Klaus Iohannis – Stop the dog massacres in Romania!

>>>Important Petition Please Sign<<<

PETA Germany requests an immediate stop of the dog killings and an implementation of a castration programme of wide coverage. Since PETA launched this petition only in german language you can find a translation here:

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Dear Mr. President Iohannis,

as early as the 5 September 2013 you described the “Euthanasia Law 258/2013″, which allows the killing of stray dogs in Romania in the absence of any medical or social indication, as “barbaric”. You stated that this was no suitable measure to ensure the lasting reduction of populations. Nonetheless, each year in Romania many thousand dogs are violently captured and killed. This is our appeal to you, as the highest representative of your country:

  • Please make your position against the “Euthanasia Law” clear, in your present capacity of head of the Romanian state. Make use of your personal and political influences in favour of a new, humane and efficient legislation, that legally treats the dogs as “sentinent beings”, in accordance with article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty and the WHO and OIE guidelines.
  • Please act for the redirecting of funds that currently go to the violent handling and killing of these animals towards projects that actually ensure the limitation of stray populations in the middle and long term: neuter & release programmes, as already successfully implemented in some Romanian towns, and educational measures that acquaint people with the responsible way of dealing with their animal fellows. Act for win-win solutions in your country, for concepts that are good for the people AND the animals in Romania.

You took office pledging to act consistently against the corruption in your country – please include in your endeavours the taxpayer money that is currently spent for cruel dog killing.

Please request and initiate:

  • the verification of the actual utilisation of money made available to the operators of state animal shelters and their co-workers for the accommodation, medical care and professional euthanasia of dogs;
  • a verification of the veterinarians in the state animal shelters, in order to check the modality in that euthanasia is applied;
  • the implementation of the „monitoring“ provided by law and the unconditional access of people and animal rights activists in the state animal shelters, such as to document the existing conditions, as already included by the law;
  • the revocation of the fines imposed on people engaged against the cruel and illegal actions of the dog catchers.
    Many of the cruelties committed against dogs and humans take place in public. Often children become involuntary eye witnesses and as such exposed to possible traumatic damage. Please champion for the welfare of the animals! For the good of the animals, the people and the image of your country in the European Union.


Every year in Romania many thousand stray dogs living mostly on the streets of towns are captured and beeing killed. Shocking video recordings document the cruelty of the state sanctioned killing practice.


In the 20-million people state many still live at the limit of poverty. Life for animals is even more difficult, and it is mostly the so-called street-dogs that live in everyday fear and torment. Since the passing of the “killing law” in September and the set-up of bonuses a lot of money can be made from the killing of dogs.

The „Euthanasia Law“ (OUG 155/2001 amended by Law 258/2013) provides inter alia that all stray dogs need to get captured, brought to state animal shelters where they can be eliminated by “euthanasia” if not claimed or adopted within 14 days. A bonus of up to 50 euros is paid for each captured dog. Further taxpayer money goes to the operators and veterinarians of state animal shelters for the accommodation and medical care of dogs in state animal shelters (up to 250 euros per dog), to veterinarians performing euthanasia and eventually to the “removers” of animal carcasses – a huge business.

Thus a cruel and quite profitable catch & kill industry was established in Romania, that supersedes all efforts for an animal friendly and sustainable solution. The “neuter & release” programmes requested by animal right activists ensure the lasting reduction of stray dog populations – as proved by all implemented programmes in other EU member states. The costs of castration, rabies vaccination, micro-chip marking and registration do not exceed 50 euros per animal.

According to a press release [1] since the passing of the law, over 50,000 dogs were captured alone in Bucharest, of which 30,000 were „put to sleep“. The actual number of stray dogs inhabiting the streets of Bucharest, as well as the number of those actually captured and killed – and what way – is not known to anyone. The compulsory censuses of stray dog populations, as provided by law, have never taken place. Similarly no “monitoring” whatsoever is conducted in state animal shelters.

The killing continues despite success in court

In June and July 2014 the appeal courts of Bucharest and Brasov ruled the application norms of the law as non-constitutional and prohibited in all Romania. Hundreds of complaints were filed with Romanian public prosecutors and courts of law, a suit filed with the European Court of Justice is ongoing and hundreds of thousand people from all over the world have voiced their protest in letters, petitions and demonstrations. Still the capturing, torturing and killing of the dogs continues and so far the law has not been amended.

It just gets worse: by now people who want to protect the animals are made to pay dearly for their moral courage. “Disturbing” or “documenting” capturing operations is prohibited in Bucharest and fined up to 250 euros. Feeding of stray animals will be prohibited by the end of this year and punished with fines up to 450 euros. Animal rights activists who denounce the conditions in state animal shelters are refused access and prohibited from feeding the animals. People, groups and organisations who get dogs out of these killing stations and have them adopted by animal lovers abroad are publicly discredited. Persons in Romania who wish to adopt a stray dog are required to disclose their entire private life and need the written acceptance of all neighbours, regardless if two or two hundred. It has been documented that the rate of dog abandonment has increased steadily.

The verified animal friendly solution for strays

Only a consequent implementation of a „neuter & release” programme can ensure the lasting decrease of stray cats and dogs. Within this concept, upon castration and medical care the animals are released into their known territory, where they are cared for further on. This is also the method recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the „Guidelines for Dog Population Management“. In addition flank measures are required, like the strict interdiction of breeding and selling of cats and dogs.
Why animal shelters often are not the solution
The concept of an “animal shelter” as known in Western European countries cannot be functional in countries like Romania, because of the quite small adoption rate. Thus, for the entire lifespan of the dogs in shelters practically no exchange of animals occurs – not to mention the partially catastrophic conditions animals endure in South-eastern shelters. In addition the building of thousands of animal shelters would be required such as to accommodate hundreds of thousands of strays.
[1] http://mapofhope.de/2015/03/19/bukarest-ist-hundefrei/ (last access on 01 June 2015)



Many people have supported PETA to create this informed and targeted petition providing evidence film/fotomaterial and facts. Special thanks to Claudiu Dumitriu (Alianta pentru Combaterea Abuzurilor) for his fight for animal rights in legal and political levels in Romania and his dedicated work on this campaign (images, background information)