Months after a Romanian boy was mauled to death by a pack of roaming street dogs, horrifying abuses against household pets, stray dogs, litters of puppies – any and all animals found in the streets of Bucharest – have not subsided. In fact, animal abuses have peaked to an all time high, reports The Associated press via Yahoo! News on Monday.
“A litter of puppies wrapped in a blanket and set on fire. A dog roaming the streets with its jaw hacked off. Cats found at the bottom of an apartment block, spines snapped,” reads the gruesome AP report.
In August, two young boys were playing near a park in Bucharest when they were both attacked by a pack of dogs. The older boy escaped with injuries but his younger brother, 4, was mauled to death.
The case brought to light the issue of hordes of stray animals, a problem that has plagued Romania for years.
“This is a tragic event. Local authorities have to find solutions to finally tackle the longstanding unresolved problem of dogs roaming the streets,” Prime Minister Victor Ponta said at the time of the attack.
According to balkaninsight.com, the numbers are startling:
- More than 6,500 stray dogs were euthanized in Bucharest last year
- The cost to euthanize the animals was 200,000 Euros (Close to $300,000)
- 1,100 people were bitten in Bucharest by stray dogs in just the first four months of 2013
- 65,000 stray dogs still live on the streets
In light of the mauling of the young boy, attacks on animals have sharply increased. The Four Paws animal welfare group said they have registered 15 cases of savage abuses of animals in just the first six weeks after the boy’s death – Compare those figures to just six cases of similar cruelty in almost one year prior.
Animal cruelty has been a longstanding problem in Romania. “Animal protection laws are weak, people still grapple with the trauma of a brutal communist regime, and anger builds over economic misery and government incompetence,” says the AP.
“As social tensions grow this leads to aggression against animals, particularly as people are not afraid of the laws,” said psychologist Florin Tudose. “When a dog kills a child, people think that animals should be punished.”
Vladimir Manastireanu, chief of the state authority in charge of animal safety, supports a new law that says strays are to be captured and then euthanized if not claimed or adopted within two weeks.
“We need to take these dogs off the streets and stop these emotional reactions,” Vladimir said.