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Xpat Forum_

Is Bulgaria the stray dog capital of europe?

# 1
Kevin Owen
I am writing this because there seems to be a big problem with dogs straying in Bulgarian streets getting run over and left to rot on the roads all over the place. There is another question of the quality of care in the villages where a dog is left tethered on a very short chain to eke out a miserable existence on a poor diet of bread and scraps with nothing to do but bark all day and night. What is your experience on this?
30 July 2012 07:48:52 Reply Quote
# 2
I have been living (full time) in a village near Mezdra/Vratsa for the past 5 years and I must say the sound of the jackals at night take a little getting used to but overall stray dogs don't seem to be a major problem here. There does seem to be a growing number of Bulgarians who actually walk their dogs and treat them as family member. On the other hand as you say the old fashioned attitude that a dog is only there to guard the livestock and is chained up all day and night is unfortunately still with us. I have no doubt that the owners of dogs in this situation do their best for the animals, most are poor to say the least and carry on with living the only way they know how. More akin to English countryside living in the 1950's.

What I find more alarming is the belief that it is wrong and unhealthy for the animal to be neutered. This in my opinion is the root cause of the stray dog population and why especially at this time of year it is quite common to find a plastic bag of suffocated kittens by the side of the road. I know in Sofia the stray dog problem is more acute and the government has in the past tried several ways of solving the problem including taking stray dogs off the streets, neutering them and putting them back on the streets. Quick fixes will not solve the problem. It will take time and money to change attitudes to neutering and it has to start with the Government as funding is required for everything from advertising to supporting the animal welfare charities and local vets.
30 July 2012 14:50:30 Reply Quote
# 3
In fact I think Government is as responsible as the people are by themselves. People becoming poor and unable to take care of their pets just let them go out and never take them back and that is the last tendency. And still do not think we have to expect the Government to do everything. As long as like active people having opinion and looking for solutions we can think how we can help and what exactly we can make. For example have seen a lot of groups in facebook focusing on how to help these animals to find their new homes and they succeed because all the people can help at least by sharing the posts. So lets not wait somebody to do something but to think what exactly we can do. And if that could be an event with donations for a cause like - a house for every homeless animal ... so better to think how we can organize something like this instead just discussing what is or is missed to be done ... every country has a society and the more active the society the better life in the country ...
30 July 2012 16:49:16 Reply Quote
# 4
It's definitely a problem in Sofia - and I have the scars in one leg to prove it! Although it's usually not serious in villages (they have their own ways of "dealing" with the menace there ), in Sofia it's only too common for people to be attacked by packs of dogs and several high-profile cases of people being killed have recently pushed it to the front of people's minds.

Part of it is indeed the "no neutering" mind-set, although how that squares with shooting/poisoning/starving/beating the poor animals to death is beyond my understanding. However important it is, more education needs to be tied to a tougher approach towards those who simply kick their dogs out onto the street when they no longer want/need them. I know that the legal system here is clogged - and mostly useless - but informing people that neutering is good and abandoning dogs (and cats) is bad will only work if they realise that the law has sharper teeth in this respect than the street-dogs do.
31 July 2012 07:59:46 Reply Quote
# 5
hello I had to write to say although i knew there to be a problem several years ago in the Yambol region where we live , it has improved and a great deal has been done by the municipality and by the people themselves. In the town of straldja where we live we do not have a problem at all. There are lots of people walking their dogs now and treating them well. All this is very different to how it was and thousand times better to what we see in Romania and in Portugal this last winter. Lots of English are the problem there. They have left their animals to fend for them selves and the people have returned to England. I want to say a big well done to all the people that are working towards a better life for the animals
31 July 2012 11:26:19 Reply Quote
# 6
I came here with no intention of having another dog, the last one having gone to doggy heaven many years ago. That all changed when an English lady left her 2 dogs tied to her barn when she went back home. We found a new home for the Karakachan, but ended up taking in the German Shepherd mix ourselves. If I could find a good home for him I would let him go, until then I have a constant companion whilst hubby is at work.
1 August 2012 13:08:56 Reply Quote
# 7
Kevin Owen
Well I myself took in a street puppy last Christmas. I must say that it has presented some problems, chewing everything in sight and running around chasing the cat I also took in, but as I live alone it has had many benefits! But I do wish Flossy the dog would stop climbing up the woodpile chasing after "Gizmo" the cat forcing me to have to re-stack it all yet again!lol
1 August 2012 19:46:52 Reply Quote
# 8
Hi all. Im a new member here and was happy to see this post on stray dogs
I am hoping someone can help with a problem we have
I myself took in 2 stray dogs, which then produced a litter of puppies, thankfully I got homes for, I kept 2 pups, that couldnt be homed, Now giving me 4 wonderful companions.
My mum has 2 dogs also
Here is where the problem lies :::::::::::
In my mums village, close to Bourgas, a stray dog was found outside the house, poor thing was injured and so thin and afraid. We nursed her back to health, unfortunately being so thin, we didnt know she was pregnant. ( I think this is why she was hurt and kicked out of her home )
Now she is the proud mummy of 9, YES 9 gorgeous puppies
I have tried to re home the puppies and also get a home for her too, but no luck
She lives in the garden next to my mums house, where we feed her and the pups, but I am now concerned that the locals will start complaining about them.
Does anyone know of a shelter in the Bourgas region where we can take the puppies, Im hoping I have found a home for the mummy
PLEASE HELP with any information if you can Thanks all x
22 August 2012 01:15:33 Reply Quote
# 9
23 August 2012 11:34:28 Reply Quote
# 10
23 August 2012 11:43:48 Reply Quote
# 11
arkim's forum has a great section. Definitely post an ad there.

Also, If you can get a bulgarian to get in contact with them they might be able to help you out. They are an organization that help with finding homes and treating stray animals. Maybe they have a shelter near Burgas. It's worth a shot.

Do your best and don't give up! You're doing a great job by saving a life! God bless you guys.

Stay safe and enjoy the summer!
25 August 2012 15:17:07 Reply Quote
# 12
Thanks so much for the replies
my net has been down for a week so just seen them
we have homes for 3 of the puppies, maybe another this week
i will definately contact the details sent me
Thanx again so much for your help xx
28 August 2012 01:44:32 Reply Quote
# 13
Just joined expats! Well as I understand it there is a cull of stray dogs going on in and around other villages which has been organised by the authorities. I believe this to be true as I havn't seen a single stray dog for the last month in my village and we had quite a few.
28 August 2012 08:22:20 Reply Quote
# 14
Hi everyone,
sadly it is a condition,a part of having a gun license, that every year your club are supposed to spend a day shooting stray dogs,which I find totally barbaric. On the question of neutering female dogs, it is actually difficult to find a vet who will do the operation,they prefer the Bulgarian system of "giving the kittens and puppies a chance" by dumping them in the countryside,where in 24hrs 90+% will be dead,either on the road or killed by the jackals. This is the one aspect of Bulgaria I can not accept, and probably is the reason I have 11 dogs
all 5 bitches are neutered.
20 September 2012 12:35:06 Reply Quote
# 15
I agree that there has been a big increase with Bulgarians looking after their dogs better, walking them and getting the proper care from the vets. But all the time that the government takes a low stand on animal cruelty there will always be a hard knit group who think it is funny to treat the animals badly.
Today a car in front of us deliberately swerved to hit a young dog, that was nearly on the path, I cannot understand the mentality of anyone who can do this, the dog went into the hedge, we stopped and managed to catch the dog, and took it to the vets, its back was broken, and there was nothing we could do but to but the animal out of its misery. This dog was not a vicious dog it trusted us to help it. A Bulgarian came to us whilst we were getting it into the car and just told us to leave it to die on the road side, left it would have been in pain and took a long time to die. (it was probably his dog, but would not say so).
The other thing i cannot get my head round is that there is no part of the yambol municipality that takes responsibly for the disposal of these dead animals, when i asked the vet he said that there use to be a van that would come and take the dead animals and burn them, but that it has been stopped this year. So we have had to bring this stray dog home and burry it at home, we could have put it in a bin on the road side, but this was not an option.
There are different municipalities trying to do things about stray dogs, but there is a long long way to go. Education, in schools, and vets, needs implementing, stricter implementation for animal cruelty, together with a infustructure that will back it up, but in a country where most of the money given to it ends up in the wrong hands, and many people are living hand to mouth, it seems like an impossible vision.
2 October 2012 20:02:07 Reply Quote