STRAY DOG SITUATION IN ROMANIA
The reality on the ground
May, 2014 (updated in July 2014)
Source/Quelle: Tiere in Rumänien
Especially during the last 13 years, hundreds of thousands of street dogs have been killed
The problem did not disappear, on the contrary it got even worse as the density of the dog
population increased proportionally with the ‘catch and kill’ rate.
In contrast, mass sterilization (of dogs with and without owners) has proved everywhere to be
the ONLY solution for permanent solving the stray dog problem. For example, over a period of
6 years, the number of stray dogs from Oradea has decreased from 5000 to 350, by running a
sterilization and return program.
In spite of the huge failure of dog management by mass killing, in spite of the fantastic results
obtained by Neuter and Return programs wherever they have been applied and in spite of all
technical arguments, recommendations, studies from specialized institutions including the
conclusions of the research made over a 8 years’ period by the World Health Organization, the
Romanian authorities has an intensive campaign to ensure a continuously implementing
mass killing. The will of Romanian authorities is based precisely on the fact that this method is
inefficient, ensuring a constant number of dogs in the streets, which justifies a continuous stray
dog management program, and the management by mass killing or incarceration has
developed businesses of tens of millions of euros.
THE DIRECT ABUSES: MISTREATING AND KILLING THE STRAY DOGS
According the law 258/2013 (that modifies the specific Ordinance 155/2001 for stray dog
management), the responsibility for managing the stray dogs is of the city halls.
The stray dogs are managed by the city halls, directly, or by the private companies who make in
this respect contracts with the city halls.
The law 258/2013 provide catching dogs by civilized methods, good shelter conditions, killing
the dogs by euthanasia.
According the law 205/2004 for animal protection is forbidden to apply bad treatments and
cruelties (killing, mistreating, inobservance of providing for the animals a proper shelter,
enough food and water, care and attention, medical assistance). The inobservances of these
dispositions are contraventions or penal offences.
Capturing and transport of dogs to the city halls’ dog pounds
The dogs are hunted, tortured, beaten to death, stabbed, strangled, being dragged over the
streets often bleeding. Many dogs die during capturing because they are strangulated, die
during capturing because the brutality of manipulating produce them heart attack.
Because, according the contracts signed with the city halls, huge taxes for every captured dog
are paid to the private companies; the dog catchers capture even the owned dogs, by entering
and forcing properties or private shelters.
Illegal action of Stray Dog Management Service of the City Hall Bucharest, ASPA had an abusive
and criminal action: 91 dogs have been brutally taken (8 dogs were killed during capturing)
from a shelter in care of two NGOs, part of them from the veterinary clinic where they were
under treatment, part of them were waiting to leave to the adoptive homes.
Capturing dogs by ASPA
Killed during capturing / full of blood
The dogs are transported crowded in common cages, in unventilated vans, some die during
transport because they are suffocated.
Transport of 70 dogs in a van
Sheltering dogs in the city halls’ dog pounds
The public shelters are generally in fact miserable extermination camps where the dogs are
exhausted by fear, hunger and thirst, until they are finally killed.
Generally the dogs are kept without water, food or room to move. Puppies are kept together
with adults, ill dogs with healthy dogs, in urine and excrement. No medical assistance is
providing for injured or ill dogs.
Sometimes the dogs are eating the cadavres of other dogs.
City halls’ dog pounds
The personnel employed is uninstructed people, they do not have any empaty with animals,
sometimes they are dog haters and sadistic.
Killing dogs in the city halls’ dog pounds
The dogs are killed generally by illegal, cheapest and painful methods.
Within the stray dog management program “euthanasia” in practice meant starvation,
poisoning, strangulation, injected with illegal substances.
The Sanitary Veterinary National Authority and the College of Veterinarians from Romania
(CMV) – institutions which in any other country fight and defend the welfare and life of the
animals – have introduced in the law the fact that euthanasia must be done in compliance with
the Euthanasia Code which was drafted and issued by the the College of Veterinarians from
Thus, according the law no.258/2013, the dogs may be “euthanasied” with carbon dioxide, carbon oxide, potassium chloride,nitrogen, electric shocks, penetrating capitive gun – cruel methods non-acceptable in EU.
The Sanitary Veterinary National Authority has banned from the law the right of the NGOs to
assist at the euthanasia of the dogs from the shelters!
As well, thousands of dogs have been killed by
poisoning campaigns directly in the street.
Others were shot.
About 20 dogs captured by the
city hall Harsova, Constanta
county, in 14 January 2014, left
in cage at the landfill of town
ABUSES, IGNORANCE AND COMPLICITY OF AUTHORITIES AND PROSECUTORS
The authority in charge with the monitoring and enforcement of animal protection legislation
and with the management of stray dogs is The National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety
Authority (ANSVSA), through its territorial units: the Sanitary-Veterinary Directions (DSVSA)
But their occasional controls (generally as the result of many complaints coming from citizens
or NGOs) don’t change anything. Most of the official answers of DSVSA obsessively repeat the
same line: “our control revealed that all animal welfare standards and the legislation in force
As an example the official
answer of Sanitary Veterinary
Directorate Olt to FNPA, with
regards at the city hall shelter
Slatina: “our controls did
during the year 2013 did not
relating to the
City hall dog shelter Slatina, February 2014, dead dogs
Through their inefficiency, disinterest or interest, these institutions actually contribute to the
continuity of animal abuse. Generally, their actions are against animals, against animal lovers
and persecute and blackmail the animal welfare organizations.
Despite proof of illegalities, the prosecutors and judges ignore the countless complaints, and
most of their decisions in fact support the lawbreakers.
The ignorance and complicity of authorities actually support animal cruelty. Furthermore
receiving no punishment for their deeds allows abusers to commit crimes against humans later
Adoptions from the city halls’ dog shelters – almost impossible.
The cityhall fine the people who rescue and adopt dogs
According the law 258/2013 the adoption of shelter dogs can be carried out only by
observing cumulatively the following conditions: a) the adopter’s submission of the
space evidence certifying the appropriate conditions for the dogs’ breeding and
sheltering b) the adopter’s submission of the justifying material resources for the dogs’
breeding and care; c) the adopter’s submission of the agreement given by the
lodgers associations or, as the case may be, by the neighbours, in case of adopting
more than 2 dogs
The city halls and their contractors abuse the people by asking for house
contracts, special documents from the working places, or they simple refuse to
give the dogs to adoption.
On the other hand the houses of animal lovers are already full of dogs rescued from the
streets, and cannot absorb hundreds of thousands of dogs from the street
Some mayors harass people who have animals in the house, going over them and giving
them fines on behalf of local decisions and you can not keep your pet without the
consent of neighbors
For example, one of the last cases reported to us (April 2014) of direct abuse of the public
authorities against the dog owners is of Csutor Arpad, animal protector and rescuer from Targu
Mures. He is being constantly fined and threatened by the public authorities for having rescued
and holding a number of 25 dogs (according the law 205/2004 for animal protection there are
no legal restrictions to the number of dogs one may hold). Not only is it very difficult for him to
support all these animals properly but having him find on an almost regular basis has practically
made it impossible. He has started many litigation against the authorities, but the entire
situation has put him into the hospital with high blood pressure and diabetes, exhaustion and
The last case of direct abuse of the City hall against the dog owners is of Cristina Z, Professor of
Physics at University Pitesti, fined (twice, only 5 days apart) and threatened by the public
authorities for having rescued and holding in her house a number of 6 dogs.
College of Veterinarians from Romania (CMV)
CMV (member of Federation of Veterinarians of Europe), who is in charge to sanction actions
which broke the law during exercising the profession of veterinary physician and cancelling
the right to profess, in spite of the cruelties, malpractice, illegalities proved to be made by
some veterinarians, never sanctions the veterinarians claimed, and supports them by its
passive and protective attitude.
For example, in Curtea de Arges, all females (about 500 !) “sterilized” by vet Radu Niculae hired
by the mayor, died after days of agony in the streets. FNPA filed a criminal complaint and
complained as well to the Commission of Ethics and Litigations of the College of Veterinarians
but, despite all declarations, medical certificates from other veterinarians, samples, pictures,
videos, the doctor was declared “not guilty” by the College of Veterinarians from Romania
affirming that dr. Radu Niculae did not infringed any
Code of veterinary medical ethics (Decision no.
Stray dog business – dog management run by
An entire industry has developed in Romania under
the pretext of stray dog management programs.
It is proved by the huge public budgets allocated in this
respect, far exceeding the necessary funds, and
especially in contrast to the reality of the minimal
support provided to the dog camps. They are in fact
extermination camps where no ‘sheltering’ conditions exist, the dogs die of starvation, of lack
of water, of lack of veterinary care or they are killed, sometimes grotesquely.
The city halls allocate huge budgets – just on paper, reporting fictitious costs for sheltering,
feeding, sterilization, identification, euthanasia, incineration making partnerships or signing
service contracts with dubious companies that practice exorbitant prices.
The “expenses” of the city halls per dog
for a cruel and inefficient program are up
to 300 Euro per dog, 10 times more than
the expenses of animal welfare
organizations that run an efficient,
humane, professional program, done by
sterilization, identification and return and
education of population.
Generally, the companies that signed
contracts with City Hall’s for
catching/management of stray dogs, do
not have any connection with animals,
but they are, for example companies for
construction, sealers of furniture or consultants for business and management.
Abuses and lacks of legislation that will lead at mass abandoning of millions of owned dogs
who will be killed by stray dog management law
Examples of expenses of some city halls in Romania for stray dog management in certain
Bucharest: in the period 2001-2007, 9 millions Euro were spent for killing 145,000 dogs
(meaning 62 Euro/dog);
Timisoara: in 3 years, 1,223 millions Euro were spent for killing
Arad: in the period 2008-2010, 2,986 dogs were killed + died in the shelter, spending
308,048 (meaning 103 Euro/dog)
Alexandria: for killing 5860 dogs the budget spent was 507,140 (meaning 87 Euro per dog)
Slatina: in the period 2008-2009, 3215 dogs were managed (from which 1160 killed),
spending 407,773 euro (meaning 127 euro/dog)
Brasov in the period 2003 – 2008, 20,000 dogs were killed, 1.45 millions Euro were spent
(meaning 72 Euro/dog)
Constanta: for 2011, 1.2 million of Euro was allocated for the stray dog management to a
A continuously business is guaranteed by the owned dogs
In Romania there are about 6.3 million dogs with owner, 82% being in rural areas where the
people have severely limited finances. According to the new law 258/2013, sterilization and
identification are compulsory before the end of 2014. Because the owners do not have financial
possibilities to neuter their dogs, in order to prevent the fine, up to 2500 Euro (net average
salary in Romania is 350 Euro), they will mass abandon their dogs, the streets being
continuously crowded with more and more new dogs. Neither the Romanian Government nor
the City Halls agree to allocate funds to support the sterilization and identification of owned
dogs. But, on the other hand, the authorities will allocate huge budgets for managing the stray
dogs resulted through the huge abandonment of owned dogs.
On the other hand, as it is already presented above, the mass malpractice is not sanctioned by
the College of Veterinarians from Romania (CMV) so no way to stop a new kind of atrocities will
be made against owned dogs who will be sterilised according the law 258/2013, by
ABUSES AGAINST ANIMALS PRODUCES DRAMA IN ROMANIA
This law which legalizes mass killing of the dogs does not only severely breach any ethical and
European norms regarding animal protection and management but as well as the human
dignity and the physical and psychological welfare of the Romanian citizens!
A war without precedent was launched against dogs and animal lovers by mental manipulation.
The people were set by the authorities and media in an unbelievable manner against the dogs
and animal lovers.
People are running with the dogs in their arms in order to hide them from the dog catchers,
crowd them in their apartments which are already full of animals.
The dog catchers aggress the people, they destroy them mentally, especially the children! The
unconscionable amount which the dog catchers receive (up to 50 Euro/per each dog, for
instance in Bucharest) only for the catching and transportation of the dogs in the public
extermination camps make them fight for each dog, stray or with an owner! Ecaterina Moraroiu
was one abused by the dog catchers when she was trying to defend her dog when the dog
catchers caught her dog just from her side; the dog catchers immobilized her with the cross
between her shoulders and she was dragged between the cars: http://m.rtv.net/97917
The children developed depressions because of watching and noticing how their friends are
being caught. A 8 year old child from Bucharest almost threw himself from the 2nd floor when
he heard that his friend, the stray dog, was caught by the dog catchers.
A 6 and a half boy from Pitesti is under psychological treatment because he witnessed how the
dog from the block with whom he grew up was apprehended aggressively by the dog catchers.
Many report to us to having developed severe anxiety and panic attacks, after witnessing the
abuse of the strays on the streets, which are recurrent and persistent sometimes even to drugs.
The life of the people is irremediable affected within the family and their professional activity.
Avedis Ghazarian suffered a stroke after the dogs in his vicinity where caught abusively by the
dog catchers, and he has lost his life. Many people have died in Romania because they were
subjected to such powerful abuses, constantly or not.
Apart the irremediable act of killing of hundreds of thousands of dogs (with no result), an
iremediable trauma affects moral citizens, compassionate, who cannot accept barbarism. Killing
or perspective of killing the dogs that they protect, destroying any hope that the society can go
to civilization embracing the rules of morality, understanding the financial interest of the
authorities is beyond anything and anyone’s life. Their life can be dramatically destroyed that it
can become fatal.