And another one…

A 4-year-old boy has died and his 6-year-old brother was injured this afternoon after they were attacked by a pack of stray dogs outside a park in northern Bucharest (Parcul Tei, to be precise).

The NGOs which usually rush to tell us that the dogs are innocent and that the boys must have brought the attack on themselves have so far kept shtum.

Has a line been crossed? We doubt it.

Meantime, we have been trawling through a number of articles written about this tragedy by local bloggers this afternoon, of the which the best is this, by Simona Tache. If you read Romanian, it is well worth a look.

So is this piece of genius.

The headline translates as:

Oprescu solves Bucharest’s stray dog problem: people found in parks will be caught and taken to shelters

Alas we know for a fact that there are people who will think this is not a spoof and welcome the idea.

UPDATE: It has started. We love the wording of this post from a Save the Dogs group on Facebook: (‘he was left alone’)

Save the Dogs and other Animals Onlus

  • Karin

    The autopsy proved that the boy couldn´t have been killed by dog/dogs but a person/several persons.
    Studies have shown that sterilising is the only effective way to control stray populations. Killing dogs won´t solve the problem, it will make the population stronger in the long run.
    Don´t you people have any humanity left in you?!
    http://www.edoardogandini.eu/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Letter_EUPermanentRepresentation.pdf

  • Peter

    I asked my mother in law (a die hard animal lover) who lives in Bucharest her opinon about the tragic incident. Her answer: “It was the fault of the kid’s grandmother…”

    I asked her if the victim would be her 4 year old grandson (my son), who would be responsible…the grandmother too? First silence, then the usual objections and blablabla…

  • Phil

    he’s the new laur

  • Dacia Felix

    Just adding a few info about the situation during Ceausescu’s time. I cannot stand the urban legend that Ceausescu’s demolitions and redevelopments caused the current feral dogs situation.
    Firstly and fore mostly Ceausescu would have not accepted stray dogs running amok in the city. Had he been alive, all stray dogs in Bucharest would have disappeared in 24 hours.
    One big zone of redevelopment during Ceausescu’s time was Calea Mosilor -Obor. I grew up on Calea Mosilor, in a housing block just across Olari Church. All the houses on Mosilor and around had dogs and I still remember the barkings at night. Yet after the demolition of the Mosilor area between Carol Blvd and Obor, not single stray dog was seen in the neighbourhood Not a single one… The first ones to appear were in 1991, ten years(!) after the demolition work in Calea Mosilor (1981-1983)

    The Dog catchers from the Ecarisaj, commonly named “hingheri”, were all ethnic gypsies and much feared everywhere. So much that “te dau la hingheri” (I give you away to the hingheri) was used as a menace to frighten children. If a dog was taken way by them, there was no chance in hell to get it back. Unfortunately, the Ecarisaj service was dismantled after the end of Communism and no similar service was put in place. That is the real cause of the stray dogs in Bucharest. I am happy to blame Ceausescu for many things but NOT for Bucharest’s stray dogs.

    • Roger

      @Dacia Felix, some great and informative posts on the issue.

  • Expatescu

    Although it has gotten me into trouble, one of the few tactics I’ve found that works with those who don’t want to euthanize stray dogs is to ask them to select which of their children they would be willing to sacrifice in the name of letting the dogs have the run of the city. At the very least it has gotten a few of them thinking even if they would prefer not to admit it.

  • Keith

    I was watching the news and the city says they’re not responsible. How can that be? Does the family really have no recourse?

    • It has emerged today that one of the dogs responsible belonged to a dog NGO. The dog was captured in 2009, adopted by the NGO and put back on the street by the same NGO. What’s more, the dog was sterilized, which rather blows a hole in the dog lover logic that only sterilization can solve the problem.

  • Dacia Felix

    Errata read comprehension instead of compression. Oh, this automatic spelling correction 🙂

  • Wow. How exactly did a conversation about a stray dog problem become a political tirade?
    New to Romania, so this is completely fascinating.

  • I always get made fun of here for making fun of Romania, Bucharest, Ceausescu etc. But I jest because I actually take Romania’s recent dire communist history, rampant corruption and its continued effects very seriously and yet I cannot take Romania very seriously. Bucharest’s stray dog problem is directly the result of Ceausescu’s decimation of one third of the historic center to make way for his useless palace. The thousands of homes that were destroyed in the Uranus and Arsenal Hill neighborhoods led to families being relocated to hideous looking blocs. A result was wandering packs of stray dogs who multiplied like nobody’s business. It’s time the Romanian government takes charge of Bucharest, reckons with the craziness of the past and starts leading the city like a European Union capital. How an EU capital city has a stray dog problem I just don’t know. Do you see stray dogs in Budapest or Brussels?! No you don’t.

    • Anon

      Ceausescu died over 20 years ago. The current situation is not his fault.

      • Seconded.

        • ?! Ceausescu created the problem and it was never properly dealt with.

          • Dacia Felix

            He did not create the problem, it is the dismantling of the Ecarisaj service AFTER his death that created it.

            • Why would it have been dismantled or something similar not put in its place?

      • @Anon, when I first visited Bucharest in 2000, there were over 200,000 stray dogs due to their multiplying since the late 1980s. Basescu has now gotten the number down to 65,000. You don’t get hundreds of thousands of stray dogs out of nowhere. Ceausescu’s demolition of parts of Bucharest are directly responsible for the dog problem. No other city has so many stray dogs outside of India as does Bucharest.

        • Geronimo

          Detroit?

          • No, Detroit has only 50,000.

            • Geronimo

              My point being it’s not just crazy Romania, your point of reference for all your opinions (“the west”) has these problems too. So Brussels is dog free, Romania has problems, so does India, Detroit is full of them and, I don’t know, Beijing is fine. What is your grand conclusion from all this data? Ceausescu is secretly living in hiding in Detroit?

            • Roger

              🙂

              Jesus wept, I just literally spat my brew out reading that reply to Geronimo querying Detroit in relation to no other City outside Rom and India and you replied ”no, Detroit only has 50,000” LOL ONLY ?

      • Dacia Felix

        That is m,y point too.

    • Dacia Felix

      Ceausescu is absolutely not to blame for the wandering dogs. There were no wanderings dogs during Ceausescu’s time whatsoever, even after the Uranus area was demolished. I was in my mid-twenties and living in Bucharest in the days when the People’s Palace was build so I can remember very well those days.
      Packs of stray dogs appeared about a year his death (around 1991) as a direct result of dismantling the “serviciul de ecarisaj” (stray animals catching service). This “ecarisaj” was very efficient and feared by all dog owners in Bucharest and elsewhere in the country. Once a dog was taken way by the Ecarisaj, there were n0 chances to retrieve the dog from them.
      The ones who have to be blamed for the current situation are the Animal Protection zealots for which stray dogs are source of income and oppose any reduction in their numbers. Forget Ceausescu, he had nothing to do with it. In his times, Bucharest and the rest of Romania was free of feral dogs.

      • Excellent info about the ecarisaj: confirms what we have heard from other sources, that the dog problem was kept under control during the time of Ceausescu. We said as much here: http://www.bucharestlife.net/2011/03/11/bucharests-stray-dog-problem-has-nothing-to-do-with-nicolae-ceausescu/#sthash.9aKSTyD4.dpbs

        • Dacia Felix

          Just a quick note about these “animal lovers”. My 78 years old aunt who lives in Pitesti was savagely beaten a fortnight ago by a “dog lover”, after trying to protect herself from a pack of feral dogs who attacked her. I am appalled beyond compression!

          • Dacia Felix

            errata: pls read comprehension instead of compression. Automatic spelling correction 🙂

      • @Dacia Felix, Most accounts I ever read mention that the dog problem was jump started in the late 1980s when Ceausescu demolished huge swaths of the historic center. In this report from two days ago by a Romanian reporter, this line of reasoning is put forth once again:

        “When pro-Soviet dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu was in power in the 1980s, he remade the capital by demolishing older homes and constructing Soviet-style high-rise apartment buildings. Many of Bucharest’s 2 million residents were forced into the new apartments from which pets were banned, so they had to abandon their animals to the streets.”

        http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/09/10/dogs-die-romania/2793437/

  • Anon

    A complete and utter disgrace.

    • Whose fault is it?! Basescu has slaughtered over 150,000 starting as mayor in 2000. That’s a lot of dogs! Again, the problem is directly the result of Ceausescu and the fact that nothing was done in the 1990s to deal with the problem. If you let things get out of hand they become hard to deal with. Decimating large parts of historic Bucharest is not normal. The more a country and its rulers act within normal realms of reality, the more life will become more normal–Western–in Romania. It’s when corrupt narcissistic men and women are allowed to rule an Eastern European backwater that problems result.

      • Dacia Felix

        Ceausescu has nothing to do with this situation. During his time, Bucharest was free of roaming dogs because the Ecarisaj service was doing a good job. Ask any Bucharest native over 50 and she/he will confirm my statements.

        • Why would the Ecarisaj service have been dismantled? Any city in Europe always has a system to catch strays.

      • Anon

        People are telling you (some of them locals) that Ceausescu was not the problem, yet you continue to spurt out that bullshit. My god Davin, you are cretinous.

        • Phil

          The comment about the new lair was supposed to go here…

        • @ Anon, Most accounts I ever read mention that the dog problem was jump started in the late 1980s when Ceausescu demolished huge swaths of the historic center. In this report from two days ago by a Romanian reporter, this line of reasoning is put forth once again:

          “When pro-Soviet dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu was in power in the 1980s, he remade the capital by demolishing older homes and constructing Soviet-style high-rise apartment buildings. Many of Bucharest’s 2 million residents were forced into the new apartments from which pets were banned, so they had to abandon their animals to the streets.”

          http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/09/10/dogs-die-romania/2793437/

      • Roger

        @Davin

        So you, as an American, know more about the issue of dogs in Bucharest than local people and citizens of Romania?

        Really, seriously?

        And you profess to be intelligent?

        Really, seriously?

        Well as a Brit I’m glad you’re not one of us as we have a bad enough name abroad as it it!

        I’ll never take you seriously since your ”why do people choose to live in apartments rather than Old Bucuresti Villa’s” insult.

        • No, many Romanians have always told me the dog problem was due to Ceausescu’s vast demolitions in the 1980s. I stand corrected.

          It’s not really too expensive where I live next to Cismigiu. Many Romanians tell me they prefer to live in new, modern apartments as opposed to old villas like the one I am in that was built between 1917 and 1927. What I was saying was that for me, the charm of Bucharest is the old architecture. In fact, a newer apartment is often more expensive than the place I am in.