A chorus of feral dogs barking in the wee hours is a familiar sound to any Bishkek resident. In some neighborhoods at night, the strays can be almost as threatening as the roving bands of muggers (the canines scatter when stomped or yelled at, the thugs don’t). Mutts and muggers: Together, or taken alone, they’re a good reason to taxi it home after dark.
Tackling half of this problem, a grim campaign to clean Bishkek’s streets is about to begin, RIA Novosti reports. Some of us may wish the offensive were aimed at the thieves. But instead, Bishkek shall shoot 10,000 pooches.
One city official said Bishkek simply does not have enough money to build a pound. "Don't think of us as barbarians," he said. In 2010, about 5,000 dogs were shot, RIAN reported.
"We receive around 20 requests to shoot stray dogs every day," city government representative Pavel Klimenko said. "There are an estimated 10,000 homeless dogs living in the city."
The dogs will only be shot early in the morning and in the evening when the streets are quiet, Klimenko said.
The relatively calm mornings and evenings are choice times to scare Bishkek residents. Since the violence last year, many grow agitated merely at the sound of fireworks, a staple of weddings for the well-to-do. Chances are they’d prefer a dog barking in the middle of the night to explosions of uncertain provenance at daybreak.