Thousands of Stray Dogs Left at Fate's Mercy in Sofia, Bulgaria

About 5000 stray dogs in Bulgaria's capital are unaccounted for. Currently, there is also no official data as to how much a stray dog costs the taxpayers. A significant piece of data that is also lacking is the number of dead stray dogs. There is, however, sufficient data on how many stray dogs get brought in, set free and get adopted. 

According to "Ecobalance" data, the number of Sofian stray dogs that were given shelter between 2013 and 2016 is almost 6500. However, the facility has a total capacity of 1500 places for dogs - whence the aforementioned number of 5000 dogs. Reporters from bTV weren't allowed to visit the medical spaces on-site where the animals should be treated but they were given access to clinical records from the facility. For instance - one of the dogs was given the diagnose "unfavorable prognosis" on December 18th and was treated for two days. During the holidays the animal's condition was not described and there weren't any indications of the dog even being given any treatment. 

"Ecobalance" has a yearly budget of 2,5 Million BGN and has used the money for some renovations such as a new net fence. The budget does not explain how much a dog costs the taxpayers. "Ecobalance's" policy is to give the animals equal access to food. However, this would mean a great number of workers that should attend to multiple dogs for long hours. Naturally, the number of workers is well beneath the expected number.  Requirements from the municipality of Sofia state that there should be a list of the dogs and their condition. No such list was found during bTv's investigation although many of the employees claim there is one. 

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Vasil Manev

Vasil Manev is a student in Computer Science and an aspiring columnist, studying in Heidelberg, Germany.

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