

I invite a crossroads for change! An opportunity now presents itself...

The current case of Raycho Ivanov who dragged the dog behind his car for many kilometers before having the animal returned to him by the police whereupon he completed the task and killed the dog. Such an event was anathema to those who live in arguably more advanced societies, hence the significant internet petition response of over 150,000 signatures in total.

May I invite you on the 18th of September to use the opportunity to identify to the world that Bulgaria is no longer languishing in a pool of complacency where laws are rarely enacted and consideration for children and animals as a proven unified connection, is regarded as irrelevant?

In summation: you have been presented with the information which informs you that by protecting animals and identify animal abusers, you can provide a service which protects the children and enhances security within your country.

Please be assured that progression or stagnation - whatever is determined on 18th of September - the world will be watching. A new world! Academics and organisations which will regard this day as one when Bulgaria had the opportunity to exemplify progression or stagnation through inactivity. You now have a big responsibility.

Thank you for reading this and I wish you well! I wish your country well!

Malcolm Plant, BSc, BA (Hons), MSc, Dip. Psych.
Initiator of the 'Making The Link' Study

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