GHEORGHENI (Harghita county)


The dog problem in Gheorgheni dates back in the ’80s. During the communist regime stray dogs were caught at night, according to eyewitnesses, were hunted even by militia, discarded and buried in unknown places. After 1989, the local councils perpetuated the same method, the dog killing. Between 2004-2008, during the mandate of mayor Pap Iosif, the city hall signed a catch&kill contract with veterinarian doctor Gáll József. After 1989 the stray dogs were killed and dumped in a pit, the bodies covered in lime, and buried. The dog lovers were terrified by these methods.

The Association for Animal Protection Fules, founded in August 2008, initiated discussions with authorities in view of solving the street dog problem in Gheorgheni. In October organization Fules put on the mayor’s table plans to set up a dog shelter in Gheorgheni, including the project, legislation, organization statute, and proposal for co-operation with city-hall. Mayor Mezei János promised that city hall would search for a ground, though afterwards the discussions on this subject were avoided. One of the founders of the association, journalist, reminded this subject on the mayor’s weekly press conferences, but the only answer was: the city hall was searching for ground, we’d inform you on the matter.

The abusive action initiated by the mayor Mezei János and performed by Brasov public service for street dog management

Fules didn’t know of the action of April the 1st 2009; nobody was informed, neither officially, nor verbally. The same journalist found out the information, asking the mayor again about the dog project.

The mayor cited a document sent by DSVSA Harghita, regarding the street dog problem, with deadline: 30 days. “We found the solution, tomorrow we’ll catch the dogs with help from Brasov specialists. We are going to catch 150 dogs that will be sent to an adoption center in Brasov , and if not adopted in 14 days, they will be put down, according to the law”. Fules found out that the city hall was to pay 20 lei/dog for catch&transport and 35 lei for tranquilizers. Fules contacted Barbulescu Flavius, veterinarian of Brasov public service for street dog management (Brasov and Harghita belong to different counties), and asked him what would happen to the dogs. He said the dogs would be sent to the shelter of Millions des amis organization, and further, to shelters in Germany. Though Ms. Cristina Lapis, owner of the shelter Millions des amis, had no knowledge of this action. Fules submitted a protest to local council, informing that, according to the law 9/2008, the method they were to use was illegal. Fules got in touch with other animal welfare organizations as well. 91 dogs were captured and sent to Brasov . Some of the sympathizers opposed the dog culling, and they were threatened, reported to police by the employees of Brasov public service for street dog management.

Asociatia pentru Ocrotirea Animalelor Fules
Gheorgheni, 02.04.2009
Video broadcast by the local TV station “Gyergyotv” (min. 5:20)