What is Trap-Neuter-Return?
In short: the stray animals are caught, neutered, de-wormed, vaccinated and marked. Then they are released back into their environment. See this article for detailed information – Trap, Neuter and Return for novices.
We only shelter dogs that cannot be returned to the street for some reason. Everyone else is neutered and released back to their habitat. The method is our Bible and most important aspect of our organization’s work.
Trap-Neuter-Return is the only proven permanent and yet humane way to decrease stray dog overpopulation. It is recommended by the World Health Organization and to the honor of our state is part of our Animal Protection Act.
To fully solve the problem here in Bulgaria, neutering should apply not only to the homeless, but also to the yard dogs.
What is the source of the problem?
Sofia can already be put as a good example – there are three times less dogs in our streets today then there were at the start of the Spay-Neuter program. The huge effort that we put in along with the municipality, our colleagues and thousands of volunteers has led to the fact that puppies are no longer being born in the streets of our city. If there wasn’t a huge inflow of new dogs – the problem would disappear in 8-10 years.
The new dogs are mostly brought and abandoned from the city outskirts and villages where a fertile dog is tied in nearly every yard. A survey, conveyed by Gallup showed that 80% of the dogs in Bulgaria are looked after outside and fertile. Abandonment is the most popular choice of solving unwanted puppy problems.
The same destiny goes for the summer guards in the villa areas, the old, ill or simply – unwanted animals. Poor neighboring municipalities are also a source, dumping the animals they cannot cope with. And a lesser, but still important source are the unwanted puppies born from pet dogs.
The truth is that the stray dog problem is rooted in the rural culture of dog ownership and complete lack of control of the owners of yard-kept dogs. Experience worldwide, the work of thousands of organizations and institutes has proven that the problem is only solved through the combination of:
- A large-scale and affordable neutering of owned and homeless dogs;
- Education, especially for the children;
- And ownership control from the municipalities.
This is a process that is just beginning in Bulgaria, but the results are visible in the places where efforts are actually made. Although this cannot be simply a government matter – it is not and will never be on the side of the animals. Every person who cares about dogs can organize the neutering of the yard and homeless dogs around them to prevent the birth of more innocent victims of human negligence.
How to neuter a homeless dog in Sofia?
If there is a homeless or yard dog you care about, neutering it is the first and most important thing you should consider, especially if it’s a female.
Free neutering centers in Sofia:
- Our Franziska clinic, the Farm shelter, Gorni Bogrov;
- Clinic for the treatment of homeless animals Four Paws, Bankya;
- Municipal company Ecobalance, Neutering center, Vrabnitsa.
In case the animal trusts you, it would be best if you set an appointment and bring it to the clinic yourself. It can be done in our shelter clinic, with the colleagues at Four Paws or at a private vet with reasonable prices nearby. Make an appointment, catch it and bring it to the center and come back to get it in the evening or the next day. All the stiches resorb, the antibiotic is for days ahead and the dog only needs some rest and good food in the next few days.
In case you cannot manage transportation alone, you can turn to the municipality. If the dog trusts you, make sure you’re there for the pick-up, your help getting in the van could save it a lot of stress. It’s a fact that municipal centers have very bad reputation, but if there is no other possibility for neutering, please use their services.
At Animal Rescue Sofia we believe that overpopulation justifies early neutering and the neutering of pregnant animals, as long as it is performed humanely and by a qualified surgeon.