Monday, 24 March 2014

On the violent and illegal ASPA-raid on a shelter run by volunteers and the adjacent veterinary clinic of VIER PFOTEN on 21st of March, 2014 and the fight for the dogs

On 21st of March, 2014, at around 14.00 o'clock, ASPA, the Romanian authority for the management of stray dogs, raided a pound located in Bucharest, District 6, run by volunteers under the supervision of the government paid veterinarian, Bogdan Brasla, as well as the adjacent clinic of Vier Pfoten.

ASPA confiscated all dogs they could get hold of. They took 18 dogs - 15 dogs belonging to VIER PFOTEN and 3 dogs belonging to the volunteers and who were under the care of VIER PFOTEN at the time of the raid - after they vandalized their post-operative veterinary clinic. ASPA confiscated also 57 dogs cared for by volunteers who are being supported by Paws2Rescue, a charity registered in the United Kingdom, making it a total of 75 dogs.

ASPA broke the lock of the entrance, took the dogs and vandalized the post-operation paddocks of VIER PFOTEN's veterinary clinic in 6th District of Bucharest. VIER PFOTEN sharply condemns the illegal and cruel action ordered by the City Hall of Bucharest and perpetrated by the ASPA.

The dogs were captured using extremely brutal methods and taken to the public shelter of Bragadiru. Dogs covered with blood were dragged in the dust and thrown in cages, all in a huddle. Four dogs died on spot because of the cruel handling. The animals choked to death, as catchers intentionally or due to their incompetence tightened the lace too much while enforcing the animals. Many dogs, even if they didn't die, were bleeding through their mouth because they had been manipulated so brutally. Unconscious (or dead) animals were enforced together with moving animals in small cages. A total of 8 dead dogs has been reported to us the next day by the volunteers.

ASPA, who turned up with 13 vans, escorted by the local police, acted very brutally, breaking the locks of the paddocks before removing the dogs. They didn't give a reason for their action, nor did they show a document that would justify or at least explain their brutal intervention, not even after having been asked several times by the volunteers. The government paid veterinarian, Bogdan Brasla, who was in charge of the pound cared for by the volunteers, didn't show up, although the volunteers asked him several times to intervene or, at least, to come.

Although VIER PFOTEN has a legal contract ongoing with the 6th District City Hall for the stray dogs neutering project and for the use of the veterinary clinic and which is valid until April 17, 2014, on Saturday, the local policemen obstructed the access of VIER PFOTEN representatives into the paddock.

VIER PFOTEN claim that they have not received any evacuation ordinance up to this date.

"The way the District 6 Hall chose to end their cooperation with us is inexplicable given that FOUR PAWS has invested its own resources, time and efforts in this project at the express request of the City Hall. I sterilized over 3,000 stray dogs during the two-year project in Sector 6 and can not understand this attitude" said VIER PFOTEN coordinator Anca Tomescu.

Animal protection organizations and citizens recently reported numerous violations of the new legislation for the management of stray dogs by local authorities and the situation risks spiraling out of control, and only a swift and effective government intervention can stop these abuses, said FOUR PAWS and warned that Romania tolerating this situation was "out of the map of civilized Europe"

According to the information received from the VIER PFOTEN press center:

- VIER PFOTEN people went to the facility immediately to check the damage - and because all the dogs were missing - at the police station to file a complaint against ASPA for vandalism, stealing and illegal trespassing.

- Another VIER PFOTEN team went to Bragadiru public shelter to claim the dogs, but the shelter administration illegally forbid the access in the facility.

-The representative of VIER PFOTEN on the spot filed a complaint to the police, about illegal access ban and several law infringements regarding a clear displaying of the daily activity of the shelter, as mentioned by the law.

- VIER PFOTEN Romania is starting legal actions against ASPA for abuse and theft of the dogs from 6’th district VIER PFOTEN facility.
VIER PFOTEN Romania is starting legal actions against ASPA for breaking the law regarding public access in a public shelter.

- VIER PFOTEN Romania is starting legal actions against ASPA for not answering to VIER PFOTEN's request filled, in the 30 day-term mentioned by the law for Public Services.

- VIER PFOTEN Romania is starting legal actions against district 6 City Hall for breaking the contract they had with VIER PFOTEN regarding the facility they have in district 6 in Bucharest.

- VIER PFOTEN Romania is starting legal actions against district 6 Local Police for abuse (law 9/2008)

The videos taken during the raid, of which the first video is a compilation made by VIER PFOTEN, based on the video material by Ioana Iordana that you can see in the following videos, are compiled on our website, at:


OFA conducted extensive interviews with the volunteers who run the raided shelter and this is what we have learned:

The shelter, which is cared for by volunteers and supported by a UK charity, is located on a land owned by the City Hall of Bucharest and is under the supervision of the government paid veterinarian, Bogdan Brasla. The volunteers run this shelters since more or less three years. During this period the supervising veterinarian showed up only 3 times.

The usage of the shelter is for free, meaning that the animal rescuers don't pay any rent and have also never been asked by the city hall to pay a rent. A few weeks ago, the supervising veterinarian told the volunteers that, in order "for the dogs to be safe", they should pay a rent now and that he would guarantee for the safety of the dogs.

This "proposal" came too late: the volunteers had already rented a farm to make their very own shelter there and they informed the veterinarian Bogdan Brasla of it and also of the fact that they would move the dogs to this farm as soon as possible.

Bogdan Brasla replied that this was not possible and that the dogs would need to stay in this shelter until he would have called the ASPA so that they would come and finalize the registration of the micro chips of the dogs, implemented by VIER PFOTEN in their clinic.

What the vet Bogdan Brasla told the volunteers is NONSENSE: the microchips do no longer need to be registered to ASPA but to the College of Veterinarians.

Anyway... ASPA might argue that since the dogs were in a shelter owned by the city hall, they were their property, but NOT SO de facto. More than half of the dogs were brought from two private shelters almost 3 years ago and were dogs that they had raised since they were puppies. According to the law, the volunteers were allowed to adopt these dogs from the other rescuers as well as the stray dogs that they found inside the shelter, almost dying of starvation.

So the volunteers micro-chipped them all, made their adoption papers ready, and bought the rabies vaccines while waiting for the ASPA to come in order to finalize the registration as advised by the ASPA-veterinarian.

And the ASPA came. But not to register the dogs...

Another point that is very important to be mentioned, is that, although the ASPA veterinarian, Bogdan Brasla, said that the volunteers "should pay a rent so that the dogs would be safe", no rent has ever been claimed by the city hall, according to the volunteers. Since the city hall has never asked for a rent, consequently no rent was due and an eviction - if we would call the brutal ASPA-raid an "eviction" - was not justified.

Also, the volunteers has never been asked - neither verbally nor by written notification - to leave the shelter. Right the contrary: when they wanted to leave and move the dogs to the rented farm, the ASPA-vet, Bogdan Brasla, hindered them from doing so by saying that this was not possible until the micro chip registration had been finalized by ASPA.


The dogs would have been moved to the rented farm already more than 2 weeks ago if the ASPA-vet had not inhibited this.

When the volunteers returned to the shelter the next day, Saturday, to take back their cages and other materials, they were denied access by the corrupt ASPA-veterinarian who now intends to make this his OWN shelter.


Today, Monday, 24th of March, Ioana, one of the volunteers, returned to the Bragadiru prison, which serves as a public shelter. Ioana was accompanied by Codrut Feher as well as some VIER PFOTEN representatives. Present were also ASPA chef Bancescu, the police, as well as several media representatives.

The shelter management of Bragadiru prison allowed only one person at the time to enter the shelter and so far, 10.30 o'clock, Ioana managed to take 3 dogs out of there.

We will update our website as well as our Facebook-page as soon as we receive new information.


Please send this information to your media contacts and please write to the European Union to voice your outrage over the fact that this is happening in a country, member of the EU.

Please sign the petition in the following link, calling for an investigation and that Razvan Bancescu, the head of ASPA, be fired, and please share it with your friends and contacts.

Thank you very much, in advance.

Please SIGN here:

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Romanian Stray Dogs