MOSCOW, January 20 (Sputnik) – Dog-owners across Russia are on high alert, as the so-called “dog-hunters”, people who allegedly kill dogs for sport, plan a nationwide killing spree on Tuesday, various Russian media sources report.
Russia has an underground community of vigilantes, who kill arguably dangerous stray dogs on the streets when animal control measures are ineffective. Earlier, a call for the massive extermination of stray dogs on the streets of Russia has gone out on the Internet. The alleged nationwide “dog hunt” is planned on Tuesday, TV Chanel Rossiya-1 reports.
Many dog owners are worried, as their precious family pets could fall victims to “dog-hunters”, who scatter poisoned meat across parks, squares and even playgrounds. Reportedly, the killers use an anti-tuberculosis drug called Isoniazid to poison canines. The problem with this is that family animals could pick up the poisoned slices of meat and die; even small children are at risk, says TV Channel Moscow24.
“Dog-hunters”, on the other hand, believe that they help the society by killing stray dogs, de-facto doing the government's job to protect the public. They argue that many stray dogs have diseases and some of them even present dangers to people, roaming the streets in large and sometimes aggressive packs. Some 16,600 people were attacked in Moscow alone by stray animals in 2008, the last year for which statistics are available, according to the city branch of the Federal Consumer Protection Service.
“We are not targeting family pets. We simply want to make our city a safer place by cleaning it out from stray dogs,” says Gennady, one of Moscow’s “dog-hunters”, according to TV Channel Moscow24.
Animal rights activists are on alert today and advice dog-owners to be extra careful when walking their dogs outside.