On this Mother’s Day please spare a thought for stray dog mother’s and their babies, born into a world that doesn’t want them. Romania is full of pregnant strays or dogs with puppies as a legacy that dates back to Ceaușescu’s days when people were moved into large city apartment blocks but were not allowed to take their pets with them and subsequently dumped them on the streets. This coupled with a tradition of not neutering dogs has led to a huge problem with thousands of strays roaming the streets. Each year sees more and more puppies born to strays, on the streets or in public shelters, further compounding the problem.
This is why the work we do, in running regular sterilation programmes is so critical. The only way to reduce the number of mums is to get the strays neutered. It costs around €20 to get one dog neutered – not much per se but when you factor in the hundreds of dogs we need to sterlise you begin to realise the financial burden we face. It is however the only real long term solution to the stray dog problem in Romania so whenever we can we fund to get dogs neutered. The other activity we do to try to change the local norm is to educate people, for example through our work with the local school and in partnership with our local vets.
For the mums that did not get neutered in time we try to help both them and their puppies. The death rate for puppies in the public shelter is normally around 90% as they die of disease, starvation and through attacks from adult dogs. Thanks to generous donations we have in the past been able to build special puppy enclosures and provide these young lives with better safety through food and vaccinations. Sadly there are just too many for us to help them all but whenever we have funds we do what we can.
A few lucky mums make it to our Sanctuary of Hope, where they can be safe with their babies and where their babies can run and play and grow up without all the fear, trauma and danger in the public shelter. Sadly our space is limited and we now have such huge debts (close to €10,000) that we can no longer help anymore mums with their puppies until we get more funds. In fact our plans to build more kennels at the sanctuary have had to be put on hold as we needed to take the materials purchased for this to the main public shelter to build urgently needed kennels there. We hope that as we get more funds in to start to pay off our debt we can revisit building our more kennels at the sanctuary and thereby help some more mums with their puppies.
And so on this day where in many countries we celebrate Mother’s Day we ask that you spare a thought and a penny for all the stray canine mums in our care, at the public shelter and on the streets of Romania. If you can please make a donation to help a mum and her puppies and give those new young lives a better chance of life, and help us to get more mums neutered and stop the tied of puppies. Every little helps and you can donate through paypal at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or perhaps you could help one particular mum or her pup and offer them a home? Every dog that gets adopted out of our sanctuary frees up a space for another dog to be rescued so please if you can home a dog, or know someone who could, please contact us via email at email@example.com. Thank you and happy Mother’s Day!