As a tourist on the beaches of Italy, Greece, Romania or Spain you can hardly overlook the misery figures of the stray.
Instead of a name they wear a dirty word, instead of sleeping in a basket they cuddle up in mud.
Street dogs and street cats are many in Europe, they live dangerously.
In southern and eastern Europe there are tons of dogs on the street.
Mostly exposed as young dogs, they feed on small groups or as lone wreckers, almost always chased, abused, poisoned, hung up, run over by cars, and mostly killed in cruel ways.
Their lives are harsh and short, the body is full of parasites, many walk around like shadows, plagued by hunger, infections, diseases, injuries …They are joined by dogs who have a home but are left in the morning by their owners.
Every mating female dog gets pregnant and gives birth to her puppies somewhere. This creates an incessant stream of dogs that people do not want.
But they do not do anything about it.
The communities fear impacts on tourism, and the majority of society in “stray lands”is silent and tolerates the daily crime against stray.
In reality, these are really big numbers.
There are about 150,000 strays in Istanbul, a total of six million in Romania, and up to 60,000 in Bucharest alone. The crisis in Greece is said to have led, local animal rights activists, that there are now 3.5 million dogs lived on the streets because they are too expensive for the owners. That’s a million more than two years ago. There are even 30 million strays in India!!
Spain claims that it is free of stray dogs. The reason lies in the continuous catching of dogs by state dog catchers. After 21 days, the dogs are killed, unless the owner or an animal rights activist brings the dog out of the kennel.
In a year, 140 000 dogs and cats were caught in Spain!!
In Hungary, the killing of stray dogs is allowed after a certain time: The dogs are continuously caught and killed. The result is: There are no dogs on the street. But at what price?
Many stray dogs live in Greece, an estimated 3.5 million!
There are not many state animal shelters and no dog catchers there. However, there are always many locals murderers who want to solve the problem themselves, for example by poisoning, which is the most common method of homicide of the strays in this country.
In Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania, the puppies are “mass-produced” according to “Four Paws” and separated from their mothers far too early. The illegal puppy trade, which is often sick, is a major problem in these countries. If such puppies can not find a buyer or get too old, most of them land on the street too.
Romania, with 6 million strays, is the country with the largest amount of stray in Europe.
The strategy varies between brutal and massive killings and doing nothing. Animal activists throughout Europe are calling for an end to the killing of dogs in Romania and regulations on the handling of stray animals at EU level, such as castration. Because the dogs are often not castrated, they multiply unchecked. When people feel threatened by the large dog groups, poisoning, abuse and new brutal killings are the result.
If the dogs have had their time guarding the houses, people put them on the edge of busy roads. Others leave the dogs in remote villages to their fate – uncastrated. The uncontrolled and unwanted propagation is then programmed.
The preferred strategy by the Romanian authorities today is to capture and kill the dogs.
This has become a lucrative business and is well deserved!
Therefore, animal rights activists have been working for decades to tackle the root of the problem. Their strategy is called “Catch, Neuter and Release” or “Castrate and Release” and means something like: capturing stray dogs, castrating them and bringing them back to where they were found. So they occupy an area, but do not multiply.So far this is the only strategy that works.
So far the EU has not helped any EU country solve this problem in a humane and civilized way. She claims: “Animal welfare is a matter of each country”, and lets rich subsidies flow into the cash of unscrupulous communities, that drive the business of death with the strays.
And so, fall always the responsibility, the cost, the grief on the shoulders of the animal rights activists of these countries.
Until today, I convinced four people to get an (and some of them more) animal from an animal home. I know it’s not much, but small steps often have big effects. At least for these animals!
But nothing scares people today as much as the responsibility for the life of an animal.
Infantilism and apathy is the beloved lifestyle!
“Go to an animal shelter and get an animal in your house”
And to finish this post; we would like to show you the treatment of stray dogs in Serbia.
In the following footage you can see a stray dog which has been fully sterilised by volunteer group Vier Pfoten. There is no way that this dog will ever produce yet more street living puppies; to be caught and killed by the shinters.
The dog has been fitted with a very visible red button in its ear to show all; including the shinters; that it has been sterilised and cannot reproduce any more. A no kill sterilisation programme which we have called on the Serbian government to introduce for many years.
So what happens ?
A balaclava wearing shinter (clearly seen) waits on the street in full view of the public once the dog has been targeted with a drug dart; which is also clearly visible. The effects of the drug dart on the dog are clearly seen – it is writhing in pain and the effects of the drug. The shinter waits. When the dog is drugged and easier to collect; the shinter will move in and collect it. The dog will disappear like all the others and be killed off; another sterilised animal destroyed.
So we have – A dog; sterilised by a welfare organisation, which will NOT reproduce and continue the cycle of stray dogs in Serbia. The red button in its ear clearly identifies it as a ‘treated’ (sterilised) dog; but regardless of this, the shinters ignore all the positive signs and decide to dart and capture the dog. It is taken away to be killed along with all the other captured strays.
Why does this happen ? – money, and the greed of it. Local authorities are paid a bounty (each month) by central government for each and every stray that they capture and kill. Money paid for this tends to find its way into the pockets of municipal leadership; so the continual capturing and killing stray dogs is a very financially worthwhile cause for them – and hence the great lack of interest in any support by regional authorities or government of a national sterilisation programme to reduce stray numbers by ‘no kill’ which we have been campaigning for over the last 13 years or more. The ‘continuation’ of many dogs to be rounded up and killed provides a never ending source of additional income for the leaders in authority. Any wonder they wont adopt a national sterilisation programme ? = corruption wins in this case. And in 13 years, thousands of dogs which could have been sterilised have instead been killed simply for want of additional finances.
You can watch the video here. The red ear tag in the dog is clear; and yet the balaclava wearing shinter just hangs around on the street ready to pounce and take the dog (for killing) when he can.
Here below are Serbian shinters, or dog catchers, in action. Note how the dogs are crammed alive into the small trailer:
Best regards to all, Venus