Last Friday a group of employees of ASPA – the veterinary authority in charge of the management of stray dogs in Bucharest – broke into two facilities that belong to the associations VIER PFOTEN and Paws2Rescue.


Stray dog - Romania, 2013

Stray dog - Romania, 2013

As documented by some videos (Warning: video contains shocking images) that are circulating on the internet, with great cruelty the municipal operators dragged 90 dogs out of the kennels, killing four of them, according to the statements of some witnesses. Fifteen of the animals taken away had recently been neutered and were therefore under medical care.


On 10 September 2013 the Romanian Parliament approved a law that allows the killing of healthy dogs for overpopulation control, after the death of a child allegedly mauled by stray dogs in Bucharest. In practice, this act officially consigns to death tens of thousands of stray dogs.


This law sets out to eliminate all stray dogs in the country, and the official justification is that this is planned in order to protect humans from attacks and bites. In reality, thousands of friendly and harmless dogs around the country have already been taken from the streets and killed.


The law includes some positive provisions too, such as the establishment of a national identification and registration system, sterilisations and public education.


Unfortunately, there is no evidence that these positive aspects of the law are being implemented. Indeed, its main – or perhaps only – effect has been the catching and killing of thousands of dogs, often in brutal ways, as shown in the video referred to above.


A few hours after the attack on the shelters managed by animal welfare NGOs and the brutal abduction of the dogs kept there, the Director of ASPA, Razvan Bancescu, proudly stated in front of the Romanian press that in the last three months 2,000 stray dogs have been eliminated in the capital thanks to his efforts.


Intimidation of animal welfare organisations and dog owners is now frequent in Bucharest and other parts of Romania. VIER PFOTEN/FOUR PAWS reports that last Friday ASPA operators broke the lock of the entrance to their veterinary clinic, took the dogs and vandalised the post-operation paddocks of the clinic.


You can read the full articles on the websites of VIER PFOTEN/FOUR PAWS and of Save the Dogs.


Please email the Romanian ambassador in your country to protest against the cruel treatment of dogs in Romania.