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Mr Nicolae Robu, Mayor of Timisoara: change your stray dog management policy and opt for "neuter & return"

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This petition was started by Occupy for Animals on 24th of February, 2013 - for further information on this petition, please visit:



The city of Timisoara has spend 1,139 million euros during the period from 2006-2010 to kill tens of thousands of stray dogs.

But despite the killings and the huge amounts of money spent, the city of Timisoara is again littered with live and dead dogs to the point that end of November 2012, Nicolae Robu, the mayor of Timisoara, timely before the next mayoral elections, announced that his municipality has - finally - planned a mass sterilization of the stray dogs, of which Danyflor - the dog catching company with whom the city hall has signed a contract - estimates the number now at 8,000.

The mayor expects that between 300 and 500 dogs will be sterilized each month. Sterilizations will be done free of charge by specialists at the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Timisoara. The dogs will receive postoperative care; they will be vaccinated; marked with a yellow ear tag and then registered in a database. The dogs will be housed in the publicly financed shelter run by Danyflor until they are adopted, said the mayor.

The mayor also said that those who adopt dogs and later put them back on the streets should expect a severe fine from the local police and that they would not be allowed to adopt a dog in the future again! He said also that starting from next year (2013), the municipality of Timisoara would offer free sterilizations to households with limited financial resources.

So far, everything sounds not too bad... altough there are a few problems and inconsistencies, already in theory!

The public shelter of Timisoara, was always known as a killing pound; a death shelter. A pitiful and miserable prison where the only way out was DEATH.

ALL animals that were caught in the streets and brought to this shelter, died in this shelter. Rarely, very rarely, an animal walked out alive again. They either died of dehydration, starvation, or diseases. and if none of this killed them quickly enough, they were killed by the shelter workers in the most cruel and cheapest ways after a few days, even if the killing methods used, were illegal.

Since the Romanian Constitutional Court declared euthanasia in the absence of clear medical criteria as unconstitutional on 11th of January, 2012, many public shelters, or public financed shelters run by dog-catching companies, simply let the animals die of thirst and/or hunger, or of the consequences of diseases and injuries (often inflicted during the catching) left without veterinary care. We know that in the public shelter of Botosani, to die of one of these causes is considered "to die of natural causes".

This fate is not unique to the stray dogs of Timisoara or of Botosani; in fact it is the common fate of almost all Romanian stray dogs who have the misfortune to enter such a public shelter, or publicly financed animal shelter, of which most are nothing less than illegal extermination camps run by untrained, poorly educated, underpaid and cruel shelter workers.

In the past, "euthanasia" in fact meant: poisoning, strangulation, being burnt alive, beaten to death or injected with magnesium sulphate.

Today, "euthanasia" means starving to death, freezing to death, or being left to die of the consequences of diseases, of injuries inflicted during the catching, or of unprofessional sterilizations left without veterinary care.

While some animal welfare legislation exists on paper there is no effect in the real life. Despite improvements of animal protection legislation, and the euthanasia being prohibited, in fact the stray dog management means the same illegal methods to catch and kill dogs, and the same public camps where the dogs are killed by starving to death ... and the publicly financed shelter of Timisoara, run by Danyflor, seems to be no exception as you will find out if you have a look at our website where you can see the pictures taken by volunteers and local animal protection associations during a visit on February 13, 2013.

The visit was announced and those responsible had the opportunity to improve the situation. Still, even with these "improvements", the conditions in which the volunteers found the dogs that day were heartbreakingly bad.

The poor dogs were all very sick and very weak, some were apathetic; they were only skin and bones and they were not even fighting for food, but for a drop of water. You don't need to be an expert to see that the dogs have been starved for days, some looked as they had not been fed since weeks and they were awaiting their death as a welcome relief.

By signing our petition, the message that you can read below will be instantly sent to the mayor of Timisoara, asking him to return the dogs back to their territory after sterilization, which is also the only right thing to do to ensure the success of his sterilization campaign. Copy of this message will go to the Romanian Constiutional Court, the European Parliament, the EU-Commission, the Council of Europe, and the Intergroup.


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