Petition Closed
Petitioning Chair of the Committee on Petitions at the European Parliament Mrs Erminia Mazzoni and 6 others

Mr Ovidiu Portariuc, Mayor of Botosani: collaborate with ADOR and implement a catch-neuter-return program


This petition was started by Occupy for Animals on 4th of December, 2012. It is a joint action of Occupy for Animals and Million Actions for Animal Rights.

For further information on this petition, please visit:


On Monday, 19 November 2012, members of the animal protection organisation, ADOR, located in Botosani, had been called by several people who reported having seen as two vans slowly drove through the streets of Botosani and collected all dogs that they could find. They did not only catch straying dogs, but also owned dogs, stolen out of their family's garden, and small puppies who were separated from their mothers. Also dogs that had been sterilized by Ador, recognizable by their green round mark in the ear, had been brutally captured and thrown in the back of the vans.

ADOR reacted immediately and followed one of the vans that was heading in direction of Constanta, which is located 579 kms away from Botosani.

ADOR also informed the police, but received no support. But thanks to ADOR's many supporters from around the world, the message spread like wildfire over Facebook and after animals lovers from many countries informed the authorities and the Romanian media, the police finally stopped the van, after all.

More or less 70 dogs were packed in the van; one on top of each other - old and sick ones as well as puppies, sterilized dogs recognizable at the ear marks and owned dogs recognizable at their collars - all packed together in the van, huddling fearfully together in the far too small cargo space of the van, which had been converted into one large cage.

The poor dogs were scared and exhausted, fearing for their lives, because they had been left without food nor water, and had not enough air to breathe, for several hours driving.

The driver of the van explained that they had received order to catch dogs in Botosani and to bring them to the shelter in Constanta.

After long discussions and negotiations, the van was sent back to Botosani and the dogs brought to the local public shelter, that was already hopelessly overcrowded. This shelter is known by locals and animal activists as a 'death camp'.

The Mayor of Botosani, Ovidiu Portariuc, later claimed this to be a pilot project and that the dog hunting company from Constanta, named SC Puppy Vet SRL (formerly Alfmob), has received order from the municipality to catch dogs, to bring them out of the city, to Constanta (579 kms away), to house them in the local public shelter of Constanta and to find homes for them.

But, this plan is not showing the true motivation of the mayor's actions!

To make a good impression, to look like a nice guy in front of the locals and the media, the mayor said that he was open to discuss another solution to the stray dogs issue, and that ADOR should present him a better solution within one week, or he would resume his 'pilot project' and the dogs would be brought to Constanta as planned and that he would not accept any 'fantasy proposals'.

On Wednesday, 28th of November, 2012 the one week delay granted by the mayor ended and the two parties (mayor and ADOR) met to discuss the next steps to be taken in order to solve the stray dogs issue in Botosani.

ADOR handed the petition started by our friends from Million Actions for Animal Rights over to the mayor, together with their draft contract assuming some responsibility in helping to solve the stray animals issue.

Finally, the two sides have agreed that, after having studied the proposed contract from ADOR, to have a further meeting next week.

By signing our petition, the message that you can read below will be sent to the mayor of Botosani,

a copy will go to:

The Council of Europe
The European Commission
OLAF, the European Anti-Fraud Office
Romanian Constitutional Court
Mr Erler, European Parliament's Intergroup on the Welfare and Conversation of Animals
Mrs Erminia Mazzoni, Chair of the Committee on Petitions at the European Parliament

We thank you in advance, for your signature and for speaking up for the Botosani-dogs.


P.S. if you have not done so yet, please sign also the petition started by Million Actions for Animals Rights, here:

Letter to
Chair of the Committee on Petitions at the European Parliament Mrs Erminia Mazzoni
Mayor of Botosani Mr Ovidiu Portariuc
Council of Europe President of the Council of Europe
and 4 others
Romanian Constitutional Court President
European Parliament's Intergroup on the Welfare and Conversation of Animals Mr A. Erler
the European Anti-Fraud Office OLAF
European Commission Mr José Manuel Barroso
SUBJECT: collaborate with ADOR and implement a catch-neuter-return program

Mr Mayor,

we are writing you regarding your plan to send the stray dogs of Botosani to the killing pound of Constanta, and your dubious deal with SC Puppy Vet SRL (formerly Alfmob), that we have documented in the following link:

You have publicly proclaimed that the dogs will be send to Constanta, 579 km away from Botosani, that they will be housed there until homes are found for them, and that they will not be killed. But there are some aspects in this entire story that we know, and that makes it difficult for us to believe you, although we would love to.

What we don't understand is this:

- there are approximately 1,000 stray dogs living in Botosani that you want to have off your streets. How do you want to house these 1,000 dogs in the Bio Baza killing pound in Constanta that has a capacity of only 200 dogs?

- how comes that SC Puppy Vet SRL (formerly Alfmob) has signed a contract with your municipality according to which, they offer all their services (catching, transportation, and 'management' of the dogs) for FREE? Without anything in return? What makes the fact that these 'services' should all be for free - that there is no hidden financial gain to be made from the catching and the 'management' of the dogs - even more incredible, is the fact that SC Puppy Vet SRL (formerly Alfmob), has signed a similar contract with the municipality of Constanta, with the difference that this contract is worth 1,250,000 Euros!

What we know and what we understand - on the other hand - is that SC Puppy Vet SRL (formerly Alfmob) was responsible for the killing of thousands of stray dogs in Constanta in the past. What we know also, is that the unfortunate dogs that enter the Bio Baza killing pound don't receive food, nor water, that they sleep in their own feces and urine, and that they rarely walk out alive again.

As much as we would love to believe that the dogs will well be taken care of in Constanta, we know that it will not be the case and we plead with you, Mr Mayor, to solve the stray animals issue in your town in a civilized and humane way, and to collaborate with your local animal protection association, ADOR, who will help you to implement a successful Catch-Neuter-and-Return-program as soon as possible.

Catch-Neuter-Return is the only proven humane and effective method to reduce stray animal populations. Statistical studies indicate that in order to fully control a stray population, you need to achieve a 70 percent sterilization rate of the animals within a particular community. Once you reach the 70 percent threshold, the probability that an unsterilized female comes into contact with an unsterilized male is sufficiently small, and the population stops growing.

The International Companion Animal Management Coalition (ICAM) has published a guidance on the humane management of dog populations, which will guide and help you to implement an effective and sustainable approach that is proven to be effective. This document can be downloaded at the following link:

Killing stray animals, however, does not stop the problem and only offers a temporary “solution”. The World Health Organization’s “Guidelines for Dog Population Management” (Geneva 1990) and various other academic studies show that killing dogs is ineffective. Despite mass extermination campaigns by misguided municipalities the street dog population grows, and the best examples of both good and bad stray animal population control policies come from your own country:

- In 2001 the then-mayor of Bucharest launched a campaign that led to the extermination of about 144,000 stray dogs in the capital alone, spending almost 9,000,000 Euros (62 Euros per dog) during the period from 2001-2007. Between 2008-2010, 20,000 dogs have been killed in Constanta spending 1,500,000 Euros (75 Euros per dog). As you know, both the city of Bucharest and Constanta are again littered with live and dead dogs.

- The only town in Romania that used catch/neuter/release programs was Oradea, and the results are showing: in 6 years the population of strays decreased 8 times.

Sadly, a few months ago, Mr Robert Smith, the president and founder of FPCC-SOS Dogs Oradea could not no longer afford to finance the Neuter & Return project in Oradea and because he considered the target has been reached by proving this program is the only successful one, he decided to retire from it and invited the city hall to carry on with the investment and management. Ignoring the legislation in force, the City hall Oradea had decided, by an illegal local decision (no. 505), to kill all the unadopted dogs within 7 days, which brings us to another lesson to be learned from Oradrea:

- the National Federation for Animal Protection (FNPA) brought this case to court requesting that the resolution in question adopted by the Local Council be dismissed at once, and THEY WON! Therefore, the Court judicial decision obtained at Oradea becomes extremely important for the entire country as a precedent for recognition in Court, the inapplicability, implied repeal of the articles of Governmental Ordinance 155/2001 that provide euthanasia.

If you send the dogs to Constanta, it will be their death sentence. They will die there. They will either be killed under the usual, false pretext that they are terminally ill or aggressive, or they will die of what is called 'natural causes' in your local dog pound in Botosani - meaning to die of starvation, to freeze to death or of the consequences of diseases and injuries left without veterinary care.

If they die (and they will) everybody will know that you have lied publicly, and that you have lied to your citizens because you knew since the beginning that they would not survive and that the true motivation behind the contract that you have signed with SC Puppy Vet SRL (formerly Alfmob) never was to have the dogs housed in Constanta until they will be eventually adopted, but to have them off your streets - in one way or another - and the sooner, the better, because it was this, that you had promised to the citizens of Botosani before they have elected you.

Solve your stray animals issue in the humane, civilized and proven manner (catch/neuter/release) and you will see that the stray animals population will stop growing which will bring you sympathy (and votes) from both animal loving people and from those who don't love them and who want to see them disappear. Make the humane choice and everybody wins.

We thank you for having taken the time to read our letter and we will continue to follow the evolution of the stray animals issue in your city with great interest.

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