Feature

Russia: Why they’re killing our dogs

Nefarious “dog hunters” are poisoning dogs on Moscow’s streets.

EditorialVedomosti

Nefarious “dog hunters” are poisoning dogs on Moscow’s streets, said Vedomosti. Some of those targeted and killed count among the thousands of strays that populate the city. But others are “people’s treasured heroes,” and their mourning owners demonstrated by the hundreds last week, demanding that dog hunters be found and punished. Their anger is justifiable, but they should rethink what they are asking of the authorities. The real reason so many dogs run loose and some are killed is that Moscow doesn’t regulate pet ownership. “In civilized countries, owners register their pets and pay licensing fees—150 euros in Berlin, 200 in Paris.” These fees ensure that pets are tagged as such and that there is enough money to deal with problem strays. But since our officials “have opted not to enact new regulations or even enforce existing ones,” Moscow is rife with “irresponsible pet owners” who allow dogs to menace tourists and children. It’s that phenomenon that has given rise, in turn, to “vigilantism against dogs.” Soon, we’ll have dog owners patrolling parks to fight dog hunters, setting off “a wave of violence.” What can prevent such anarchy? The same thing that prevents anarchy in general: Laws, and a government with the power and will to enforce them.

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