Romania’s stray dog situation is a complex problem which has been well publicised in recent years, and when IAPWA first visited Romania in 2016, the animal welfare issues were very apparent. However, we also quickly realised that it is a country full of remarkable, dedicated people working tirelessly with limited resources to give these dogs a better life, and we wanted to help.
The stray dog problem in Romania started in the 1970s, when the country-wide move towards urbanisation resulted in many people moving into small apartments and no longer being able to keep their pet dogs. This led to a rise in pet abandonment and over the following years, the number of stray dogs increased as these abandoned pets began breeding freely, until their numbers were out of control. Attempts to reduce the stray dog numbers through the introduction of the controversial dog culls in the early 2000s, in turn led to an increase in private shelters and sanctuaries taking in dogs to protect them from the culls. Later changes in legislation prohibited the return of stray dogs to the streets after capture, even if they had been neutered. The end result is the current situation, where a huge number of dogs are housed long-term in overcrowded, under-resourced shelters across the country without enough homes for them all to go to, and those still on the streets are at constant risk of disease, injury, or capture and euthanasia.
We believe that in order to create real, lasting change, various factors need to be addressed together, rather than focusing only on one piece of the puzzle. Through our Romania programme we are committed to creating a positive impact in the long term whilst also tackling the immediate welfare needs of animals. We strongly believe that the only way to achieve our goals is by working in collaboration with other organisations and individuals who share our vision and ethos.
Mobile Veterinary Clinic
In 2019, we launched our Mobile Veterinary Clinic which is a key element of this programme. Fully fitted with surgical facilities in the back of the truck and a large awning to provide protection from the elements for dogs recovering from their surgery, the Mobile Clinic allows us to reach animals in areas where veterinary facilities are unavailable or inaccessible.
We’re also delighted to have partnered with Battersea Dogs and Cats Home for this important project and look forward to working with them to change the lives of animals in Romania.
Donate to help animals in Romania today
If you would like to make a difference to the lives of animals in Romania, support our work with a donation today. With your support we can make an even bigger difference to the lives of thousands of strays who need our help.