The government of Romania has approved a law to slaughter tens and thousands of stray dogs in the country’s capital of Bucharest.

The tipping point

The decision was made after a  4-year-old boy was killed while playing outside a park with his 6-year-old brother, who was also injured by a pack of dogs. Sadly, this is just the latest incident of several attacks in a country with an enormous feral and stray dog population.

The law allows the city’s estimated 60,000 free-roaming dogs to be hunted and put down, in spite of hundreds of protesters and international outcry urging parliamentarians to vote against it. The law was approved by a vote of 266 to 23 with 10 abstaining.

Although many Romanians support the extermination program to solve the issue, animal rights groups are calling for a mass sterilization program. These groups believe this will stop the dogs from reproducing and enable them to live out their lives on the street.

Abandoned in the name of “progress”

This human-created problem developed back in the 1970’s when Romania’s citizens were forced to relocate to the cities in a governmental push for industrialization. As dogs were not permitted in the cramped city flats, they were abandoned and left to fend for themselves, reproducing virtually unchecked for decades.

Complexities and corruption

The issue is further complicated with the fact that sterilization programs are undermined by those who have created a business in dealing with the strays, such as those employed as dog catchers, those running dog enclosures, and even dog meat exporters.

While there are a few legitimate rescues working to serve the abandoned dogs of Romania with spay and neuter programs, they have limited funding. And they compete with fake rescues who prey on international animal supporters for funds that never reach the intended cause.

Making the world better for all

The Dog Files values both human and animal life. We need to be responsible for our actions and manage these populations humanely or risk becoming like the creatures being forced to scrape out a harsh living on the streets.

Dogs have served us and been our companions for thousands of years. They deserve better. Our children deserve a civilized world characterized by humane treatment of the creatures under our care. We can’t abandon these domesticated animals whether it’s in Romania, Detroit, or our own backyard.

How to help

Spay and neuter your pets. Support sterilization programs for free-roaming pet populations both locally and abroad. Adopt and don’t shop!