Our Romanian friend Flavia Mindrut writes her heart out on the painful life (and death) of stray dogs in her country.
Following the tragic death of a 4 year old boy attacked by dogs in a park in Bucharest, the stray dogs’ problem in Romania has become again the first order of business and the main topic on every radio or television news. People’s anger has been skilfully directed against the stray dogs living on the streets of our cities, everybody wants them dead, gone, no matter how it’s done, or if this is the right way of solving the problem. The mass media is only offering once side of the story, and is portraying stray dogs as deadly animals that need to be put to death. The authorities need to be seen as doing something, taking quick action, satisfy the angry masses. As a consequence, it has been voted by the decision makers, that mass euthanasia will, once again clean the streets of Romania of stray dogs. By the same logic, humans should have exterminated all Germans because of Hitler or Afghanistan because of Osama bin Laden. Dog bites or dog related illnesses don’t feature in the top 50 causes of death. According to the WHO, Romania has one of the highest rates of road traffic deaths in Europe, but the President has not banned every vehicle from the roads. These measures would sadly announce Romania, no country for dogs.
Tens of thousands of dogs will be put to death because this is the only way our authorities know how to deal with this. It’s easier; it’s cheaper so it must be better? But then humans see numbers over emotions. Here are the facts: Bucharest in the period 2001-2007 has been spent almost 9 million to kill 144,000 dogs (62 Euros per head). Sterilization instead only costs 20-25 Euros per dog.
Failing to assume the blame for creating the situation in the first place, by abandoning pups on the streets, not caring they might die of thirst and hunger, or grow up into aggressive animals, allowing them to multiply year after year, we, humans, are now condemning them to death. It is not only irrational and ineffective, it is brutal, inhumane and will impact us greatly as a nation, and on the way we are seen across the borders. The acts of violence against the dogs of the streets have already started. Euthanasia is code for being beaten to death, poisoned, injected will illegal substances, anything that would make the process cheaper and quicker. The Romanian authorities might not care of what we, the Romanian people think, but they might care of what animal lovers from all over the world do.
Instead of bombing Syria, Obama should get hold of Romanian ministers for they have embezzled millions of Euros directed towards animal welfare by EU.
If only dogs could vote, the Mayor would have though different. Until then, Romania still has her Dracula(s).