Dog Spinning is a Lenten ritual that dates as far back as the mid to late 1800s. The practice is thought to have a pagan origin with the thought that performing it prevents rabies and evil spirits. This barbaric ceremony has gotten the attention of animal rights activists, trying to ensure this abuse is stopped. The efforts met with very minimal success.

What is dog spinning?

The Lenten ritual of dog spinning involves taking a dog, tying it up on a rope and spinning it rapidly above water. As the rope unwinds, the dog is dumped into the icy water below, disoriented. In some other villages of the countries, Dogs are either beaten or whipped to replace the spinning.

This ceremony is performed on the first day of Lent each year in the village of Brodilovo, which is located in southeastern Bulgaria. History reports that the practice was executed in many other areas of Bulgaria, using the spinning, beating or whipping as a Lenten practice with the same goals.

Protests against the Lenten practice of animal cruelty

Protestors have been adamant as far back as 2005 when animal welfare activists including the RSPCA and European Parliament’s Animal Welfare Intergroup spoke out for a ban of this cruel ritual. Authorities for protecting the animals state that this is a barbaric practice that must stop and not be allowed to continue within the 21st century. The ritual was banned by the Tsarevo Mayor back in 2006, but evidence has surfaced on social media that it has not stopped at all.

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Sporadic evidence shows that it does seem to continue despite the efforts of animal welfare organizations.

Knowing that they are under scrutiny by animal rights activists from Sofia and Burgas, people of Brodilovo opted for what they say is a lesser form of abuse of the dogs by throwing the dogs into the icy cold waters without spinning them. Before the first day of Lent, Animal Rescue Sofia organized a visit to the village of Brodilovo to ensure an end to the barbaric ritual using defenseless dogs. Dog spinning (or trichane as locals call it) is only practiced in this village still, even though it was banned back in 2006.