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?

Aniela:
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*

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