Bulgarians are on the whole very fond of animals and especially in the bigger cities they take great pride in owning pedigree pets, spending a lot of money on their care. Awareness of humane treatment of animals is gradually improving. Sadly in rural areas animal abuse can take place and although there is much talk, till now there is no Animal Police.
Generally attitudes towards pets have moved on somewhat in recent years and many pet owners in Sofia now have their pets castrated and regularly immunise and worm them. There is however a long-standing belief that a female animal needs to give birth at least once, which means they often get pregnant by the local stray and the kittens or puppies are then thrown out to fend for themselves; one of the reasons why the efforts to curb the population of stray animals are slow to have an effect.
Some organisations such as ''Ekoravnovesie'' or "Four Paws" will come and catch stray dogs, castrate them and return them to the same place, if you call or write to them. There are also several charities working at trying to find homes for stray animals. we encourage you to adopt if you are considering acquiring a pet.
It is now a legal requirement to have a chip implanted in your dog, and you should carry the dog's passport with you when you take it for a walk so that inspectors can check the info. The fine for non-compliance is 200 leva. On public transport larger dogs are required to wear muzzles.