Month: March 2014

Red card for Romania demonstration

Demonstrators - human and canine - in Zurich

Demonstrators – human and canine – in Zurich

Last weekend people gathered in cities all over Europe to show a red card for Romania.  We demonstrated around Europe with one message  – stop killing dogs! Every major city, from London, to Vienna, to Frankfurt demonstrated.   Hope for Romanian Strays were there in Bucharest, and our supporters were there across Europe, joining hands with other organisations like Four Paws and other rescuers to take a stand against the slaughter and the inhumanity.  We stood shoulder to shoulder together and demanded with one voice that Europe take note.  We demanded that Europe listen and finally stand up for EU law and the rights of animals.  We demanded that the brutality and the massacre of dogs in Romania stop and that Romania finally accepts responsibility and starts acting in a humane, and accountable way to deal with the stray dogs – through mass neutering programs and not through battering and gassing dogs to death.

Bucharest

Bucharest

Across cities in Europe people were able to come together and show their solidarity with the dogs and the animal rescuers working against all the odds, in dreadful conditions, in Romania.  We wanted to let them know that we support them and that we will stand by their side to keep up the fight.  The colour of choice was overwhelmingly red – reflecting the colour of the blood shed by thousands of poor, helpless dogs beaten to death or maimed in Romania.  The red symbolised the horror and the torment these dogs go through in a country were life is cheap.  Red is also a very

Hope for Romanian Strays at the demonstration in Bucharest

Hope for Romanian Strays at the demonstration in Bucharest

powerful colour and reflects the anger so many of us feel against the animal abusers in Romania  and the corrupt Romanian officials and politicians who

Demonstrators in Vienna

Demonstrators in Vienna

Circle of solidarity in Zurich

Circle of solidarity in Zurich

pocket the money designated to spay the dogs.  This anger is also against EU politicians who do nothing despite the thousands of names on petitions and direct requests to step in.  The actions in Romania are for the most part against EU law and we were also demonstrating to demand that the politicians who our taxes pay for finally stand up and uphold the law in the EU that should protect animals.  No EU country should be able to beat dogs to death en masse – this is just plain wrong and unethical.

The size of the demonstrations also varied, with a large demonstration happening in Bucharest, home of all the horror, and smaller ones with sometimes just a few people such as in Stockholm.  In Zurich there were over 100 people, and we formed a circle of hands to physically show our solidarity.  Photos were taken across Europe and sent back to our Romanian rescuers to give them hope that they are not fighting this battle alone.  Seeing the torture and abuse of dogs on an almost daily basis can be extremely demoralizing and very depressing.  Even if the politicians and the press did not pay attention at the least the animal rescuers in Romania felt strengthened and they knew they were not alone and it gives them hope.  It lets them know that they are our heroes and that we are honouring them for their work.

One supporter having a rest from demonstrating

One supporter having a rest from demonstrating

Romanian survivor

Romanian survivor

This little chap wanted his voice to be heard too

This little chap wanted his voice to be heard too

Perhaps though the real heroes though were the dogs themselves.  Many dogs also showed their support through wearing red coats and T-shirts – and also by being remarkably well behaved!  Despite all the dogs of different sizes and temperaments there were no “incidents” or fights.

15.03.14_11

There were then also the survivors.  The dogs who had made it out of Romania to safety.  My heart melted and my eyes weld up when I saw them.  You could often spot them as they were shyer and more afraid – a hangover from their early life in a country were they are beaten and abused.  In my eyes they were the most beautiful dogs there and I would gladly demonstrate for them every day.  To see survivors being loved and living free from pain and torment is what drives so many of us and is what brings hope when we think we cannot cope with yet more news and images of death and horror.  These precious few that make it to safety are our hope.  We will continue to fight to get more dogs out into safe, forever homes and we will continue to demand justice for those that are left behind.  We will continue to demand that the dogs in Romania are treated humanely and with the respect that a living, sentient being deserves.

We will continue to demonstrate until the situation in Romania improves.  We will be heard.  We have to be heard – because the lives of thousands of dogs demand on our voice being heard.

Another Romanian survivor

Another Romanian survivor

Banner from Bucharest

Banner from Bucharest

We’ve heard about the strays from Sochi … what about the Romanian strays?

There has been some great press coverage about the situation of the stray dogs in Sochi.  At first the coverage was desperately sad – and resonated all too well with those of us working with stray dogs in Eastern Europe.  The strays of Sochi were being rounded up and killed – discarded by a society that saw them as nothing more than garbage, a side effect of a building project. 

The strays from Sochi however got lucky.  First a Russian billionaire heard of their plight and remembered a stray dog he befriended as a child.  Like anyone who grew up with a best friend / dog will tell you, the experience is profound and the bond formed is something that you remember for the rest of your life. The strays then also stole the hearts of the visiting athletes and again made headline news – this time with photos of US athletes, like Lindsey Jacobellis and Gus Kenworthy, and the strays they had adopted and were planning on taking back to the US with them.

 

A photo the day after hundreds of dogs at Craiova shelter were "euthanized"

A photo the day after hundreds of dogs at Craiova shelter were “euthanized”

Sadly the strays in Romania have not had this same luck.  Like the strays in Sochi the conditions for them are tough and they fight every day for survival.  Officials have now given the go-ahead for them to be “euthanized” en masse and strays are being rounded up and put in shelters, where they are being systematically killed.  Photos of some of the shelters, for example Craiova, where this is happening show that they are not being euthanized in a humane way by a vet but beaten to death in front of the other shelter dogs.   There have already been many mentions of the similarities between Romania’s handling of the dogs and the Nazi handling of Jews during WWII and again this image appears as  yet again living beings are being beaten to death behind a wire fence, in front of their fellows.

 

 

More puppies dumped at the shelter

More puppies dumped at the shelter

Fortunately the shelter at Bucov has not yet descended to this level of depravity but it is full and over capacity and all of the foster homes in the area are also full.  And still more dogs are being brought to the shelter and still more puppies are being born on the streets or in the shelter. 

Just a few of the dogs we've found homes for

Just a few of the dogs we’ve found homes for

It is in these conditions that we are working hard to try to work with the shelter to find some solutions to the capacity problems, for example by making the enclosures smaller, or by re-homing as many dogs as we can.  We are also running regular neutering programmes to try to stem the flow of strays.

 

 

It is in these conditions that we as always reach out to our supporters and followers and ask to continue donating to this cause and to continue sharing our work and the photos of dogs needing homes.  We need funds on an on-going basis to pay for neutering programmes and to try to support the dogs that are in the shelter. 

Shelter puppy being taken to be vaccinated

Shelter puppy being taken to be vaccinated

Shelter puppy being vaccinated thanks to donations

Shelter puppy being vaccinated thanks to donations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And it is in these conditions that we pray to also find saviours for our dogs, just as the stray dogs in Sochi found their saviours.  The dogs in Romania, just like the dogs in Sochi, do not deserve their current fate and we will continue to fight for their cause and do all we can to alleviate their suffering and bring hope.  Please support us in doing this and be a saviour to the dogs in Romania.

Contact us at hopeforstrays@yahoo.com if you can help a dog or make a donation to help with neutering, vaccination or feeding and caring for stray dogs via paypal (also hopeforstrays@yahoo.com).

 

Puppy being taken to be vaccinated

Puppy being taken to be vaccinated

Dumped puppies with food and shelter at the shelter

Dumped puppies with food and shelter at the shelter

Puppies in the puppy enclosure - safe from larger adult dogs

Puppies in the puppy enclosure – safe from larger adult dogs

Puppy being vaccinated - and hoping for a forever home

Puppy being vaccinated – and hoping for a forever home

We’ve heard about the strays from Sochi … what about the Romanian strays?

There has been some great press coverage about the situation of the stray dogs in Sochi.  At first the coverage was desperately sad – and resonated all too well with those of us working with stray dogs in Eastern Europe.  The strays of Sochi were being rounded up and killed – discarded by a society that saw them as nothing more than garbage, a side effect of a building project. 

The strays from Sochi however got lucky.  First a Russian billionaire heard of their plight and remembered a stray dog he befriended as a child.  Like anyone who grew up with a best friend / dog will tell you, the experience is profound and the bond formed is something that you remember for the rest of your life. The strays then also stole the hearts of the visiting athletes and again made headline news – this time with photos of US athletes, like Lindsey Jacobellis and Gus Kenworthy, and the strays they had adopted and were planning on taking back to the US with them.

 

A photo the day after hundreds of dogs at Craiova shelter were "euthanized"

A photo the day after hundreds of dogs at Craiova shelter were “euthanized”

Sadly the strays in Romania have not had this same luck.  Like the strays in Sochi the conditions for them are tough and they fight every day for survival.  Officials have now given the go-ahead for them to be “euthanized” en masse and strays are being rounded up and put in shelters, where they are being systematically killed.  Photos of some of the shelters, for example Craiova, where this is happening show that they are not being euthanized in a humane way by a vet but beaten to death in front of the other shelter dogs.   There have already been many mentions of the similarities between Romania’s handling of the dogs and the Nazi handling of Jews during WWII and again this image appears as  yet again living beings are being beaten to death behind a wire fence, in front of their fellows.

 

 

More puppies dumped at the shelter

More puppies dumped at the shelter

Fortunately the shelter at Bucov has not yet descended to this level of depravity but it is full and over capacity and all of the foster homes in the area are also full.  And still more dogs are being brought to the shelter and still more puppies are being born on the streets or in the shelter. 

Just a few of the dogs we've found homes for

Just a few of the dogs we’ve found homes for

It is in these conditions that we are working hard to try to work with the shelter to find some solutions to the capacity problems, for example by making the enclosures smaller, or by re-homing as many dogs as we can.  We are also running regular neutering programmes to try to stem the flow of strays.

 

 

It is in these conditions that we as always reach out to our supporters and followers and ask to continue donating to this cause and to continue sharing our work and the photos of dogs needing homes.  We need funds on an on-going basis to pay for neutering programmes and to try to support the dogs that are in the shelter. 

Shelter puppy being taken to be vaccinated

Shelter puppy being taken to be vaccinated

Shelter puppy being vaccinated thanks to donations

Shelter puppy being vaccinated thanks to donations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And it is in these conditions that we pray to also find saviours for our dogs, just as the stray dogs in Sochi found their saviours.  The dogs in Romania, just like the dogs in Sochi, do not deserve their current fate and we will continue to fight for their cause and do all we can to alleviate their suffering and bring hope.  Please support us in doing this and be a saviour to the dogs in Romania.

Contact us at hopeforstrays@yahoo.com if you can help a dog or make a donation to help with neutering, vaccination or feeding and caring for stray dogs via paypal (also hopeforstrays@yahoo.com).

 

Puppy being taken to be vaccinated

Puppy being taken to be vaccinated

Dumped puppies with food and shelter at the shelter

Dumped puppies with food and shelter at the shelter

Puppies in the puppy enclosure - safe from larger adult dogs

Puppies in the puppy enclosure – safe from larger adult dogs

Puppy being vaccinated - and hoping for a forever home

Puppy being vaccinated – and hoping for a forever home