ZINAIDA ZLATANOVA, MINISTER OF JUSTICE
TZVETELIN YOVCHEV, MINISTER OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS
DIMITER GREKOV, MINISTER OF AGROCULTURE AND FOODS
SOTIR TZATZAROV, CHIEF PROSECUTOR OF BULGARIA
CONSTANTIN PENCHEV, OMBUDSMAN OF BULGARIA
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF BULGARIA
INTERNATIONAL ANIMAL WELFARE ORGANIZATIONS
INTERNATIONAL AND BULGARIAN MEDIA
Dear Mrs. Zlatanova,
Dear Chief Prosecutor,
As animal welfare organizations and citizens of Republic of Bulgaria we are once again outraged by the failure of the law and the lack of adequate action by the officials in case of cruelty to animals. It is about the actions of the law enforcement officers and employees of the Prosecution about the case of dog dragged by a car in the village of Topolovo, Assenovgrad Municipality.
Short chronologic summery of the case: On 07.06.2013, a car, brand “Ford Escort” with license plate number РВ 5730 АР owned by 55 years old Raycho Ivanov from the village of Topolovo, dragged a dog tied to its draw-bar. The event was shot by witnesses and the photo released in the media caused strong reactions among the people who love animals. Complaints were filed to all the institutions that should take actions in cases of cruelty to animals – Department of Internal Affairs, Prosecution, Bulgarian Agency for Food Safety. On 08.06.2013 District Prosecution’s Office in Assenovgrad starts investigation on the case. According to press releases the perpetrator of the assault – Raycho Ivanov was detained briefly in the Regional Police Department – Assenovgrad. Again, according to information in the press the dog was found alive by the police officers from RPD-Assenovgrad and returned to its owner (the same one who hurt it) to be healed. The dog was returned despite the fact that this man tried to kill it with extreme cruelty.
On 12.06.2012 from the District Prosecutor’s Office in Plovdiv was made an official announcement saying that the body of the dog was found and given to veterinarian for autopsy and expert-report to prove from what the dog died and when and where.
For us there is no doubt that this act is a crime of cruelty to animal by Article 325b from the Penal Code.
The photo taken by witnesses and disseminated by the media shows enough – on it can be seed half dead dog, which left bloody trail on the road behind it. The witnesses who took the picture and tried to stop the murder of the dog testify that: “A lot of blood was running. A lot of blood was running from its mouth, too. It couldn’t whine, it couldn’t move. It only moved slightly its eyes and head.“ It is clear who the perpetrator is, he was briefly detained by the authorities and then let go.
Great perplexity is the fact that the police seeing a dog in this condition, decided to return it to the person who dragged him with his car, causing him if not death, at least sufficiently serious disabilities and injuries. The normal and provided in the law action in this case would be the dog to be confiscated and given to animal welfare organization to take adequate care for its health.
But … the Law was not followed and the dog is dead.
Follows the question “Why and if low the enforcement officers investigating the case and the prosecution ordered the dog to be returned to its owner?”
Given that the animal is already dead, we believe that there is a direct or indirect connection between the death of the dog and the actions of the investigators.
If the dog was given to the care of animal welfare organization it now would have the chance to be alive! Shouldn’t we hold accountable the people who in one way or another caused the death of this animal? We want a comprehensive review of all actions to the authorities responsible for the dog's life!
Despite our right as animal welfare organizations to receive from the competent authorities information on compliance with animal welfare and receive assistance from the Department of Internal Affairs and other government structures responsible for prevention of cruelty to animal (as art. 57 and Art. 58 of the Animal Protection Law) with days we were kept in the dark by the police department and the prosecution in Assenovgrad about the location and condition of the animal, refusing to provide information to representatives of animal welfare organizations who went into place.
We will get familiar with this case our foreign partners from authoritative international organizations for animal welfare. We will turn to them with request to monitor the work of the police and prosecution and reflect it in the media in the countries on whose territory they operate.
Again we insist to be ordered a full investigation of the actions of the officers from RPD-Assenovgrad in this case and the results of this investigation to be made public.
If the investigation shows that individual officers had neglected their work, acted against the legal provisions or the taken actions or inactions from the officers from these institutions have contributed to the death of the animal, the same must be punished.
We believe that it is about time the institutions begin to show intolerance to cases of cruelty to animals and their actions in such cases to be competent and professional. Because animal abuse leads to violence against people. And because the laws should not be only on paper – they must be applied. And institutions should be aware of what their obligations under these laws are and comply with them.
ASSOCIATION “INTIMATE WITH NATURE SOCIETY”
ANIMAL RESCUE SOFIA
ANIMAL HOPE BULGARIA – PLOVDIV
ANIMAL HOPE BULGARIA – VARNA
FOUNDATION FOR THE PROTECTION OF ANIMALS “SHARKO”
FOUNDATION “FOR THE RIGHTS OF THE ANIMALS IN BULGARIA”
FOUNDATION “HOPE FOR THE OWNERLESS” – VARNA
ASSOCIATION “FRIENDS FOR ANIMALS”
ASSOCIATION “FRIENDS FOR CATS”
ASSOCIATION “HELP FOR THE ANIMALS – DARA”
NPA “CARE AND SHELTER FOR EACH” – RUSE
FOUNDATION “FRIENDS FOR ANIMALS” – BURGAS
NPO “HOPE FOR THE QUADRUPED” – BLAGOEVGRAD
FOUNDATION “GOOD HEART”
FOUNDATION “AVIS VITA”
NPO “GREEN FAR” – PRIMORSKO
MAGAZINE “MY FRIEND THE DOG”
FACEBOOK GROUP “TOGETHER AGAINST VIOLENCE TO ANIMALS”
ANIMAL HELP – STARA ZAGORA
CITIZENS’ GROUP “CITY FOR RESPONSIBLE PEOPLE”
NPA “GERMAN-BULGARIAN HELP FOR THE ANIMALS”
NATIONAL ROTTWEILER CLUB
ASSOCIATION "FOR THE IGUANAS AND HUMANS"
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