Stray Animal Hospital opens in Sofia
The first veterinary clinic for treatment and neutering of stray animals in Sofia is a best practice example of what can be achieved when working together. Located in the residential district of Bankya, a suburb of Sofia, the veterinary clinic was successfully set up by the joint efforts of Sofia Municipality (the city council) and FOUR PAWS.
The clinic of Sofia was officially inaugurated on the 4th October (World Animal Day) by the Mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova, the Ombudsman Konstantin Penchev and founder and president of FOUR PAWS, Heli Dungler.
In his opening speech, Heli Dungler stressed the importance of a sustainable and humane solution to the issue of stray animals; “This project is a successful model of co-operation between local authorities and the non-governmental sector. We are very happy that there are authorities that have a progressive, modern approach towards stray animals, supporting neutering programs and public awareness campaigns instead of killing.”
Sofia’s Mayor Yordanko Fandakova also stated, “The stray dogs are considered as an important issue in our city. I am very grateful to team up with competent partners like FOUR PAWS to address this issue in a humane way.” Yordanko continued, “A solution is impossible without joint efforts, we will definitely continue to rely on FOUR PAWS in the future.”
With a total size of over 200 square meters and two floors, the well-equipped clinic in Bankya includes a reception, a procedure room, an operating room as well as accommodation for the animals. FOUR PAWS has free use of the clinic for a 10 year period.. Sofia Municipality renovated the building, and FOUR PAWS provided the medical equipment, work supplies and the personnel - five vets, two clinic workers and three animal handlers.
Prior to the opening the the team had already treated more than 500 animals. The main goal on site will be the neutering of a minimum of 1200 stray dogs and cats per year.
FOUR PAWS has been aiming for the humane reduction of the number of stray dogs and cats in Bulgaria since 2008. Since then, the organisation has neutered over 10,000 stray animals in the whole country. FOUR PAWS explained, “Our work already shows results and we are confident that in a couple of years the stray animal issue will become history”.