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Armenia: Animal Activists Demand End to Stray Dog Killings

In the last few days animal activists are making unprecedented use of social media in the South Caucasus by demanding that the inhumane killing of stray dogs end by flooding Yerevan mayor Karen Karapetyan's Facebook page with requests and appeals.

Activists have even created an event entitled “Complaint to the Mayor About Dog Killings,” which more than 800 people are virtually attending, continuously leaving messages on Karapetyan's wall in the hope that their cyberactivism will bring about change.

“On the recommendation of the Mayor, the slaughter of dogs has begun in the city,” the event says. “There hasn't been a slaughter this big before. They have developed new technology to capture dogs.”

Having been in office only since December 2010, Karapetyan's popularity is declining among animal lovers as one commenter notes.

Some comments suggest activists are ready and willing to help the city alleviate the problem in a humane way.

A photo of the killing and collecting of street dogs posted on mayor Karen Karapetyan's wall

The activity on the mayor's page is not just limited to Armenia's residents.

With no shelter system or citywide spay and neuter initiatives, street dogs in Yerevan roam the small city in search of food and shelter, eventually procreating. “Save the Animals,” an independent shelter started by musician and activist Nune Mehrabyan after the killings began in 1999, holds around 200 dogs and operates on donations, which are scant.

We desire to live in a civilized country, where even vulnerable, helpless animals shall not be exposed to murder. We appeal to you to support our organization for the sake of helping our little friends

The government contracts out a company called “Unigraph X” to deal with street dogs, notes their website.

Since 2006 the company has been declared as the winner of competitions announced by the State Procurement Agency and has implemented the sterilization of wandering animals in the administrative territory of Yerevan

However, activists claim the company kills dogs instead, as Traces of Life notes [am]:

Նկատե՞լ եք արդյոք,որ փողոցում շների քանակը չի պակասում,իսկ պետական բյուջեից “Յունիգրաֆ-X” կազմակերպությանը տրամադրվող գումարը կորում է անհետ

[...]

Այնտեղ դրված են հատուկ հոսանքալարեր`շներին վնասազերծելու,կարճ ասած էլեկտրաշոկի ենթարկելու համարլ։Նույն մեթոդներով Յունիգրաֆ կազմակերպությունը որսում է շներին։

Մենք ջունգլիներում ենք երևի ապրում,որ այսքան շուն քնեցվել,սատկացվել ու ստերջացվել է,բայց երկրում դեռ այսքան թափառող շուն կա։Չե՞ք հասկանում այդ գումարները կրկին ու կրկին ուր են գնում։Բավ է թու՛յլ տանք,որ մեզ հիմարացնեն,ես հոգնել եմ դրանից։

Մարդի՛կ,շներն էլ են ապրել ուզում։Պե՞տք է անպայման ձեր և ձեր երեխաների հետ էլ այդպես վարվեն

Have you noticed that the number of street dogs isn't decreasing, yet the money from the state budget that's provided for the organization “Unigraph-X” goes missing.

[...]

Special electrical chords are used in one part of the city, Unigraph uses the same methods to hunt dogs.

Maybe we live in the jungle, that we're killing so many dogs, but there are still so many that remain on the streets.  We still don't understand again and again where that money goes. But we let them make us look like fools, and I'm tired of it.

People, dogs want to live. They should act this way with yours and your children too.

The activists are in the process of collecting signatures against the killing of street dogs, but are also facing some opposition on Karapetyan's page with comments that reflect the cultural stigma still attached to street animals in Armenia.

 

  • gabby

    I understand the problem with the dogs but isn’t there a better way to ‘solve’ it? How about capturing the dogs, taking them to the veterinary school, asking the staff & students to participate by neutering the stray dogs, and then returning the dogs to their “home’ aka the streets. In a year or so the stray dog population will be diminished and the students at the veterinary school will have gotten some valuable training. It seems it is a kinder method than killing them.

  • http://www.ianyanmag.com/ Liana Aghajanian

    Update: It has emerged that the photo above depicting dead dogs in the back of a truck bed was actually taken in Ukraine and is linked to the following Russian-language news story: http://donbass.ua/news/region/2010/08/26/mjer-slavjanska-pridumal-novyi-sposob-ubiistva-sobak-lovit-na-seks.html. Activists continue to leave messages on Karapetyan’s Facebook wall with one recent messaged reading, “Stop the Genocide of Stray Animals!”

  • Rick

    I think the inhumane thing is to let the dogs live on the streets and solwly starve to death–for those who think it possible in Armenia to “catch and take the veterinary school”–they are living in a fantasy world where everything is done by reason and humanely–that is NOT Armenia–Armenia can’t afford to do that–the humane thing is to put them out of their misery before they attack more people. I was bitten by one of these dogs, terrorized by its environment. The humane thing is to kill them, quickly.

    • Kelly Torfin

      NOT to do things humanely — “Thats not Armenia”. That’s your excuse. You are pathetic! The animals(in this case the innocent dogs) are not the problem. It’s your primitive society that’s fucked up! !Figure it out!

  • Sinead

    WHAT ABOUT HUMAN ACTIVISTS, i love dogs but what we should be doing to really stop the killing a stays is getting dogs de-sexed. these animals are killing our beautiful enviornment and unlike a dingo which only breeds once a year stray dogs breed and kill alot more. i believe the real proble facing soc is the millions of PEOPLE dieing everyday from preventalbe deasies while where treating your pets as if there better that people. spending rediculous amount of money on them and ect. once apone a time we killed these animals to live and eat and im thankful we now have them as pets but animals is still what they are.

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