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FOUR PAWS: The accusations against us sound like “A bad workman blaming his tools”

Sofia, 12.11.2012

With regard to the untruthful statements that Mrs. Aksinia Bosneva made during a press conference this Sunday, concerning the work of FOUR PAWS, we would like to explain the following:

1.    FOUR PAWS is an international organization with offices in 12 countries that has been working towards solving the stray animal issue worldwide since more than 20 years. Besides Bulgaria, the organization has carries out successful neutering projects in countries including Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Greece, Moldova, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Jordan and India. During 2012 several FOUR PAWS teams were invited by the UN mission in Sudan, and in Ukraine we completed the biggest neutering campaign for stray dogs and cats in Europe. FOUR PAWS has always kept the highest work standards possible and has never, in any way compromised animal health.

2.    In Bulgaria FOUR PAWS has a working cooperation with local authorities since 2008 – until this year - in over 30 municipalities, where we have neutered, vaccinated and dewormed almost 9000 animals. During the last year and a half in Sofia alone we have treated over 2400 dogs and cats – all projects, financed entirely by FOUR PAWS. Right now one of our teams is working in the town of Kyustendil, where 198 animals were neutered, vaccinated and dewormed in 2 weeks.

3.    FOUR PAWS is supported entirely by donations, coming mainly from Western Europe. Since 2008 more than 700 thousand leva were invested in projects and campaigns for reducing the number of stray animals in Bulgaria. FOUR PAWS’ work undergoes annual internal and external financial oversight in Bulgaria and Austria. FOUR PAWS regularly publishes reports of its activities in the Central register of non-profit legal entities with the Ministry of Justice of R Bulgaria, which is available to the public. The same does not apply to the organizations, which Mrs. Bosneva claims to represent.

4.    The FOUR PAWS team, working with stray animals in Bulgaria, consists of 10 employees (veterinarians, animal catchers and clinic workers), and every one of our doctors has performed over 2000 surgeries. FOUR PAWS is the only animal welfare organization in our country that has a mobile vet clinic registered in Bulgaria and Switzerland. Our team’s work has been checked by the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency time and again. They haven’t found any violations of the Animal Protection Law and the Veterinary Practice Law.

5.    There isn’t a grain of truth in the accusations of legal offense, made publicly by Mrs. Bosneva. Moreover, there are currently ongoing pre-trial procedures against Mrs. Bosneva for inflicting bodily injuries to a FOUR PAWS employee. On 22.03.2011 Mrs. Bosneva visited the clinic in Sofia, where the FOUR PAWS team was currently working. After being denied access during surgery, she tried to force her way in, thus toppling the project manager Dr. Marina Ivanova, who suffered a serious trauma to the shoulder. Today, more than a year and a half after the incident, she still can’t fully perform her professional duties as a surgeon.

Yesterday’s media appearances of Mrs. Bosneva are obviously a product of her fear of the impending trial, in which she is the accused. We are convinced, that such acts won’t do any good to no one, and least of all to animals. Mrs. Bosneva’s behavior in the last few years is eloquent testimony to the fact, that she seeks primarily personal gain, and not a permanent and humane solution to one of the biggest issues in our society. We rely on the equity of the Bulgarian Court of Justice and are confident, that the day will come, in which animals in Bulgaria will be protected by competent, selfless and able people. It’s yet to be assessed if it is worth initiating legal proceedings for slander against Mrs. Bosneva.