The situation with the stray dogs in Skopje, Macedonia is becoming more and more alarming. Skopje is the capital city of a small country, the Republic of Macedonia, located in the Balkan region in Europe.
It seems like forever, the city of Skopje, and now more other cities in the country, are having trouble with controlling the number of stray dogs in the street.
The problem always begins with irresponsible pet ownership. The education in Macedonia about proper care for a pet is not even basic. Many people decide to get a dog or a cat and after a few weeks or months, when they realize that the pet is more than just a fluffy toy, they toss it on the street. Fast forward few months and years, that pet has offspring.
Another problem that adds to the stray dogs in Skopje is the law. On paper, there is a law that if you abandon your pet you will get a fine. But the police don’t seem to bother with this issue. Several months back, the National Veterinary Agency of Macedonia started a campaign for free micro-chipping of all domestic dogs and cats in order to make people be more responsible.
Skopje has one shelter for stray dogs and this shelter is a “kill shelter” called “Vardarishte“. It runs under the Governer’s office. The conditions in this shelter are horrible and it’s described as “where all hope goes to die”.
After a dog enters the shelter and is not already homeless, if it’s not adopted in a period of around 2 weeks, it gets euthanized.
One of the duties of this shelter is also to TNR (trap-neuter-release) the stray dogs. With the spay and neuter, they get a rabies shot and an earring that has a unique number. Sometimes, they trap already processed dogs just to “reduce” the numbers on the street and euthanize.
Citizens can also surrender their pets in this shelter. Local animal rights groups are fighting for many years now to get a hold of this shelter and run it themselves because the conditions in which the dogs live are terrifying. They are 5-6 dogs in one kennel, sleeping on a wet concrete floor, nobody knows when was the last time they had a meal, riddled with diseases and so on.
Last weekend, the animal rights activists had a protest in front of the Parliament building demanding better conditions for the stray animals in Skopje.
If you are interested to adopt a stray dog from Skopje, please contact us on our FB page.
Below you can see photos from the protest.