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Feb 1, 2013

Focus:Animal Welfare
Action Request:Protest
Subject: Oradea-dog-shelter,once Romania's privately funded pilot project par excellence,has become a living hell for the animals since the municipality has taken it over (letter to send) and petition
For more pictures and news :


Chair of the Committee on Petitions at the European Parliament
Mrs Erminia Mazzoni

European Commission
Mr José Manuel Barroso
Council of Europe

President of the Council of Europe
European Parliament's Intergroup on the Welfare and Conversation of Animals
Mr A. Erler

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Once again, horrible conditions in a so called "shelter" run by a municipality in Romania has come to light. The case that we want to report you about, is the Oradea municipal dog shelter.
A new video that a person has recorded through the fences and sent to the local media Bihor Online, shows a group of starving dogs, attacking another dog.
In the video one sees several starving dogs that start to kill the weaker dog by repeatedly biting him/her in the neck....:

Once Romania's privately funded pilot project par excellence, this shelter has become a living hell for the animals since the municipality has taken it over a few months ago.

Below, a brief history of facts related to this shelter:

When Mr Robert Smith, the president and founder of FPCC-SOS Dogs Oradea, started work in Oradea in 2004 there were between 4,000 and 5,000 dogs on the streets despite RAPAS' kill and poison campaign. Dead and live dogs could be seen for example all along Bors-Oradea road and at the Bors border post.

In desperation and although sceptical Mayor Mr. Petru Filip accepted FPCC's offer (with the sponsorship for 3 years of Dogs Trust, Battersea Dogs Home and North Shore Animal League) to solve his dog problem through Neuter & Return. By summer 2011 according to a Politia Locala census, FPCC-SOS Dogs Oradea had reduced the unsupervised dog population of Oradea to only 350 dogs.

Since 2004 they have neutered and vaccinated over 24,000 dogs in Bihor (mainly females). They reduced the loose dog population by over 90% without putting a single healthy dog to sleep, other than literally 1 or 2 dangerous dogs per year which bit other dogs or people without provocation. FPCC-SOS Dogs Oradea achieved this reduction in dog population despite the constant dumping of fertile dogs from outside the city.

Sadly, a few months ago, Mr Robert Smith could not no longer afford to finance the Neuter & Return project in Oradea and because he considered the target has been reached by proving this program is the only successful one, he decided to retire from it and invited the city hall to carry on with the investment and management.

Ignoring the legislation in force, the City hall Oradea had decided, by an illegal local decision (no. 505), to kill all the unadopted dogs within 7 days, but the National Federation for Animal Protection (FNPA) brought this case to court requesting that the resolution in question adopted by the Local Council be dismissed at once, and THEY WON!

In his press-release from 29th of August, 2012, Mr Robert Smith wrote:

"Unfortunately Oradea City Council is forcing ADP to follow Basescu's failed policy, which the Constitutional Court has already declared to be illegal."

and he predicted that:

"Since the City Council and ADP will not offer free neutering to all dog keepers, it is likely that the unsupervised dog population of Oradea will have returned to the carrying capacity of at least 4000 dogs by the time of the next municipal elections in 2016."


When the Oradea municipality took over the shelter in autumn 2012, volunteers and animal lovers were allowed to visit the dogs only on Saturdays, and since December, not even then.

The most active volunteers were denied access to the shelter even earlier because the shelter employees felt bothered by their insistence on the fact that animals had not been properly sterilized, resulting in complications and even death of animals who had their guts literally hanging out of their body. When they rightfully questioned the professionalism of the veterinarians who had performed those surgeries, they were denied access!

When the volunteers insisted that they wanted to have access to the shelter so that they could look after the animals, they had been informed in December in writing that this was not possible because of major works, and that the municipality was doing repairs there...

But when the volunteers went to the shelter to see what they were doing, they could see that no major repairs had been made and that a security company had been hired that let no-one enter the shelter.

Through the fences, they saw many dead dogs... And the corpses of dead dogs devoured by other starving dogs....

The animals had no food, nor water, not even straw in their pens although everything was there in abundance - it only needed to be given to the starving and freezing animals. The dogs resembled living skeletons; they were only skin and bones...

Picture evidence taken by the volunteers is compiled on your website for your appreciation:

Why does the Oradea municipality let the animals starve and freeze to death when food, water and straw is there in abundance?
Is it simply negligence?
Is it just out of laziness?

Or can it be that they simply let the animals die to get rid of them, given that their plan with their local ordinance no. 505 (to kill all the un-adopted dogs within 7 days) did not work out because FNPA had filed complaint and the judge ruled that it was illegal?

We know that dying of thirst or hunger, freezing to death or dying of the consequences of injuries, diseases and unprofessional surgeries left without veterinary care, is considered "to die of natural causes"... so can it be that this was their "plan B"?

The answer is: YES, it can very well be!

We have seen this in many other municipal enclosures in Romania - and other east and south European countries - before!

Anyways... Romania being a member state of the European Union since 2007, and a signatory of the European Council's Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals since 2005, and all of the before mentioned atrocities being clear violations of Article 13 of the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals as well as of WD 0026/2011 and given that Romania MUST respect the signed treaties and conventions, we are calling on the EU and the European Council to send a strong message to the municipality of Oradea reminding them about their obligations in terms of animal welfare according to the signed treaties and the conventions to which they are legally bound.

We thank you very much for having taken the time to read our letter and we have trust in you that you will take the necessary measures.

Yours sincerely,

Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Friday February 1, 2013, 6:56 am
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Natasha Salgado (592)
Tuesday February 12, 2013, 8:25 pm
Shamefull and absolutely appalling. Something has got to done for these innocent dogs,please.

Yvonne F. (178)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 8:54 am
Emails sentr!!!!
Thanks Anneke!!! Well done!

Yvonne F. (178)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 8:54 am
And petition signed!!! Poor dogs! outrageous!!


Anneke Andries
female , married, 2 children
Raamsdonksveer, Netherlands
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