Four years ago the amazing rescue work that Aniela Ghita was doing was formalised through the foundation of the charity Hope for Romanian Strays. She started her work on the streets in Romania and through the public shelter in Bucov and her goal, now the charities goal, is to try to save and rescue as many stray dogs as possible.
The situation for stray dogs in Romania was, and remains, dire. Stray dogs are routinely killed in the most inhumane ways, for example through poison or clubbing to death, by dog catchers who are paid per dog, and last year around 300,000 stray dogs were killed in a cull. Strays are also rounded up, again often in a very inhumane way resulting in trauma, and thrown into public shelters where they “live” in horrific conditions, often left to starve to death or die of illness and injury. 90% of puppies, for example, die in public shelters.
Fortunately the conditions in the Bucov shelter are better than in some others, in part thanks to the constant work and effort of Aniela and the charity over the last few years. That is not to say however that conditions are ideal – the shelter originally had a capacity of 700 and now homes around 1500 dogs, with new dogs dumped there daily. As a result the conditions are incredibly over-crowded and there is not enough food for all the dogs.
As such one of the goals of the charity has been to work with the shelter administration to try to improve the conditions in the shelter. The charity has been involved in improving conditions there through building new kennels and providing additional food and paying for vet care for injured shelter dogs. The other goals and activities of the charity include:
- Find strays foster or forever homes
- Organise and pay for sterilisations
- Rescue inj
ured or vulnerable dogs off the streets or from the public shelter
- Provide food to shelter dogs
- Improve shelter conditions e.g. through providing new kennels
- Organise and pay for vet treatment for injured strays
- Work with the local community to educate on the importance of animal welfare and steralisations
Over the last four years thanks to the amazing work of Aniela and our supporters the charity has accomplished an incredible amount. Thousands of dogs have been helped, including hundreds who have been found forever homes outside of Romania. Many of these dogs are now living happy lives, full of love, in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other EU countries. Hundreds of dogs have also been sterilised thereby putting an end to the stray cycle.
But perhaps though one of the highlights of this year has been the building of our Sanctuary of Hope. It was Aniela’s dream for many years to be able to build her own sanctuary – a sanctuary of hope for the injured, sick, young and old dogs that had little hope in the large public shelter in Bucov. Work on the shelter finally started in Spring this year and the shelter now already houses around 200 of the most vulnerable dogs, including elderly dogs and mum’s with their puppies.
The hope that the sanctuary brings is not to be underestimated. For the lucky 200 dogs that now call the shelter their home it really does mean life. Elderly dogs, for example, have little hope of survival in the public shelter. Often they are pets that have been dumped and are ill equipped to deal with the packs in the shelter, and often get injured or starve as they cannot get to the food. Puppies can run around and play in safety, with no fear of being mauled by adult shelter dogs or catching one of the many diseases that are prevalent in the public shelter.
The sanctuary also houses our rescued cats. Whilst the bulk of our work is focused on rescuing dogs, we do also rescue cats, who face an equally dire situation on the streets in Romania. At the sanctuary they too can live safe and free of fear. Of course just like the dogs our hope is always to find them their own forever homes, but until those homes are found they receive the love and care they deserve at the sanctuary.
Running the sanctuary however costs money – rent alone costing €2700 and on top of that come the costs for food and vet bills. For a small charity like Hope for Romanian Strays this is a huge amount of money but it is money that we simply have to find so that we can continue to offer these vulnerable animals safety and hope. Our only way to raise these funds is through our amazing network of supporters and volunteers. As part of our birthday celebration we also want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to you – to the individuals who work so tirelessly to raise funds and find homes, as well as the organisations like Pro Dog Romania. Without you we could never have saved so many dogs. Without you this charity would be nothing so please accept our gratitude and continue to support us!
If you would like to show your support for the work we do you can follow and support our activity on social media through the official Hope for Romanian Strays page Facebook page, through Twitter and Pinterest .
You can also help us celebrate our birthday by making a donation through paypal via: firstname.lastname@example.org. Every penny goes to rescuing the dogs and the more donations we get the more dogs we can save … and there are hundreds that need our help! So please join us in our birthday celebration and help us raise birthday funds and help us carry on this vital work. Thank you … and happy birthday Hope for Romanian Strays!