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The number of stray dogs in Sofia is 3844


According to the latest census conducted by FOUR PAWS the number of stray dogs has decreased three times in 9 years

The FOUR PAWS experts reported a considerable decline in the number of stray dogs in Sofia. Today they presented the results of the latest census conducted in the second half of 2015. The total number of stray dogs in Sofia is 3844, which is nearly 2,000 less than two years ago and nearly 7500 less than in 2007 when the first similar census was carried out.

© FOUR PAWS | Yavor Gechev

This is the fifth census after those from 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013. It was carried out as part of the Municipal programme for animal population management jointly by FOUR PAWS and "Ecoravnovesie", the municipal company responsible for management of stray dogs in Sofia. Like a couple of years ago, the number of stray dogs is lowest in the central areas of Sofia (Sredets, Oborishte, Vazrazzhdane, Lozenets, Izgrev and Triaditca districts) - 258 animals or less than 7% of the total population. Most stray dogs are in Pancherevo (426), Novi Iskar (372) Lulin (287), Krasna Polyana (279) Vrabnitsa (267) and Vitosha (228) districts - nearly half of all stray dogs in Sofia. There is a decline in the number in each of the 24 districts of the capital, whereas the largest is in Kremikovtzi - from 703 dogs in 2013 to 199 last year. The results show that in Sofia one stray dog belongs to 327 inhabitants (in a population of 1,256,667 according to the National Statistics Institute), which is far better than the result in Vidin (1 dog per 118 inhabitants) and Veliko Tarnovo ( 1: 255), but still far from Plovdiv (1: 1171).

The general decrease of the number of stray dogs in Sofia is due to the high number of neutered animals - over 60% of the population has clearly visible markings. Also it is due of the responsible attitude of the owners of pet dogs which has increased thanks to awareness campaigns and programmes for neutering of dogs free of charge. Moreover there are more people who adopt animals from both shelters and off the street.


Among the guidelines for working on the current issue with stray animals, FOUR PAWS experts point out the following measures: control of the environment has to improve by improving the quality of garbage collection; reduction of abandoned buildings and areas; control over the owners of pet dogs in order to prevent unwanted breeding and abandonment; maintenance of a high percentage of neutered stray animals and improving the quality of shelters in order to increase adoptions of animals. It is also important to work on cooperation with municipalities around Sofia, since their longstanding inaction is the main source of new stray dogs and cats.

Details on the methodology used for the stray dog census, as well as a full report can be found here.