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To protect stray domestic animals within all the member states of the EU

This petition had 4,020 supporters

The abuse of stray domestic animals in the EU member states has to stop and it has to stop NOW. 

Please sign this petition to save the lives of domestic stray dogs within the EU.

We are asking the EU to implement legislation to protect domestic animals and continue to include stray domestic animals within this classification.

If EU legislation is implemented as a regulation, protecting domestic animals, the member states will have a responsibility to adhere to this legislation or risk financial penalty.

A Dog's Life was set up as a campaign to improve the lives of dogs all around the world with the focus being only one campaign at a time. Our current campaign is about protecting the stray dogs of Romania; however, whilst doing research it became apparent there is currently no EU legislation protecting domestic animals (also known as companion animals) Worse still whilst there is some legislation pending protecting domestic animals it is possible that stray domestic animals will be classified as 'wild' animals for disease control measures as opposed to 'kept.' Whilst stray domestic animals are not 'kept' as they do not have a specific owner they are not wild either. Our fear is that in time this will make it easier to introduce a broader classification of stray domestic animals as 'wild,' and thus treating them in contradiction of any animal welfare law.  

So therefore we ask the EU to:

  • Implement a legal framework protecting domestic animals, within a timely manner that is binding for all member states and punishable by financial penalty if not adhered to.
  • Retain the classification of domestic stray dogs and not class them as wild animals.

The stray dogs of Romania...

There are 3 million stray dogs in Romania. The government of Romania's answer is to legalise an euthanisa programme which has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of dogs. Ironically this method does not work as a strategy of managing stray dog populations. Every hour of every day these dogs face being caught by dog catchers in an inhumane manner, then dumped in public shelters in awful conditions and a certain death if not claimed or adopted within 14 days. If this wasn’t enough whilst on the streets, they are at risk of being run over, abused in most horrific ways and used as bait by people who see no value of a dog’s life. The dogs – they are scared, unloved and lose hope.

The girl in the picture ... she would be dead now if it wasn't for the kindness of people who saved her.

However, this story is not exclusive to Romania ... it happens in Spain, Bulgaria to name a couple.  

So therefore within proposed legislation we ask that:

  • Euthanasia is never used as a stray domestic animal population strategy within the EU
  • A capture, spay/neuter and return policy is adopted as the only method of managing stray domestic animal populations within the EU
  • Neutering and spaying is undertaken with due care, with humanity and by a qualified veterinarian.
  • The capture of domestic stray animals is undertaken with humanity and as not to put the animal through unnecessary suffering, for example, method of capture, ventilated transportation that is not overcrowded.
  • To ensure that the place where a stray domestic animal is held whilst awaiting and following, neutering or spaying meets basic care standards to include a suitable environment, they are able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns, housed with our apart from other animals dependant on animal/breed type and behaviour exhibited, protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease, 
  • To ensure every stray domestic animal is micro-chipped and details recorded on a database.
  • For local authorities to work with reputable and registered NGO's to identify rehoming options.
  • To ensure that no stray domestic animal is released without being fully recovery from neuter/spay procedure.

As part of prevention strategy we request the following:

  • All domestic animals (not stray) are neutered/spayed and microchipped with no charge to the owner and details are recorded onto a database
  • That the actions of allowing a domestic (not stray) animal (excluding cats) to roam unattended or abandonment of any domestic animal be punishable by fine.

We ask that the following is included in legislation protecting domestic animals:

  • No healthy domestic animal is euthanized.
  • All euthanasia, surgery or medical treatment is carried out with due care and humanity by a qualified veterinarian.
  • Definition of the most ‘humane’ method of euthanisia based on methods used in countries with advanced animal welfare protection legislation and ensure that this method is used in all cases of euthanasia, preventing unnecessary suffering to the animal.
  • Any domestic animal killed or abused/mistreated in any form whether physical, mental or sexual, is a contravention of local law and punishable by significant term of imprisonment and the implementation of a lifetime ban of owning an animal, whether general population or governmental employees/contractors.

Examples are listed below of mistreatment, but are not exhaustive:

  • Ill-treating, neglecting shooting, stabbing, beating, kicking, poisoning, mutilating, torturing, engaging in any sexual activity, enraging or terrifying, being run over by a vehicle, causing unnecessary suffering through transportation, facilitating dog fighting or baiting
  • Ensure any injured/dead domestic animal is taken to a certified veterinarian practice within a timely manner by the general population or governmental employee/contractor.
  • Record of deaths of all domestic animals including the reason for death onto a database.
  • Create a body under the EU whereby government run (contracted out to a third party or not) public shelters/pounds are subject to certification and regular monitoring by an external team from another country.

If you would like any more information, have any suggestions or want to get involved please contact us at


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