For the last 16 years all compassionate citizens of Plovdiv and the world have been appalled by the ongoing, obnoxious practices of animal abuse at the County - owned Animal Shelter for dogs /or otherwise known as "isolator"/ in Plovdiv.
This hell hole of a shelter has a long violent history of animal neglect, torture and killing. Many have witnessed acts of unspeakable cruelty such as dogs being kicked and bludgeoned to death, dogs being strangled, drowned, skinned or burnt alive. On the other hand almost nothing has been done by the Mayor of Plovdiv and its administration, or the Chief Prosecutor, or the Director of the National Veterinary Service, or the Minister of Agriculture, or the Prime Minister, or the President for that matter to punish those responsible or remedy this appalling situation.
The provision of services concerning domestic and stray animals, including dogs, domesticated and feral cats, is governed primarily by the Veterinary Medical Act 1999/2006, the Animal Protection Bill /APB/ 2008 and the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals.
From the time of the enactment of the Animal Protection Bill, the County has failed and refused to follow the laws. It has been the County’s practice and policy to ignore the mandates of the legislature, as follows:
1. In violation of the Animal Protection Bill art.51 and Veterinary Medical Act art.179 the County has routinely euthanised dogs labeled ‘’aggressive’’ without justification or prior temperament testing.
2. In violation of the Animal Protection Bill art.51 and the Veterinary Medical Act art.179 the County has routinely euthanised dogs labeled ‘’terminally ill’’ arbitrarily and without medical justification.
3. In violation of the Animal Protection Bill art.58 1. the County has established a pattern and practice of failing to cooperate with non-profit animal rescue organizations, by routinely denying such groups access to relevant documentation and ignoring their requests for information.
4. In violation of the Animal Protection Bill art.16(4)(5), art.41(6) and art.44 3, the County has made it a policy and practice to thwart the public’s ability to adopt impounded animals by failing to promote such adoptions in the media or internet, by restricting viewing hours and by denying the public an opportunity to interact with the animals.
5. In violation of the Animal Protection Bill art.45, 1 and 5 and art.46(3) the County has established a practice and policy of euthanising treatable animals, without providing medical care to the animal. Further, the APB art.16 (2) specifically requires "necessary and prompt veterinary medical care" for sick or injured animals, which has not been provided to many or all of the animals brought to the County shelter.
6. In violation of the Animal Protection Bill art.45, 8 the County has established a practice of routinely euthanising animals without the mandatory signature and consent of the ‘’third person’’, appointed representative of NGO.
7. In violation of the Animal Protection Bill art.14(1) 1,2 and (2) the County has failed to offer decent sanitary conditions to impounded animals, which has resulted in staggering death rate.
8. In violation of the Animal Protection Bill the County has failed to provide adequate facilities, instruments and technical equipment in the pound for remedial and diagnostic purposes.
9. In violation of the Animal Protection Bill art.10 (1), (2) 1, and the Veterinary Medical Act art.151, 1, it has been reported that impounded animals are killed with extreme malice and cruelty, highly indicative of the sadistic predisposition of the personnel involved.
10. In violation of the Animal Protection Bill and the Veterinary Medical Act at present the Animal Shelter operates illegally /without a license/ due to a failure to comply with any of the requirements of Regulation 41 concerning animal pounds and shelters.
According to article 43 par. (1) of the Animal Protection Bill, the Mayor must guarantee free access to all members of the public to the municipal dog pound, as well as to secure adequate public control over the facility. The Bill also prohibits in art. 45 par. (8) the euthanasia of aggressive or terminally ill animals without the signature and consent of a “third party”, appointed representative of NGO (animal welfare organisation).
None of these legal requirements have also been met. As a result of several complaints about the horrific practices in the dog pound resulting in animal deaths and suffering, the Mayor of Plovdiv Slavcho Atanasov passed a decree according to which no NGO members or members of the press shall ever again be freely allowed to enter the pound, question staff members, photograph animals, revise documents or observe the daily running of the same. The Mayor also appointed as “third party” one of the cleaners in the pound, which is a conflict of interest and a recipe for corruption.
Furthermore we wrote to the District Attorney, the Chief Prosecutor, the Prime Minister and the President on twelve separate occasions, revealing facts that prove dozens of violations of the Penal Code by the management and staff members of the pound. Sadly enough our complaints have not been heard. Those responsible for enforcing the Law have failed miserably.
In addition we demand prompt investigation of all animal cruelty reports and complaints.
In addition we demand thorough financial investigation for corruption.
In addition, we demand prompt and efficient prosecution of all members of the staff, involved in criminal activities under the Penal Code.
In addition we demand that new administration should take over the running of the facility.
In addition we demand the immediate dismissal of the head of the county’s environmental services department.
Furthermore, we demand that this facility engage in modern practices including focusing on adopting instead of killing adoptable animals, that animals receive prompt veterinary care when needed, that the facility be kept sanitary, that no animal should be killed in a room filled with piles of dead animals (or even one), that animals be protected while they are there from being stolen or harmed by others, that no animals be killed by unlicensed employees or with unlicensed drugs or without the consent of NGO representative and that this facility work towards a NO-KILL goal.
BULGARIA, THE WORLD IS WATCHING!!!