Principles which ought to be respected by pet owners

The European Convention for the protection of Animal Rights (Pets)

Strasbourg, 13th November 1987

Principles which ought to be respected by pet owners

1. Nobody should cause pain, physical or psychological suffering to a pet for no reason.

2. Nobody should abandon their pet.

Two dogs, approximately 3-4 weeks old, were abandoned one morning of March near a very busy road. Without food, without shelter. The dogs are still waiting for their mother.

The thoughts of the one who abandoned them were simple and plain: if they are meant to live they will live – someone up there looks after them anyway…

Romanian laws do not punish these acts of cruelty against animals per se. For example, the Law for the Protection of Pets no. 60/2004 states that an abandoner shall be fined a sum between 1000 and 2000 RON (approximatively 300-600 €), yet this law is not enough to ensure the protection of animals.

Rather, this law is used against those people who adopt dogs from the public shelters in order to save them from a certain death. They pay for the adopted dogs, but some of these dogs will be returned to the public domain after being neutered, as not all animals can live in apartments. The Government Decision no 955/2004 allows stray dogs to live on the public domain, at the requirement of the local community. As opposed to the abandoning of dogs, which is not sanctioned in any way, the finding of these dogs on the public domain will lead to their adopters being fined for abandon. Such a law is not made for the benefit and protection of the animals, but against the dogs and of those trying to save them from a certain and untimely death.

Dog owners are undoubtedly happy as the problem of unwanted dogs is solved; these is no evidence to incriminate him, the local authorities do not check on the situation of each pet, nor do they require pet owners to register their animals.

Six months later the scenario repeats itself: yet another generation of puppies will be abandoned, by the very same owner. Puppies are being born to live on the street; they will in turn have their own puppies and they will contribute to the large number of stray animals which will never be given a home. This is the source of the animals on the public domain – the privately owned animals. Allowing the uncontrolled reproduction of pets, knowing for sure that most of the offspring will end up on the streets, is undoubtedly the authorities’ worst act of cruelty against animals.

Large sums of tax payer’s money are wasted only to catch and euthanise the continuous inflow of dogs abandoned by irresponsible owners.

The authorities do nothing to prevent the uncontrolled reproduction and the abandon of animals.

Strict programes of neutering and returning to the public domain, the control of the rate of reproduction of both cats and dogs, the required registration of pets in a national data base and a law which strictly states how people must look after their pets are the only ways of ending the nightmare of the stray animals – a nightmare for both people and animals!