START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
3,609,352 people care about Animal Welfare

Brutal Dog Spinning Ritual Restored (Graphic Video)

Brutal Dog Spinning Ritual Restored (Graphic Video)

Just when you think you’ve heard every way possible to mistreat an animal, a new one pops up — or in this case an old method that is making a comeback.

The ancient ritual known as “dog spinning” to ward off evil spirits has reappeared in a small town in Bulgaria.

Dog spinning or “trichane” is a pagan ritual performed once a year on March 6 to prevent rabies in a village and keep away the bad spirits of springtime.

In dog spinning, a rope is wrapped around a dog and the animal is suspended above a body of water, such as a river. The dog is turned repeatedly until the rope is twisted as far as it will coil. Then the coil is released so the dog spins wildly as the rope unwinds and the animal falls into the water.

Nothing is supposed to happen to the dogs used in the ritual, but photos from previous dog spinning days show the faces of terrified animals as they hang helplessly above a river or stream with a crowd of people cheering from the shore.

In the past dogs have drowned because they are so disoriented when they drop into the water.

The practice was stopped in 2005, when the media outside of Bulgaria found out about the ritual and reported it to the world.

Animal welfare organizations were outraged by its cruelty and the pressure they put on Bulgaria put an end to the practice.

But now the mayor of Brodilovo, a rural Bulgarian village, has renewed the ancient ritual. He stated there is “nothing wrong with it and that nothing is supposed to happen to the dogs’ participating in it.”

Mayor Petko Arnaudov told the Sofia News Agency that “society and the international community has misinterpreted the ritual.”

He said, “Nobody is killing or hurting the dogs. They are brought by their owners who love them in order to take part in this folklore ritual, which is meant to cleanse the local community of evil and to generate fertility. The dogs are spun for about 15-20 seconds, and then they fall in the water, which amounts to bathing them.”

The mayor said his village restored the tradition because they were looking for hope in the “extreme” bad economy. A recent outbreak of foot and mouth disease has brought the farming town to the brink of despair.

The dog spinning event has pitted the town against animal advocates from all over Bulgaria. Even the Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov has condemned the practice.

He has asked the Prosecutor General to take action and called on his government to establish sanctions against the village.

Bulgaria’s Parliament recently amended their animal cruelty law to criminalize animal abuse. Serious fines and up to five years in prison can now be handed down to those who “injure an animal on purpose.”

Both the Prosecutor and the Prime Minister believe the new law will cover the type of cruelty endured by the dogs in the ritual.

What do you think? Is dog spinning a harmless ritual or an act of animal abuse?


Please beware the following video contains “graphic and disturbing content” of a dog spinning ritual.





Read more: , , , , , ,

Creative Commons - Kevin Shorter

quick poll

vote now!

Loading poll...

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it


+ add your own
4:24PM PST on Feb 25, 2012

What a bunch of f***ing idiots! They all need to be strung up to spin untill their freakin eyes pop out of their heads and they puke up their guts! Effin morons!

7:10PM PDT on Aug 24, 2011

I would love to see the rope tied around these bunch of moron's necks. The longer I live, the worse people seem...I use the term people rather than humans. Human are associated with humanity and there is such a lack of that going around!

9:28AM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

Oh my gosh. This is seriously DISGUSTING and HORRIBLE. I can't believe someone would do this to a poor defenseless animal. Thank you for sharing and making us aware of the problem. People just suck.

5:25PM PDT on Aug 16, 2011

Dakota: YES!!!!!!! I'll say the same things - NOW, for Heaven's sake!

3:17AM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

All these people just standing and watching and some taking pictures is just shocking to me.
Please oh please just let this happen to a person and then say no one is getting hurt and it's just like getting a bath, ha ha.

I know that there are different cultures in the world but talk about a sick, ignorant, cruel, society.

9:46AM PDT on Aug 14, 2011

Hey, what REALLY works is for the mayor of the town and his cohorts who think this should be done to innocent animals, to be spun themselves!!! Then maybe they will get results!

10:15PM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

I can't watch such videos. I just rescued a pup that must have been very abused.
She is still afraid of hands sometimes but she no longer squeals for no reason at
I would like to know how people can be so ignorant. It makes me sick to my stomach.

12:28PM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

Stop this cruel practice! Spin a vegetable, it will work as well.

6:00PM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

Soul-less ignorant SOB's. Where are the women who should be protecting these creatures.

5:11PM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

I am very concerned at the comments made re this story re taking revenge on the people involved in dog spinning. Some comments display racist tendencies against Bulgarians in general, some suggest methods of torture to be inflicted on the participants. I am not writing this to vent my anger on animal abusers. Rather, I hope there is a higher level of awareness that animal abusers need psychological help and not just a straightforward punishment. They need help.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

I am 79 years old, and when I was a kid, a WEEKLY bath was what we got. That was in the bathtub, our…

It's all about having no respect for another being's right to live. This so clearly demonstrates the…

meet our writers

Kathleen J. Kathleen is currently the Activism Coordinator at Care2. more
ads keep care2 free

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.