Twas the night before Christmas…

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My Christmas wish is to get out of here!

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there

For the dogs in the Bucov shelter there will be no stockings.  There will be no hope of St Nicholas coming with gifts.  There will be little Christmas cheer tomorrow.  Instead all the 1500 dogs, that now live in the shelter,  face for Christmas is another freezing cold, wet miserable day.  If they are lucky they might get a small feed, but there is never enough for all and there is never enough for them to feel really full.

12360265_929917997087241_2822396534358966802_nThere is no warm hearth or Christmas cheer.  There is no happiness or love.  For them Christmas will be just another day of misery.  Perhaps if they are lucky they will be the lucky ones to get a cuddle from a volunteer like Aniela or perhaps a little extra food.  For many, including the 300+ puppies, this will be there first Christmas.  Others are not so lucky and have already, rather miraculously, survived at least one Christmas in the shelter.  For many others this will be their last Christmas, as their spirits give up and their bodies lose their battle for life.  They will die starving, cold, sick.  They will never know what a warm hearth is or the love that so many of us take for granted.  They will never go through the joys of Christmas or get to savour left over Christmas turkey.  These poor souls will give up the ghost alone and unloved.

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A few of the many puppies trying to survive in the shelter

But there is hope.  Thanks to the donation and support that Hope for Romanian Strays receives we are able to bring these dogs hope.  Working with supports we hope to bring them a Christmas meal – food they would otherwise not get.   Some of the dogs are having a better Christmas than last year thanks to donations which helped build improved kennels (sadly many more kennels remain as before – with limited shelter and sees of mud).  Some of the dogs are alive today thanks to us stepping in as they were dumped, as puppies or injured dogs, at the shelter gates.  Donations funded their vaccinations and vet bills.  Little babies like Niko, dumped with two broken legs, got the help they needed, help they would not otherwise have got.  Sadly there are so many more that we are not able to help as we just do not have the funds.

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Baby Niko

 

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Paralysed Rubino now safe & loved

There are however all the dogs who will be enjoying a happy Christmas this year thanks for our network of supporters and angels who have opened their hearts and homes to these poor, stray souls.  Hundreds of dogs, and a few cats, will be enjoying a warm hearth and Christmas treats in their forever homes, light years away from the cold despair of the shelter.  We have been blessed to witness so many Happy Tails, including for dogs like Rubino, paralysed and with no hope of a better life, until that is a wonderful supporter found him a forever home.  Rubino will be celebrating his first Christmas in the warm and surrounded by love.  Without Hope for Romanian Strays and our fantastic supporters Rubino would be dragging his body along the cold, wet muddy roads, fighting withal his soul and battered body to survive.

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I personally have been blessed by the shiny light that entered my life when I adopted my darling Ninja from Hope for Romania Strays.  She brings such immense and immeasurable  joy to my life every day, and at Christmas time her attack on baubles hanging off the tree is a pure delight to watch!  I wish that more people could experience the joy and love that a rescue pet brings.  A house truly becomes home when it is filled with the unwavering love that a rescue dog or cat brings.

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12390917_929918307087210_8538538534058144930_nLike Aniela and so many of our supporters my one wish this Christmas would be that more homes are found for these poor souls.  I wish that we get more support and donations to help alleviate the misery that these poor dogs go through.  I wish that we could build more enclosures, especially for the puppies and elderly dogs.  I wish we could buy them enough food every day, that we could pay for more vaccinations, neuters and treatments, that we could add a roof over their heads.  I wish that we could post more Happy Tails and that we no longer had to see these dogs, starving and covered in mud, struggling to survive.  I wish we did not have to witness the daily deaths in the shelter.  All I want for Christmas if for people to share some of that Christmas spirit and love with these dogs by opening their hearts and homes to them or by donating so that we can help them.  So if you are wondering what to do this Christmas then stop thinking and act – support Hope for Romanian Strays and the 1500 dogs languishing in the Bucov shelter.

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We wish you a Merry Christmas!  Will you do the same for us?

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My birthday wish

Puppies in desperate need of food

Puppies in desperate need of food

In a few days it will be my birthday, and not just any birthday but my 40th birthday.  If I could have any wish fulfilled for my birthday it would be an end to the torment and abuse of stray dogs and cats in Romania.  It would be that finally these dogs find homes and that the conditions in the shelters are humane and the dogs are loved and cared for.  It would be that dogs, and cats, no longer get abused, starved and beaten to death, and left by roadsides to die in terrible agony.

Sadly that is a wish that will not be fulfilled this year and so I have a smaller wish – I wish for funds to help save dogs in Romania.  I wish for funds to help cover the emergency vet costs.  Funds to cover the vaccinations needed for puppies.  Funds to help feed the dogs, including the puppies, so that they have the strength to survive the bitter cold winter and do not starve to death.  Funds to cover urgently needed materials to build additional enclosures at the shelter so that the dogs do not need to live in such over-crowded kennels and so that we have more space for mother’s with their puppies.  I think  that is a simpler wish and one which I hope some of you reading this will grant me.

Mum dumped, tranquilised at the shelter in the middle of giving birth. We have nomore room for them

Mum dumped, tranquilised at the shelter in the middle of giving birth. We have nomore room for them

If 50 people donated €10 we would have €500 or if I wish really big 100 people donating €10 to give us €1000.  Whilst this sum would only be a drop in the ocean of what is desperately needed it would still be a drop that will save numerous lives.  For the individual dogs that will benefit from these donations the granting of this wish will change their world and give them a hope for the future.  €10 is not that much – it is the cost of a cocktail or a cheap bottle of wine, or the cost of a small jar of nail varnish or the cost of a small box of chocolates.  In fact €10 really does not buy you that much these days but it could still save a life – and that is priceless.

 

Overcrowded conditions in the shelter

Overcrowded conditions in the shelter

And so it is that I reach out to you on this November day and ask if you could find that €10 to donate to help grant my birthdday wish?  Could you spare that €10 and do something really good with it? Can you forsake that cocktail and help save a dog instead? €10 is not much but to some it is the world.  Donate that €10 to Hope for Romanian Strays, via paypal account hopeforstrays@yahoo.com, and help the stray dogs.  Thank you.

One of the puppies we rescued - now wreaking havoc in foster care like a normal puppy should. We have no more foster places left for other puppies though

One of the puppies we rescued – now wreaking havoc in foster care like a normal puppy should. We have no more foster places left for other puppies though

Our Birthday Auction draws to a close

Picture1As part of our birthday celebrations we organised an online auction to try to raise urgently needed funds.  We asked and received lots of items donated to the auction which was fantastic -without these very kind donations we could not have held the auction at all.  Items ranged from art work to jewelry to toys and included a very exciting donation from Webbox.  For those who do not know Webbox they make the world’s best cat and dog treats (that is the official opinion of our master blogger The Don and his friends) so we were overjoyed when they made the very kind offer. In fact The Don was so excited by this he wanted to be included in this blog!

Interviewer:   So Don can you share your thoughts on the Hope for Romanian Strays fundraising Birthday Auction?

The Don: Mum needs to place another, higher bid on the Webbox.  *Don stares at his mum*

Interviewer:  Erm … right.  Any other thoughts you would like to share?

11911695_10204800627958658_87758914_nThe Don: Yes.  Mum needs to make sure a higher bid gets placed on those handmade little baby booties to make sure they do not end up on my footsies. Or anyone out there *Don stares at our followers*  Please?

Interviewer:  Right. Okay. So any final thoughts?

The Don:  Well yes.  I want to say that there are some really cool items in the auction, some of them still with no bids or very low bids.  I think people need to remember two things:

  1. Every penny from the bids goes to help save stray dogs, and a few kitties, in Romania.  The winter is approaching and this year we are expect a particularly brutal winter for the dogs – there are not enough kennels or food to see them through the winter. So many will die. *Don wipes away a big tear*
  2. Secondly Christmas isn’t that far away peoples!  Why aren’t people using this as a great way to buy some Christmas presents now & avoid the rush in December?!  It’s a double gift really – to whoever you give the item to but also to the dogs you help save.  Simples!

Interviewer:  Great points there Don thank you so much!

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Fan from Cordoba – starting bid €12

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Leather cat money box. A great Christmas stocking filler. Starting bid €8

And really those are indeed two points that we want you to think about, in particular the first one.  As you know the shelter we support, in Bucov, is well over capacity now, over 700 dogs over to be exact.  There are not enough kennels now to provide shelter from the extreme cold and wet so many dogs face a winter outside in the open air.  These dogs will die as they will also invariably be the weaker dogs who cannot fight for a kennel.  The same will go for food.  The shelter has for a while now not been able to provide sufficient food to feed all the dogs.  We have been helping out thanks to our supporters such as Pro-Dog Romania but with winter approaching we need to keep up feeding the dogs and if at all possible offer them more support to survive the extreme weather.  As it stands we will see very many dogs die a very, very miserable death.  We want to do all we can to reduce that number and save as many as we can.  The money raised during the auction – either through bids or through donations made as a result of the auction PR – will go along way to help.

Don’s other point though is also true!  Christmas is not that far away and there are some lovely potential gifts in the auction.  Why not bid for one and make a particularly special Christmas gift by also saving a dog too!  You still have 1 day left to bid!

kittensAs our auction draws to a close we therefore ask for you to have one last look and place one last bid.  In doing so please think of those dogs that so desperately need your help.  If you do not see an item you like why not bid to help a dog or a cat (one of the auction items) or simply make a donation via paypal to hopeforstrays@yahoo.com.  Remember every cent goes to the animals and even a small amount can make a big difference – €10 for example pays for a puppies vaccination or a bag of food.  So go have a look and show your support for Hope for Romanian Strays and the work we do to bring hope to these poor, abandoned strays.  Thank you.

This is what is coming - please help us help them

This is what is coming – please help us help them

It’s our Birthday!

The Bucov shelter in 2012

The Bucov shelter in 2012

In August 2012 Aniela Ghita founded Hope for Romanian Strays.  Aniela’s work in rescuing dogs begun well before this but it was in 2012 when she decided to formalise her work through an official charity.  The name Hope for Romanian Strays describes the role of the charity – we want to bring hope to Romanian strays.  Hope of surviving.  Hope of being pain free. Hope of food. Hope of a bit of love and attention.  Hope of a better life, with a loving family.  Hope they would not otherwise have.

Over the last three years that is what Hope for Romanian Strays has done.  It has brought hope to hundreds of dogs in the Bucov shelter, improving their conditions through providing new kennels to keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It has brought paving and straw to the shelter to keep the dogs out of the cold, cloying mud.  It has brought special puppy enclosures to try to save more of the puppies, most of whom die in the shelter.  It has brought extra food to the starving and weak dogs.  It has brought veterinary care to those injured and sick dogs where before they would have died in pain.  It has helped find homes for hundreds of dogs.  Hope for Romanian Strays has done all of this thanks to the unerring dedication of Aniela and those that support the charity.

03.06.15-1Thanks to funds donated by our supporters we have accomplished so much.  Three years ago when the charity was founded we would have never dreamed we could have helped so many dogs.  We would never have imagined we could find homes for so many Romanian strays.  We could only have prayed for having the funds to rescue so many injured, sick and frail dogs (and cats).  Thanks to you our supporters we did it.  But there is still so very much more that we need to do.

Some of the 1,400 souls in need of our help

Some of the 1,400 souls in need of our help

Linda found injured by the roadside

Linda found injured by the roadside

Three years ago there were around 700 dogs in the Bucov shelter, now there are over 1400 but the capacity and funds have hardly changed. Without our continuous support the conditions in the shelter would be even more terrible.  We work daily with the shelter to bring support to the strays confined within its walls. Whilst we have built our puppy enclosures we are continuously inundated with more puppies, and kittens, that desperately need help.  Every journey to the vet requires funds, for the animals we take as well as the injured ones we find en route.  We cannot stand by and let a dog die in pain by the road but we often do not have the funds to help him so we have to work on debt.  We need more funds for our daily operations but we also need more funds to make our dream of building a safe place for the sick, the weak and the frail dogs that need special care to survive, care they cannot receive in the shelter.

H4S birthday present

So with this in mind this year we have one wish for our birthday – we want “presents”! We would like to ask that as well as wishing us a happy birthday you also put actions behind those words and help us raise those urgently needed funds.  There are a number of ways you can give us a birthday gift:

  • Make a donation to hopeforstrays@yahoo.com via paypal as your birthday gift
  • Help us with some of fundraising activities: either organise your own or support one of ours (see next bullet)
  • Donate items to our birthday auction which we will be launching at the end of the month – email pharmaguapa@hotmail.com with items (or if you can help with running the auction!)
  • “Donate” your lunch to a stray – donate the cost of your lunch to feeding a dog in the shelter
  • Raise funds through organising a birthday “party” (picnic, barbq, dinner, etc.) and asking your guest to donate
  • Or the best birthday present of all – give one of our Romanian strays a loving forever home

H4S birthday thanks