March 3, 2011
Stray Dogs Might Not Be Deported After All
Animal rights activists and Russian celebrities had been putting pressure on city officials to come up with a Plan B. They said that deporting the dogs would endanger them by putting them in an environment where diseases would run rampant. Some had compared the planned facility to a "concentration camp for canines."
Some of these dogs are friendly and smart enough to ride escalators and subway trains on the subway, while others intimidate or attack humans.
Moscow city government was expected to endorse the plan yesterday, but the session's minutes, posted online, do not mention the proposal.
Not unlike some cities' approaches to dealing with homeless humans, the controversial plan would have transported the dogs 150 miles northeast of Moscow. The city has reportedly spent some 1.3 billion rubles ($45 million) on dog shelters, sterilization and other programs to address the city's stray population between 2008 and 2009, but critics say much of the money has gone unaccounted for.
Activists are asking for the creation of an independent body to advise city hall on handling the stray situation, including new taxes, more oversight for dog breeders, and increased education and access to animal sterilization programs for Russian pet owners.
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