Moscow authorities are set to allocate over 2.5 billion rubles ($76 million) to care for stray dogs and cats in the Russian capital over the next three years, the chairwoman of the city's ecology committee said on Tuesday.
There are currently 12 shelters able to house 12,500 stray dogs.
This year, 260 million rubles ($23.2 million) were allocated for the purpose.
Moscow Ecology Committee spokeswoman Vera Stepanenko said Russia will spend 798 million rubles ($24 million) in 2012 to sterilize stray animals and keep shelters running. In 2013, a total of 838 million rubles ($25.6 million) will be allocated, and the spending will further increase to 880 million rubles (almost $27 million) in 2014.
"As of September 1, approximately 12,000 dogs are being kept in the city's animal shelters, foster owners were found for 3,300 dogs this year," said Anton Velikhovsky, the head Moscow's public utilities and land improvement department.
He said the population of stray dogs in the city is unknown and is estimated to range between 30,000 and 10,000 dogs. This year, a total of 8,600 animals were caught, and 7,500 of them were sterilized.
Every year the number of strays in Moscow increases by up to 5,000 animals.