Animal Programs Foundation is opposed to the hypocritical image of Sofia as a true tourist city because of Europe's bleakest animal control secret. It must discourage most casual travelers and we call them to stay away from this destination.
Sofia has its ongoing pet overpopulation problem. But City Hall and its serving NGOs do not consider reducing unplanned pet breeding by providing both accessible low-cost neutering services and appointing dog warden services to discourage dog owners who allow their pets to roam outside unmonitored. It results in at least 10,000 animals that join unwanted dog population every year.
However, general public and true animal welfare community are unaware of the roaming dogs' faith. Unreported pound seizure and pet theft are likely the major activities of the local animal control services. For example, between 1 September 2006 and 5 September 2011, 24,034 dogs - half the estimated increase - were reported by officials as impounded. Of them, almost 17,000 were reported as neutered and released outside. At the same time, current number of sterilized strays roaming the streets remains undisclosed.
Backpackers should consider Sofia as an unique European pattern of institutionalized pet abuse. So we beg all them to avoid this city of darkness.