Thursday, January 18, 2007

Khosrov Harutyunian press release.

Aravot has this picture that accompanies an op-ed piece titled 'Black cat, do not pass near Khosrov Harutyunian'. Khosrov Harutyunian is a former Armenian PM and a Speaker of Parliament.

The cat does not look like a street cat but you never know. The street cats and primarily dogs can be very sociable. When I visited Yerevan in 2003 after years of living in the US, I was at first surprized that people sitting in cafes had their dogs without leash. It took me a couple of days to realize that these were not pets but street dogs.

Armenian attitudes are quite lax when it comes to street animals. These guys are tolerated and usually people do not mind packs of ruggedy dogs running around. Unfortunately, sometimes the government decides to resolve the homeless dog issue and sends hunters to shoot them at night (a quite traumatic experience for civilians to witness). Cats are not shot at and roam freely.

This is unlike the US where street animals are not tolerated. Any dog or cat without a tag is captured promptly and sent to a 'Humane Society' animal shelter. There they are spayed, put up for adoption and if not adopted within a short period of time (usually a month), are killed in gas chambers. It's a twisted logic but they think they are helping these animals.

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