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Romanian City Dog Catchers Break Into Shelter and Abuse Dogs


Massacre at FOUR PAWS veterinary clinic

Under direction of city authority, dog catchers in Bucharest, Romania, broke in, abused, and illegally took 18 dogs that were being treated by veterinarians under the care of international animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS. Aside from the 18 dogs that were under veterinary care, another 60 dogs were also mercilessly removed from the shelter where the FOUR PAWS clinic is located. 

At least four dogs died because of the brutal handling

According to several eye witnesses, who referred to the scene as a “massacre“, at least four dogs died during the incident as a result the extremely brutal handling methods of the dog catchers.


In order to get inside the clinic, the dog catchers destroyed the lock to the front door, and during their rampage, also vandalized the post-operation kennels of the FOUR PAW’S veterinary clinic. The dogs were then taken to a nearby public shelter, where (after witnessing this inhumanity) their conditions now, remain unknown. The public shelter’s administration refuses to give back the dogs, breaching the newly-formed stray dog management program.


“The lethal action of {the city authority} makes no sense,” explains Gabriel Paun, Director of Campaigns at FOUR PAWS. “These dogs were rescued by us from terrible conditions and our teams brought them back to life. They were to be adopted. The dog catchers killed some, injured others. We’ll do our best to rescue those who survived the massacre and we hope to find loving families for them.”


Why did city officials break into the facility?

FOUR PAWS has a legal, ongoing contract with City Hall officials for a stray dogs neutering project, and for the use of the veterinary clinic which is property of City Hall. Since last Friday, city officials have forbid FOUR PAWS to access the facility. Why City Hall officials broke the contract is completely unexplainable, given the fact that FOUR PAWS invested money from donations, and a lot of effort and time in this project – a project which was requested by City Hall.

To date, FOUR PAWS has neutered over 3,000 dogs in Bucharest. “Breaking the locks and vandalizing the FOUR PAW’S kennels, by the city hall catchers, is an illegal action," stresses Gabriel Paun. “We filed a complaint to the police and we will open a legal action against {the city authority}. The main accusations: killing and cruelty against animals, theft, sequestration of private goods and vandalism.”

All of these abuses were carried out in the presence of the local city police. Instead of intervening for law enforcement, local police obstructed the access of FOUR PAWS officials into the kennel. 

How did it come to killing strays?

In October 2013, a stray dog killing law came into effect, following a tragic incident in which a little boy was fatally injured by stray dogs a month earlier. The methodology to be applied to the killing came to light at Christmas time and the killing started soon after.

In recent weeks, many animal welfare organizations and citizens reported cases of abuse and law breaking by the local authorities. On March 10th of this year, FOUR PAWS began to take legal steps at the Court of Appeals in Bucharest for the Romanian Government to freeze the killing of stray dogs.

“The situation is obviously out of control. It is time for the prime minister to take the lead and stop the killing law and the abuse. He is the only one with the power to do so," says Gabriel Paun.

See video below – caution: video may be disturbing.