VIDEO INTERVIEW | Pesheva: Skopje is flooded with homeless dogs, brought from suburban settlements and other cities

Radmila Pesheva - director. on Lajka / Photo: "Sloboden Pechat" / Dragan Mitreski

Street and stray dogs, bites, attacks on people. Is the problem being solved and where is the daily increase in the number of homeless dogs coming from? Who is responsible, who should catch them and does the problem have a solution? Answer in the morning program of Free Press we asked the director of "Laika" Radmila Pesheva. When asked if there are a large number of homeless dogs in Skopje and whether they are brought from other areas, Pesheva says that no one is more aware of the problem with street dogs than they are.

- We realize that it is so every day. The problem is complex and we cannot solve it. We are aware that these are not dogs belonging to the Skopje environment. Skopje dogs are a mix of popular breeds of domestic dogs, and now suddenly we have large dogs that look like Asians, Kangals, mountain dogs, many sharplanins, pit bulls, staffords. We are aware of how alarming it is, how many dogs are dumped and taken from other municipalities. Suburban municipalities are dumping grounds for street dogs. These dogs in traffic move uncontrollably, are disoriented, fight for territory, creating a chaotic situation - says Pesheva.

She explains that this further creates congestion in the city, and they are left to fend for themselves. As for the rehoming of the dogs, they are rehoming continuously.

Radmila Pesheva – director. on Lajka / Photo: "Sloboden Pechat" / Dragan Mitreski

- About 35 dogs were adopted last month, which means that one dog is adopted every month, which is good. The communal problem is solved only in a humane way by housing. We advertise all captured dogs for adoption. We promote housing as opposed to buying - says Pesheva.

According to her, the simplest thing is to castrate the pet, not to produce unwanted litters. Only education can help here. The biggest problem is owner dogs from households that are kept irresponsibly.

- We don't have a control system. We do not have bad regulation, there is no one to enforce it.

Radmila Pesheva – director. on Lajka / Photo: "Sloboden Pechat" / Dragan Mitreski

Rural settlements are critical. It should be explained there that the dog should be walked on a leash in the presence of a person. Otherwise it can be paired. Then that litter is thrown away or given to whoever can get it. It has been proven that two thirds of these dogs end up on the street, says Pesheva.

There are currently 183 dogs in "Laika".

– We work with two teams of hunters and two vans. The municipalities do not cooperate and do not pay for our work, and we pay compensation claims for them from bites. We paid about 10 million denars from the budget last year for damages and claims for bites, says Pesheva.

She explains that they have approval for 120 boxes, and they have improvised shelters for 180 dogs.

- We also have dogs that are permanently stationed. These are awkward breeds that have shown aggressiveness, there are oversized breeds that look scary, they stay here until they get home. And thanks to activists, they settle here, but also abroad - says Pesheva.

For now, cats are not being caught, but they are being rehomed thanks to activists. About 1.000 cats can be housed annually.

See the full interview below:

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