Dog boutiques and animal ownership have risen in the last few years in Armenia, even as the country grapples with the issue of stray dogs. Thousands are roaming the streets of the capital of Yerevan, posing a safety threat to residents.
Authorities have dealt with the problem by periodically culling the stray dog population, rounding them up and shooting them. In recent months, however, animal rights activists have agitated for a more humane approach to canine control. Dozens of activists, including representatives from animal organizations like the Center of Stray Animals Protection, rallied in front of the National Assembly building in early June to promote their cause. In a letter addressed to Yerevan Mayor Karen Karapetyan, the activists urged city officials to develop an initiative to spay and neuter dogs, instead of killing them.
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Liana Aghajanian is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.