Tag: #straydog

A life in the day of a stray dog

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In the early hours of a wet spring morning life began.  By the side of a road an emaciated, flea ridden and scabby stray female dog gives birth to a litter of puppies.  A few miles down the road another female, also not particularly well fed, and chained up in a back yard with virtually no shelter from the morning drizzle, gives birth to her litter of puppies.  This second litter, unknowingly, are lucky.  The first mum and her puppies are found by a passing man.  He hits the mother over the head and hangs her body from a nearby tree, leaving her to die a slow and miserable death.  The puppies he bundles up in plastic bag and throws in the trash where their brief little lives come to a miserable end.

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Mum with her puppies in the shelter

Meanwhile the second little of puppies are scooped up by the female dog’s owner and he drives to the Bucov shelter where he unceremoniously dumps them in a cardboard box at the shelter gates.  Their mum pines for them and searches for them but they are gone.  The little bundles of new life shiver, wet from the rain in their box, and still less than a day old.  They are too young to survive alone and too young to understand or see what is happening to them.

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Little baby dumped at night – now in our care

 

 

But they are lucky.  They are lucky that they were not killed and that they have been given a chance by being brought to the shelter, albeit a very tiny chance.  Without their mum and without round the clock care they have no hope of survival but the shelter employees will not be there to help them.  Fortunately Aniela sees them as she arrives at the shelter and scoops them up and takes them under her care.  Now they have a chance.

Aniela nurses the two little angels but sadly one of them dies while still too young to be vaccinated.  As the “day” progresses more new born puppies are dumped and our little puppies now have to be moved to the over-crowded puppy enclosure as there is no more room with fosters and Aniela has to focus on the next batch of new born puppies.  Fortunately for the puppies Hope for Romanian Strays had funded special puppy enclosures so they do not end up in the main enclosures with the adult dogs.  If there were not the special puppy enclosures they would not survive for long at all – dying from either disease, starvation or injury as the large adult dogs eat their food and attack them.   Sadly though despite the vaccinations that supporters have paid for one more of the puppies dies.  This is the reality of life as a puppy at the shelter – despite all the help the death rate is still far too high.

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As the “day” progresses our surviving puppies are moved to the adult enclosures.  Here they have to survive in the pack.  They have to fight for their food and they are to survive with very little shelter.  The morning drizzle has now turned to a downpour and the floor in the kennels is a sea of mud and faeces.  To try to stay out of the mud and rain they move into the old wooden kennels, but the cold wind still comes in and no matter how they try they just can’t get dry or warm.

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Sick and scared

As the afternoon turns to evening, our remaining dog, huddles at the back of the kennels, wet and covered in mud from the autumn raid.  She is listless and clearly depressed.  When Aneila comes to visit she no longer even manages to raise her hear or wag her tail.  She has given up.  During her short life she has known nothing but the misery of being unwanted, of growing up and living in the shelter.  Aniela and the Hope for Romanian Strays supporters have tried through this “day” to find her a home.  Sadly no one wanted her as a puppy and as she grew into a young dog her chances of adoption get lower and lower.

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Old boy Natan 

Now she sits in the dusk of the day and her life.  Old, broken, unwanted and all she has is her own misery.  She has given up on her miserable life.  Her joints are aching with the damp and wet and her own old age.  She has known so little life other than the horrors of the shelter.  From the moment she was born into this Romanian life her chances were so low.  She survived but only to have to live out her life in more misery than she could ever have imagined. All those she knew and loved are gone.   There is nothing for her left in this life but more misery and an old age which promises only worse to come.  Soon she will be too weak and old to be able to fight for her food.  She will slowly starve to death or be mauled by one of the other dogs.  She has never felt the warmth of her own home, of her own family.  She can only dream of love and of spending her last days curled up on a warm rug by a fireplace, safe inside and sheltered from the winter snow, and with enough food.  She just stares at the back of the old kennel she sits in.  She does not even come out anymore when Aniela visits.  Her life is over.  As the day comes to a close she closes her eyes and waits for her painful death.

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Sick and injured dogs wait for treatment and hope

This is a “day” in the life of a shelter dog.  Whatever age they are when they come to the shelter the prospects are grim.  The young puppies dumped have no hope unless we can provide them with food, safe segregated shelter and vaccines.  The adult dogs must struggle to survive in over-crowded kennels where there is never enough food or adequate shelter, from the cold or heat.  For the elderly dogs life gets even worse.  They can no longer defend themselves and they feel the cold even more than the others.  They face a very miserable end to their lives.

This is why we beg you to get involved.  We beg you to help us raise funds to provide better shelter, better food and better care.  We beg that you talk to your friends, family and Facebook friends.  Can they find a small warm place for one of these dogs?  They do not need huge gardens or stay at home mums – they need love.  They need a forever home where they can grow old in safety and warmth.  Perhaps you know someone who does not want to commit forever but can offer a foster home?  For each home we find we can save a poor soul and get one more soul out of the hell that is the public dog shelter in Romania.  Each and every one of you can help dogs like these so please do not look away.  Please take that moment and help save a life.

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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.