Tag: dog

And so a new year begins

 

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A 2015 Happy Tail

2015 was an incredibly busy year for us,full of highs and lows.  We managed to save so many dogs, finding homes for many, funding vet treatment, providing extra food, improving conditions in the shelter and laying the first foundations for our own sanctuary of hope. We laughed with joy at miracles, such as large donations or injured dogs getting back on their feet.

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The reality of the shelter

But we also cried far too often.  We cried at the pain, hunger, cold, fear and misery of the dogs in the shelter and the dogs left to die by roadsides.  We cried each time a life was lost, each time we could not save a soul from passing over, and for each soul that departed without ever having known the warmth of their own home and love. We cried far, far too much.

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Paralyzed Neela now learning to walk again with her forever family

What kept us going through the year though was the hope.  The hope that we could save more.  The hope that we could make our funds go further.  The hope that homes could be found and lives could be saved.  We saw the miracles and the Happy Tails and they filled us with hope.  It was hope that picked us up when we thought we could not cope with more tears and could no longer go on.  Hope for all the poor souls still left in the shelter and the streets of Romania and hope that we could make a difference.

And we did make a difference.  The shelter is now home to over 1500 dogs, 300 of which are puppies, but with an original capacity of only 700.  If it were not for us and the support we receive from you we could never have helped keep so many dogs alive.  Bucov would probably have joined the list of Romanian shelters which brutally slaughter their dogs, by beating, starvation or poisoning, to make way for more.  Fortunately Bucov remains a place of hope – but only just.  We need constant support in order to provide food to stave of starvation.  We need funds to build improvements and extenstions in the shelter so that the dogs have a better hope of survival and do not have to live in total misery.  We need funds to provide the puppies with the extra care and seperate enclosures they need.

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Puppies dumped at the shelter

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Old girl dumped to die unloved in the shelter

Our funds though are never enough and we had many lows in 2015 where we could not help anymore.  Where we saw the puppy deathrate remain stable because we could not provide enough puppy food or secure shelter.  Where dogs died of disease and dispair because we could not help or we could not find them a home.  We had to leave a mum and her pups out in the open because there was just no more room for her (she is now safe – but her pups still need to survive their first winter). We had a final year end low when someone dumped their old, sick dog at the shelter, thrown away like unwanted rubbish.  The shelter is no place for an old dog to spend her last days and we will do what we can, but the sad reality this poor soul will have a miserable end of life now that her owners no longer want her.

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Waggy tails waiting for food

But we had many highs too.  We had so many Happy Tails, including our last one of the year Feder, who left on the New Year’s Eve for her forever home in Germany.  We found sponsors and homes for many of the puppies, giving them a real chance to survive. We had my own personal favourite Happy Tail when paralyzed Rubino found a forever home, after months and months of having to live at the vet’s because no one wanted him.  We had great successes, such as funds to make improvements to the shelter, including new kennels and at the end of the year when we were able to put up some tarpaulin to provide shelter from the wind to some of the open kennels. We kept our sterilisation programme going and saw over a hundred dogs neutered in 2o15.

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We also welcomed many vounteers to the shelter, who helped us care for the dogs and provided the dogs with much needed love and in return received unconditional love from the dogs.  We hope to welcome many more in 2016.

Another part of work in 2015 was working with the local school.  Thanks to donations from our supporters for the children we were able to supply them with school books, pens and other school items.  These children come from extremely poor families and these gifts make a big difference. In turn we educate them about how to treat animals correctly, and through them bring a message to their families that we are there for their sick pets and that we will neuter their pets free of charge.  Hopefully through this work we will break the tradition of mistreatment and see a new generation approaching animals with more respect and care.

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2015 was a great and a terrible year.  2016 looks like it will provide the same challenges and more.  Already the year has started with heavy snow, leaving dogs struggling to survive on minimal food and poor shelter.  Despite our improvements many of the dogs are still in enclosures that ofter little to no shelter from the winter conditions.  With limited food supplies the dogs will not receive enough calories to keep them strong.  Many of the weaker dogs and puppies will not make it through to the spring.  Today we distributed our last bag of puppy food.  We do not know when we will be able to buy more.

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We can imagine what other horrors lay ahead of us this year.  But we can also hope that we will see more miracles and will receive more funds so that we can help save more dogs.  We hope that more people will open their homes to one of these poor deserving souls, and rescue a life by adopting one of the shelter dogs.  We hope that more people will hear about the good work we do and decide to donate or volunteer with us. We hope that things will change and that we will see less dogs dying,  less dogs being dumped like rubbish, and less dogs struggling to survive.  We hope that one day all the shelter dogs will be able to live in comfort, with enough food, warmth and love.  Miracles do happen and we hope for at least one this year.

And so it is that a new year begins. We thank you with our whole hearts for your support last year and we thank you for any support you can give us this year.  We will need donations and unfdraisers.  We will need supporters to share our messages, appeals and the photos of the dogs needing homes.  We will need more volunteers to come out to Romania to help us at the shelter.  We will need all your prayers to be able to make a bigger difference this year.

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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

It’s raining cats and dogs

02.08.15-5I am probably starting to sound like a broken record but sadly things just do not change in Romania. We are yet again overwhelmed – but not just with puppies but also kittens and cats. Just as puppies get dumped at the shelter so do kittens. This is particularly bad for the kittens as the shelter is surrounded by stray dogs and their chances of getting attacked, injured and killed are very high. Fortunately we generally manage to get to them in time. We also rescue kittens we find on the streets or are asked for help from our vet or people in the area.