Today in Tirana, citizens and concerned residents protested outside the Municipality building against the mistreatment of street dogs in both the capital and other cities in the country.
Holding banners saying “Killer, killer”, they are accusing the Municipality of rounding up stray dogs and killing them, or dumping them in remote areas of the county. They also accuse Mayor Erion Veliaj of not taking adequate measures to protect abandoned animals on the streets.
The event was attended by both Albanian’s and foreigners, with some travelling from Durres and the surrounding area to “protest for those who do not have a voice.” They state that Veliaj had promised not to kill them and to provide proper care and protection for them but that this has not happened.
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 sterilisations 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.