As previously written the Bucov shelter is full to bursting point, with over 1000 dogs living in cramped conditions, hoping against hope to be adopted and find safety in a forever home outside of the shelter and ideally outside of Romania. Some of these dogs have already been through very traumatic experiences, some have been born into the shelter and know no better, while others are slowly getting old and losing all hope of being loved. Regularly dogs get injured in the shelter as a result of fights, escaping onto the street where they are hit by cars, or simply through accidents.
One such dog is Larry who I have written about on a couple of occasions. Larry had a very unfortunate accident resulting in a penis amputation. Despite the numerous blog posts and sharing of his story one year on Larry is still in the shelter. I do not know why no one has stepped forward to adopt Larry. He is a lovely gentle, friendly chap whose only downside is his unfortunate amputation (which does not really have much of an impact on him). I cannot believe that people are put off by this amputation, but I can’t think of any other reason as to why no one has responded to our requests to give him a forever home.
Larry’s fate if not adopted will look grim. He will live his life in horribly over-crowded conditions, where the shelter is limited and the food supply is scare. In the winter there is little warmth in the few dog houses that make up the shelter, and the winters in Romania are bitterly harsh. In the spring and autumn the dog pens become a morass of mud and the dogs become covered in the wet, cold and sticky mud, with no way of staying or getting clean, and the water troughs also become dirty as a result. In the summer the heat comes, and with it again the dog houses provide very little comfortable shade and the dogs have to suffer the heat with little respite.
The over-crowding means that there are more dog fights and dogs like Larry are often the brunt of these, and end up getting injured again. Indeed shortly after he had recovered from his amputation Larry had to go back to the vet as a result of being attacked by another dog in his pen.
Finally Larry’s long term chances of survival are low. The over-crowding means that sooner or later the shelter will probably start to euthanize some of the dogs and the sick, disabled and elderly will be at the top of the list. Larry will also eventually make it on that list.
When you look in Larry’s eyes, and the eyes of other dogs like him such as Sue you can see the desperate sadness. These dogs just want to be loved. They want to be able to go for walks in the free and not be penned up in a tiny fenced-in area. They want to share all their love with someone and be part of a family. They want to live and be loved.
I have heard people say they can’t take a dog as they live in a small apartment. This is still an improvement from the shelter. I have heard people say they can’t take a dog because of work – but have you really looked into this? I know that if I didn’t have cats I would adopt a dog straight away – and I work as a consultant so my work is pretty hectic and busy – I have worked out that I could travel with the dog to lots of the client sites and also that I could sometimes bring the dog to work. I am aware that the perfect home would be with someone with a huge house and garden and who doesn’t work – but frankly nearly any home would be better than the misery of the shelter. These dogs really just want to be loved. You can see the difference in their eyes when they are adopted. The life and joy comes back – their eyes light up.
I want Larry to know what it is like to be loved and to have a home. I want him to spend the rest of his life not in wretched misery but in the warmth and comfort of a loving environment. I want this for all the dogs in the shelter, but right now I want it most of all for poor Larry, the dog no one seems to want. Will you help Larry? Will you share his story with everyone you know? Will you actively ask and encourage people you know to consider giving him a home? For the sake of this poor, unfortunate dog, and of all the others like him, please step forward to try to find a home and bring hope for the future.