Protests Held in Front of Tirana Municipality Over Stray Dog Poisonings

Some citizens and activists have protested in front of the Municipality building in Tirana, against the killing of street animals.

Their reaction came after the release of a video on Thursday. The video shows how street dogs were poisoned in the area of ​​Kashar. In the video, it appears that the dogs were poisoned with hydrochloric acid by the Tirana Municipal Police.

Protesters carried placards condemning the killing of dogs, and some of them even took their pets with them.

This is not the first time this issue has been raised by animal rights activists.

The Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj, has promised several times that stray dogs in Tirana will not be killed, but according to activists, this promise has not been kept.

Photo Citizenc Channel
Citizens Channel Photo
Citizens Channel Photos
Photo Citizens Channel

Animal rights activists have told Exit that at least 965 stray dogs were removed from Tirana’s streets in 2019 and the first month of 2020.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the activists presented Exit with detailed monthly logs of which dogs disappeared and from where. They state that while they were able to save 21, the fate of the remaining 944 is unknown. They also estimate the number of dogs taken by the Municipality of Tirana to be much higher.

Activists claim the Municipality used to say they had a shelter where they took care of the dogs but now this story has changed.

“After that, they don’t care anymore and they told us ‘you don’t have to search for them anymore, they are dead”.

Activists added that they were told many were left by the Elbasan-Tirana highway to be hit by car drivers, others were killed deliberately, and others were left where no one will feed them.

Some 30 people are paid to sterilize homeless dogs and then return them to the streets, protestors claim that many are being killed in a barbaric manner. They want the Municipality and the government to take the matter of animal welfare seriously and to open proper shelters to care for the dogs.

The Municipality Vet Hospital in Kombinat is where the sterilizations are supposed to take place but some activists claim that more sinister things occur there. Several activists and volunteers for local animal charities told Exit that they have asked the Municipality if they can visit the facility, but they have been repeatedly stopped from entering.

There have been several protests regarding the killing and mistreatment of Albanian street dogs, yet still, activists say nothing has changed. According to Ora News, citizens have also filed a criminal suit against Veliaj for his role in the alleged killings.