2012 will always be one of the most important years for Hope for Romanian Strays. It is the year the charity was officially launched. The charity’s founder, Aniela Ghita, has always been an animal lover, going out of her way to help strays and animals in distress, and finding homes for the stray and injured animals where she could. Her work led to the founding, in August 2012, of an official charity, Hope for Romanian Strays, to formalise all her hard work.
The principle goals of Hope for Romanian Strays are:
- Provide medical aid to injured strays and shelter dogs, including vaccinations for shelter puppies and neutering adults
- Improve the conditions in the shelters* by providing food, shelter and basic veterinary care
- Find homes for strays
- Educate locals around the need to neuter animals
*The shelters do not always provide even the bare minimum, with the dogs often going without food and having to live in the open with insufficient shelter, and they are not provided with adequate veterinary care.
I got involved with Aniela’s work in the spring when she was trying to raise funds through Facebook to pay travel costs for a paralysed rescue dog called Emily who had been found a forever home in the UK. The funds were raised and Emily, and another dog, travelled from Romania to the UK. Emily now lives a very happy full life, going for walks with the help of her wheel chair and enjoying all the cuddles and love a dog deserves. I had only made a small €30 donation- fearing Aniela’s post may be a scam – but that small amount still made the difference for this lovely young dog. It is small donations like these that can mean the difference between life and death or severe pain for the dogs we help.
2012 saw other happy tails and successes for our Romanian strays like Emily. There was for example Annie, Sparky, Summer,Sunny, Sweetie, Buddy, Bobby, Zorro, sweet little Xena and the charity namesake Hope.
Then of course we had some big cases that stole our hearts. There was little Lily who was handed in to us with severe injuries including broken back leg and pelvic bones. She was a little angel and once she recovered she was found a wonderful home in Switzerland where she has grown up into a beautiful and affectionate lady who is very much loved by her new family.
There were then our winter appeal dogs, all of whom have now been found forever homes in Germany and Austria, each of whom came with their own heart wrenching story. Mishu was found as a puppy in a coma, dumped by the roadside with severe head trauma and we really did not know if he would survive. He made a full recovery and turned out to be a very adorable little chap. Ricky was our little escape artist puppy who had come to us with an injured leg and was so miserable in the shelter he climbed the fence to escape! We also had Bobby who survived illness to return to the shelter and who we had feared would get ill again there. And then there was little Sunny, a puppy rescued from the street whose brothers had all found homes and who had had such a bad start to life she was a shy frightened soul. As the photos show all are now healthy, happy dogs and their new families all attest to what wonderful additions they have made to their new families.
It was not only dogs though who Hope for Romanian Strays has helped. Back in the summer Aniela was approached by the local vet to see if she could help a local lady who had become overwhelmed with cats as a result of not getting them neutered. We rescued 20 cats, and managed to find homes for some like Asia, Bebe, Alfie, Binky , Beau , Picky, Candy, Vicky, Willie , Smokey, Tommy, Victor and my very own Baby Ninja, who came to live with me and my RSPCA cat Don. Ninja has turned into a total joy, and despite Don’s initial grumblings they now get on well and cause great hilarity when little Ninja chases big fat Don around the house and vice versa. I love her dearly and will be forever grateful to Aniela for bringing such a vivacious, intelligent and entertaining little soul into my life.
Despite all these happy tails though there is still so very much to do. Many of Baby Ninja’s siblings are still without homes and like Ninja they are all highly intelligent affectionate cats who would bring joy to any family.
There are then also the 600 shelter dogs – desperate for food, basic veterinary care and a bit of love. Amongst them are some who are really struggling in the shelter and are desperate to love someone and be loved back. They will make exceptional pets, very loving, caring and loyal. There are then also the constant influx of puppies, most of whom will die without vaccinations, and who will, if they survive, go on to have yet more stray puppies unless we can get them neutered.
We hope to continue providing basic care – food and veterinary care to the shelter dogs and continue our programme of neutering and puppy vaccinations. We also hope to find foster and forever homes for as many of these poor souls as possible. We also need to be there to help the emergency cases where dogs have been beaten or hit by cars and there is no one else to help them – they would be left by the roadside to die in agony .
We cannot continue this work without your help. We are a small charity but the needs of the animals are huge. Every penny we raise goes straight to the animals as Hope for Romanian Strays is entirely run by volunteers. In 2012 we often ran on debt as we did not have the funds but could not stand by and leave dogs like Mishu or Lily to die in pain. Thanks to donations we will be starting 2013 with only small debts but given then number of new emergency cases we get and the number of dogs in need of neutering and care we will soon fall back into debt without continued support.
Why not start 2013 by doing something really worthy and good? Help us by donating or sharing our work and encouraging your friends and family to support us. Perhaps you also have a special skill that could help us expand our message? Or perhaps you know of someone who could give one of the many lovely dogs or cats a home? No amount of help is too small but if you could see the love in the stray dogs eyes as they wag their tails in hope of a bit of love you would understand that every donation and every small bit of help is priceless.