Month: September 2013

Special needs strays – happy endings

Hope for Romanian Strays often has to step in the rescue and save injured and abused strays.  Our team of volunteers on the ground will never walk by an injured animal and just leave it to die alone in pain.  Often we come across this poor animals by the side of the road and at other times we get calls from locals who know we will help.  We have numerous examples of these, such as Mishu the dog found with head trauma in a coma by the side of the road, to Allegra, one of the rare survivors of this summer’s mass poisoning of street dogs.  We always take these poor souls into our care, take them to the vets and we thanks to generous donations we pay for their medical care.Amongst some of these rescues we also then find injured animals that need more than just nursing back to health but also require ongoing treatment and special care.  Again we do not abandon them just because they will be more work or effort, or because they will require more financial support.  We stand by these dogs too and do all we can to help them, but then also to find them a forever home, with people who can provide them with the ongoing care they need.

Within the last few weeks a couple of our special needs dogs have left Romania to go to new foster or forever homes in Austria and Germany and so we wanted to share some of their stories, and their happy endings.


When we first found Mishu he was more dead than alive, and we did not know if he would survive and if he did survive if he would ever fully recover.  Slowly though he came round and started to get better, but at first with some difficulties in walking and orientating himself.  It was a slow, and expensive process, but Mishu was such a fighter and had such a strength of character that he pulled through and made a full recovery.  When he was fully recovered we found Mishu a foster home with a wonderful lady called Anna, in Austria, where he was a pure joy to watch.  He was a fantastic, bundle of energy and joy and you would never have known how close to death he had been.  We then found him a forever home with an Austria family, but unfortuantely after just one week they decided he was too “puppy like” and returned him into foster care.  We were devasted, and very angry with the family for having adopted a young dog and not had the presence of mind to think things through.  We were also worried about the emotional effect this would have on a young dog who had already been through so much.  Fortunately however we found Mishu another – permanent – forever home and he showed us just how amazing a dog he really is.  He adapted with his new situation and carried on being a pure joy – showing no negative effects of all the bad luck he had been through.  Mishu had a very tough start to life, and went through so much bad luck, but we stuck by him and he provided us with insipiration to carry on helping other dogs like him – in a way he stuck by us too!

Mishu pre-adoption

Mishu pre-adoption

Mishu enjoying life at his new home

Mishu enjoying life at his new home

Mishu today

Mishu today


A few months ago I wrote about the mass poisoning of strays (and unlucky pets outside at the wrong time) which was very upsetting for all of us.  Now of course we are braceing for the next round of mass killings, including more mass poisonings and beatings, thanks to the recent law change in Romania which has provided the death knell for thousands of strays.  We wish we had more happy endings to share from these incidents but unfortauntely we only have one.  Allegra was one of the few dogs we managed to find alive post-poisoning.  We rushed her and the other few to vet for emergency treatment and did all we could to help.  Unfortunately she was the only survivor which was devastating and really demoralising.  It is fortunate therefore that we have found her a forever home, and she has now left the country that tried to poison her to death.  She is now safe and happy in her new home, far away from Romania.

Allegra in her new forever home

Allegra in her new forever home


We found Jenny on the way to the clinic to visit Mia – she had been hit by a car and was badly injured. Unfortuantely the vet was unable to rescue her leg as it was so damaged, so it was amputated.  Jenny was naturally very scared and shy but she was also a lovely sweet little character and recovered from her ordel.  Jenny has now been found a forever home where she is thriving and very happy, dispite only having three legs.  She is now part of a family and faces a happy, bright future that had we not found her by the roadside she would never have had – in fact she would probably have died a very painful death, there by the roadside.

Jenny post-op

Jenny post-opJenny with 3-legs recovering from surgery

Jenny with 3-legs recovering from surgery
Jenny in her new home

Jenny in her new home

Jenny in her new home

Jenny in her new home


Anda came to us last year extremely emaciated and very ill.  It turned out Anda was a special needs dog with health and digestive issues, which meant she needed a special diet in order to survive.  This meant that Anda needs specialist food which is very expensive.  We raised money through our supporters over the last year and Anda was able to put on weight and return to relative health.  However Anda can only ever eat special food and will always have health issues so requires special ongoing care.  She is however a lovely gentle lady who we swore to stand by and we continued to raise funds for her care.  We are overjoyed then when a very special family came forward to adopt her and opened their home to her, and will provide for her and give her the care she needs for the rest of her life.

Anda then and now

Anda then and now

These are just some of the happy stories we have to share from our special needs dogs over the last year.  Each one required additional support and more care than a normal stray, and each one sapped our very limited financial resources.  Thanks to our supporters and donations from around the world however we were able to rescue these special dogs, and provide them with the support and care they needed until they found forever homes.  Each one of these dogs would have died in pain and alone had we not stepped in and each penny we spent on them was worthwhile.  Each one of these dogs is now happy with new families outside of Romania, and making their new families very happy and showering them with unconditional love.

But these are the happy endings – we still have many dogs in need of these happy endings, and we also currently have some special needs dogs that need ongoing support and forever homes.  Here are few of their stories and at the end of the post you can see how you can help them.


Odin was a big chap that we found walking the streets with a severe skin condition.  He was very skinny and in a very bad way, and given his size, potentially a problem to care for.  However we did not let this put us off so we took him into care and got treatment for him and started to help build him up.  Like most of the strays we rescue he was taken to the shelter (we ourselves do not have facilities to home most of the dogs).  Due to his size and the fact that we had rescued him off the street we were concerned however in putting him in with the general stray population at the shelter – he would be a clear target for a dominant pack and would undoubtably be attacked and end up injured.  The answer was that he has his own little dog house but that he has to be chained up outside.  He is now nearly fully recovered from his illness but we really hated seeing him chained up but had no other solution for him.   Fortuantely one of our supporters managed to find him a place at a local shelter in Koblenz.  He is still receiving treatment (we sent him off to his new shelter with a whole batch of medication so they would not have to pay for his treatment) and is safe out of Romania.  He is however still in a shelter and deserves a new home so we really hope that someone in or near Koblenz falls in love with this gentle giant and gives him the forever home he deserves.  So if you know anyone with room for a recovered gentle giant please let us know!

Odin when we found him

Odin when we found him

Odin recovered in the Romanian shelter

Odin recovered in the Romanian shelter

Odin recovering

Odin recovering


Foxy is another special needs dog who is also still looking for a forever home.  We found Foxy and her sister Fanny in the shelter, bother emaciated and clearly very ill.  We took them out of the shelter and paid for them to stay at the vets receiving treatment.  Fanny made a great recovery and was able to return to the shelter.  Foxy however remained critical and fighting for her life.  She as extremely ill and had huge difficulty eating and putting on weight.  We perserved and never gave up on her and slowly she recovered.  She is still a frail dog but we have now got her into paid foster care where she is safe for the time being.  We also would love to find her a forever home where she can receive the love and care she needs.  Again let us know if you know anyone who could take this little angel.

Foxy at the vets

Foxy at the vets

Skinny Foxy

Skinny Foxy

Foxy today

Foxy today


Whilst most of our work is with stray dogs we help any animal in need, including cats like Mila.  Like so many of our special needs cases Mila had been involved in an accident and had been hit by a car.  Badly injured Mila had been left by the roadside to die but we found her and took her to the vets.  At first it was touch and go as she was so badly injured but slowly she recovered.  Sadly one of her eyes was so badly damaged it had to be removed, meaning it will be far harder to find Mila a forever home.  We currently have her in foster care, and given that she now only has one eye, she can not be returned to the street, so we really do need to find her a home.  We hope that someone out there will take pity on this poor, rather scruffy, lady and give her a warm forever home, off the street, where she will be safe.  In the meantime we continue to pay for her care and pay off her vet’s bills which were substantial.

Mila when we found her

Mila when we found her

Mila today

Mila today

Miracle puppy

This little lady is our very latest rescue.  Found wondering inside the shelter amongst the big dogs, this tiny puppy had clearly been attacked and was in a bad way. We have now taken her out of the shelter, she is receiving medical care, and is being fostered by our founder Aniela.  We do not yet know the outcome, and she may lose her eye, but she is receiving the best care and we will do all we can to see that she has a bright future.  We will need to pay for her current and future treatment to get her fit and healthy and then once she has recovered, and grown big and strong we will try to find her a forever home.

OUr latest special needs case - a tiny puppy

OUr latest special needs case – a tiny puppy

If you would like to help her or any of our special needs aniamls, or help us pay off some of their treatment please donate via paypal: or via bank transfer.  Every little helps and these special needs animals’ vet’s bills tend to be quite substantial.  Please support us so that we can continue to be there for these animals that would otherwise have nobody.  Please continue to share our post and our photos with friends and family and your social networks – each of our happy endings is thanks to someone sharing a photo or a story with friends and family.  Finally if you know anyone who could take one of our special needs rescues please contact us at

Thank you!

Still no action against the inhumane situation in Romania

539027_525399720872406_788847779_nThe public anger and shock at the new law in Romania and the sanctioned slaughter of stray dogs is growing but there has still been no action to put a stop to what is happening and the situation in Romania is still very distressing and worrying.  It now looks like the child that was supposedly killed by a stray dog was actually abused and then killed by a paedophile who used the dogs as a way to try to hide the crime.  This whole vendetta against the dogs has now been used to cover up a far more heinous crime and also place a huge question mark on how the government was able to bring in and sign off a new law based on an unverified act.

There have been demands and numerous petitions asking the Romanian government, other EU governements (such as Germany and UK) as well as the EU itself to step in and stop this madness.  Numerous of these petitions point out that what is happening in Romania goes against the EU treaties signed by the Romania government which state that dogs are sentient being and should be treated humanely.  Apparently the Romanian government has denied that there is any inhumane slaughter happening in Romania – which clearly belies the photos and on the ground reports we are getting.  There is also very clear documented evidence from a few months ago of what exactly the sanctioned “death squads” do when they “humanely euthanise” strays – namely that they poison them by putting poison out on the streets.  This is not only inhumane it is indiscriminate.  As to the Romanian government’s response this is hardly surprising.  I suspect if they were also asked about the levels of corruption that are behind some of the problems with strays and shelter conditions they would also deny this.  After all what politician is going to step up and agree that actually yes they are going against the EU treaties and laws?!

What is now needed is continued and increased pressure from the ground up, from people like you and I, at international level, demanding that politicians finally  listen to the people and not each other.  We need to demand that the EU finally starts looking into this inhumane actions that are happening and have been happening in Romania, and demand that Romania start complying with the EU treaties.  We need to make ourselves heard and we need to tell politicans that their inaction is not acceptable.  We need to demand a stop to this animal abuse and cruelty – we have had enough!  I personally am fed up of the frustration, of the tears and of the heartbreak at seeing the cruelty and inhumanity that the animals in Romania are subjected to.  I want it to stop and I believe being a member of the EU is not a right but a position that is earned and comes with a duty to abide by the laws and treaties of the EU.  It also comes with an obligation to meet certain, civilized standards, including animal welfare.  It is time Romania stepped up and met its obligations.

If you want to carry on the fight and help raise our voice against the inhumanity and cruel treatment of strays in Romania there are a number of ways (see the list below).  Also remember that the more dogs we can get into foster care or forever homes the more dogs we can save.  Please do contact us if you know of anyone who take a stray dog – and rescue a life – or if you could sponsor a dog so that we can pay to get a dog into foster care and off the streets.


Saturday 21st September, 12 noon, outside the Romanian Embassy in South Kensington, London

Share the news:

Share our blog and other stories about this to help raise awareness

Email and letters:

Contact you local politician or the Romanian embassy in your country.  Contact your local press and ask them why they are not covering this issue.


Rock the Nature: Online Abstimmung
Hundetötungen in Rumänien
BITTE VOTEN – es ist nur ein Klick

Ein Rumänischer Sender fragt ob Sie einen der Straßenhunde adoptieren würden.
Bitte klicken Sie auf das 1. der 3 Auswahlfelder (ja).

Mass slaughter of strays going ahead in Romania

It is with a very heavy heart that I write this post.  At a time when we had been celebrating our anniversary and all the great work we have done we have been hit by tragedy.  To update those of you who have not heard the recent news – the government in Romania has just sanctioned the mass slaughter of stray dogs.
The story behind this is equally tragic but the reaction has been so over-the-top  it is hard to understand.  A few weeks ago an aggressive stray was released from the shelter, whoever did this has a huge responsibly on their shoulders for their inappropriate and irresponsible behaviour, because this dog went on to attack and kill a child.  There are guidelines around releasing dogs back onto the streats and dogs that have shown signs of aggression should not be released.
The result of these actions and this tragic loss of life has been a huge uproar and backlash against dogs.  People have demanded that the government finally get rid of the strays – by killing them.  Again we have seen mass killings on the streets, with dogs being beaten to death, as the photo of this dead, bloodied puppy shows.  This poor innocent soul did not do anyone any harm and was in no way responsible for what happened to the child.  This little puppy may have had a chance at a happy life with a family, but instead it was not only killed but it was killed in a totally inhumane, terrifying and painful way.
Puppy beaten to death for being a stray

Puppy beaten to death for being a stray

The government as now given the light for mass euthanasia of stray dogs.  They have set in place a law to say that if a dog at a shelter is not claimed by their owners or found a pera permanent home,  after 14 days, and in some cases 7 days, they are to be killed.  This in itself is tragic – as a charity working to re-home dogs we can tell you that it is impossible to re-home a dog in this timeframe.  The other worrying element here however is how the dogs will be killed.  Given that the authorities have not had the funds to sterilise dogs in the shelter how do they propose to pay for a humane form of euthanisia?!  Those of use working on the ground can tell you there will be nothing humane about how these dogs will be killed.  What we are about to witness is a mass slaughter and inhumane treatment of animals that will put Romania on the map next to countries in Asia were dogs are essentially tortured to death for the meat trade.  We are going to see a member of the EU commit atrocities that should not be happening at all – never mind on a level like this and most certainly not sanctioned by the same government that signed  The Lisbon Treaty (art. 13, TFEU) where it states that the “animals are sentient beings”, the European Parliament Resolution of 4 July 2012 on the establishment of an EU legal framework for the protection of pets and stray animals ( 2012/2670 (RSP ).
As an EU citizen, coming from a country paying a considerable amount of tax to the EU to provide subsidies and financial support to Romania I am appalled to see this blatant breaking of EU law, and to see this government sanctioned animal cruelty.  I demand that the EU steps in and places political pressure on the EU government to revoke this illegal law and to start tackling the real reasons for the problem of strays on the streets, namely to lack of sterilisation programmes and the huge level of corruption and disregard for law and animal welfare.  I have already written about the fact that government funded sterilsation programmes seem to be twice as epxensive as the ones charities perform – where does all the rest of the money go?!  The answer is into the pockets of corrupt local officials.  This is the root of the problem and this is where the government needs to act – not by introducing ridiculous, ineffective and cruel laws!  Mass slaughter is not the answer, this has been proven time and time again in numerous countries, and if they have the money for humane euthanisia why has this never been used to neuter the dogs and start really tackling the problem?!
We demand action!
If you would like to also demand action and answers please contact the Romanian and EU politicians and ask how this can be happening in an EU country – demand answers and action.


Romania is already known by animal cruelty . Please, be advised that if the killing of dogs starts, we will show to the entire world the reality of the dog camps, we will notify worldwide about the financial interests behind the business of killing dogs, we will withdraw any support that we have given so far to your country, we will boycott Romanian products and tourism, as no one will want to associate with a corrupt, cruel and immoral country.


AN:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, karl-heinz.florenz@europarl.europa.e,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

00 40 21 3120828,
00 40 21 3146934
00 40 21 3139846

— at Bukarest, Rumänien.



Please stop them killing us - we are innocent and deserve to live!

Please stop them killing us – we are innocent and deserve to live!

An interview with Aniela, Hope for Romanian Strays founder

The Don

The Don

By popular demand I have been asked to do a few more interviews as part of our anniversary celebration.  One interview I have been really interested in doing for some time is with Aniela Ghita our esteemed founder, and the lady responsible for sending Baby Ninja to plague …. sorry I mean entertain me.

The Don:  Firstly I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you so much Aniela for the amazing and relentless work that you do for the stray cats and dogs in Romania.  You really are inspirational and it is an honour to be able to interview you.  Pehaps we could start by you giving us a bit of background to yourself and how you got involved with the strays in your area? Have you always been interested in animals?

Hey Don, thank you for this great honor, i am pleased to be here with you today. Being part of a big family, I have two brothers and one sister, we always appeared at our parent’s door with a stray dog or cat, but we were never able to keep them long term because of the medical issues that my poor dad had.  My first rescued pet was a kitty, 4 years ago, soon after the death of my dad.  It was a poor little kitty, Missy, my little soul and treasure.  She was ill and under treatment for many months and when we finally thought that she will be well and forever happy, she died of a heart attack when she was just 1 year old.
After her death i was in shock for a while, and I only felt better when I adopted two other souls, also stray cats, Misha and Lady. Then I found my first rescued dog Sasha-Joy, and then I found my 3rd kitty Maya and after that all is history :)) I was addicted and I had to do something for to offer new, proper, homes to my rescued babies because I had already 4 pets at home 🙂

The Don:  That’s really interesting.  How how is it you came to found the charity?  Was it something you had been planning for some time?

Aniela: I started this rescue campaign in winter 2011-2012, I  had the house full already and I needed to find a good way to save more souls…I found a few great reliable friends , including your mom, so i was able to make a few babies happy. In summer 2012 I entered for the first time in public shelter.  I realised how tiny I am, and how helpless one person is in front of the tragedy of those poor souls there.  I wanted to be able to do more  and that made me think:  WHAT IF???
What if I could go from being an unknown, helpless private rescuer to a legal respected organisation, to being able to help more souls in need, to being part of the shelter volunteers, to being one of those trying to change their life in a good way.

The Don:  Inspriring stuff – really.  I am sure many people have wanted to be do more to help but few take that extra step and really dedicate themselves to making a difference.  But you did you – you went the extra step and founded a charity to make a difference.  And since you founded Hope for Romanian Strays what have been the highlights for you?  What were the highs and what were the lows?

Aniela: Oh my God, I had a lot of highlights over the year :)) Every new  adoption, every saved soul, it is a highlight for me and it helps me go  further.
My incapacity to save all my babies , the fact that I lost  so many of my beloved babies, the loss of my sweet Balu , my dear  Crissie, my beloved cats Missy, Misha and Lady, those are my lows and  those will be forever part of my soul.

The Don: That’s really tugs at the heart strings I must say.   *Don wipes his eyes* Just a little dust in my eye …  Now do you do this all on your own?  Do you get help from friends and family?  I mean obviously I volunteer my time to do these interviews but do you have other people who volunteer with you?  How do you meet these volunteers?

Aniela: At home for my own pets my mom is my bigest supporter, even if it is  difficult for her to accept all my actions, since I transformed our  small house into a shelter. All the other friends and colleagues I met online.  Believe it or not this rescue activity made me lose the few friends  that I had here locally, but I chose to follow my heart not my friends.
We have by  now our Media Guru and great supporter , mommy Alexandra, from Switzerland and UK? 😀 …Do you want to know something funny? At first i was  convinced , I swear, that you are a spoiled young human boy who is  making generous donations using his mom’s account :))

The Don:  What?!!!!  Me spoiled??!! *Don looks most shocked*

Aniela:  Oh Don – I am sorry! 😉 We also have Gertie , the heart of our Austrian friends and adopters, the one that  trusted me without conditions from my first mission as a private  rescuer,  and still to this day supports me, almost two years later.   We have Ritva from Finland, our great colleague, who was the very first friend that told me one day : “Aniela I will be in Romania and I would like to know you and your  work” ….Now , one year later, Ritva is part of the team, we have her  full and permanent support in our shelter projects.   In  Germany we have on our side, from the beginning our dear Ana , Conny,  Jacqueline, Jenny, Karin and all our great friends , adopters, including now of course the ProDog Team 🙂
And going all the way to USA I must mention  the man of my life, John Amidon, who was close to me in the last 10  years, supporting me all the way no matter what I decided to do,  including this suicide rescue mission :)) Because choosing this life was for me a social suicide so to say 🙂 Thank you honey!
I  apologise for not being able to name here all our great friends, I am  gratefull to all for their trust and full support, I am lucky and proud  to have them on my side, here for my babies.

The Don:  Oh wow so although you are a Romanian charity you really are very international!  And what kind of things do volunteers help you with?
Aniela:  You will be surprised to find out that we get all types of support  from our friends, we are helped with material things , food, products and money donations but also with adoptions , shares, and moral support 🙂

The Don:  And would I be right in thinking that you can always do with more volunteers?  How could someone reading this for example help?

Aniela: Any little help is important, many times with just one share of a post we were able to find a home for one of our souls, or a donation for our shelter babies, or a present with goodies for our souls in care.  Everything is  important and needed, heling to create new happy stories for our  babies

The Don:  Now looking forward what are some of the things you would like to achieve this next year with Hope for Romanian Strays?

Aniela:  The dream of my life would be to be able to say one day: there are no strays in Romania, there are no abandoned souls, there are only a few shelter dogs that have no home yet, there is Hope for Romanian Strays indeed!!!

The Don:  YES! Now that would be amazing indeed. That really sounds great – let’s hope you achieve all of this and more!  Do you have any final words for people reading this?  If there was one thing each person could do for the strays that Hope for Romanian Strays supports what would it be?

Aniela: THANK YOU!!! Anyone can adopt one of our strays in need, like you did 🙂 Anyone can adopt from distance one of our souls! Anyone can  talk with their friends about the mission of Hope for Romanian Strays! Every little thing is a great help in our daily rescue mission.

The Don:  Thank you and again it has been a real pleasure talking to such a selfless and inspirational lady.  I think we can all learn something from you and take inspiration from your selfless dedication.  Really when we each have a bad day we should look to people like you for inspriration – you are fighting everyday, you are grateful for everything you get, and despite all the heartbreak and upset you never give up.  You keep going – to help those that need your help – those that have no other voice.  Whose only hope is Hope for Romanian Strays.  Aniela Ghita I take my hat off to you.  *Don bows*