Romania’s stray dog situation is a complex problem which has been well publicised in recent years. When IAPWA first visited there, the animal welfare issues were very apparent. However, we also saw a country full of dedicated individuals and groups working tirelessly with limited resources to give these dogs a better life and we wanted to help. 

The stray dog problem in Romania worsened 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 pets. This led to a rise in pet abandonment and over the years, the number of stray dogs increased as these abandoned pets began breeding freely, until their numbers were out of control.

The inhumane dog culls in the early 2000s led to an increase in private shelters and sanctuaries taking in dogs to try and protect them. As a result many dogs are housed long-term in shelters that are often struggling, without enough homes for them all to go to. Those still on the streets remain at constant risk of disease and injury, or capture and euthanasia.

We believe that to create lasting change, various factors need to be addressed together to provide a range of solutions for the many issues present.  Alongside our UK and Romanian partners, we’re committed to creating a positive impact in the long term whilst also tackling immediate welfare needs.  This will be delivered one region at a time through a comprehensive programme, the core elements of which are shown below.

Joanne Mackenzie, Programme Manager
Jo is an experienced Veterinary Nurse holding a range of qualifications including Advanced, Clinical and Feline Veterinary Nursing. She has worked in many countries to deliver veterinary services, including Romania, Bosnia, India and Ukraine. She enjoys training on a range of nursing and welfare related topics and is a Lecturer at Dundee and Angus College. In her spare time she is also a Trustee for a charity working with communities in Africa.

Our Work

Veterinary Services
Providing veterinary services through our custom built Mobile Veterinary Clinic
Neutering Campaigns
Neutering & vaccinating dogs and cats through targeted neutering campaigns within the region we work
Sanctuary Support Programme
Supporting the local animal welfare community through our Sanctuary Support Programme
Adoption & Foster Care Solutions
Developing local Adoption & Foster Care solutions to build capacity for this in-country
Education & Community Initiatives
Delivering a range of education and community engagement initiatives
Better protection for animals in law
Addressing legislative needs to improve animal welfare
IAPWA Romania Team
Establishing a local team in Romania, to work alongside our UK team to develop this programme

Romania Project: 2021

2021 was a key year for our Romania project and we are delighted to share some of the highlights below:

Confirming the first zone to work within for this programme following extensive research.

Confirming our Veterinary team for all neutering, vaccination and veterinary care needs.

Over 1,000 dogs and cats neutered in Romania during 2021.

Developing our UK working group to support this programme.

Confirming the first sanctuary for our Sanctuary Support Programme.

Expanding our education and community engagement initiatives to launch in 2022.

Starting the recruitment process for our in country Project Coordinator.

Making extra modifications and improvements to our Mobile Veterinary Clinic.

WATCH: A Day In The Life Of A Romania Neutering Campaign

This year is an ambitious one for our Romania Project, with our team aiming to spay and neuter over 3,000 dogs and cats through our campaigns. We recently completed our first Romania neutering campaign of 2022, organised by our Project Coordinator, Georgiana, and in collaboration with Animal Life Sibiu where the team neutered a total of 502 animals. 

Of course, any successful neutering campaign requires volunteers in well defined roles to ensure the entire process runs smoothly. We couldn’t carry out such crucial work without the support of our amazing volunteers.

A huge thank you to everyone involved!

Goals for 2022 and beyond

2022 is going to be an incredibly exciting and impactful year for our Romania Project and we’re delighted to be able to share some of those plans with you below:

Neutering Campaigns
Neutering 3,000 dogs and cats through the neutering campaigns.
Neutering Campaign Training Programme
Launching a Neutering Campaign Training Programme for those involved with this type of work in Romania so as they can receive valuable experience and knowledge in a live campaign
Sanctuary Support Programme
Making improvements to the first sanctuary we are working with that will make a big difference for the animals they care for and their team as part of our Sanctuary Support Programme
Welfare Workshop
Launching an in-country Welfare Workshop for individuals and groups within the local animal welfare community in partnership with the sanctuary we are working with.
Special Christmas Mission
Delivering a special Christmas mission through which our teams will be visiting sanctuaries to deliver much needed supplies to help them through the harsh winter; including food, warm bedding and toys.
Project Coordinator Recruitment
Finalising the recruitment of our local full time Project Co-ordinator in early 2022 to complete our team.
Develop Local Adoption and Foster Care
Working with the local animal welfare community to develop local adoption and foster care capacity.
Legislative Review
Completing a legislative review in late 2022 to factor into our objectives for 2023.
"Being part of IAPWA Romania enables me to make a difference to the lives of companion animals in my country. From providing veterinary treatment to dogs and cats in need, to working within neutering campaigns to help put an end to unnecessary suffering, it's wonderful to work within a compassionate and dedicated team working towards a collaborative goal for the stray animals of Romania."
Sofia Cnab
Veterinary Assistant

Thanks to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

We’re grateful for all the support Battersea Dogs and Cats Home have provided to IAPWA for this project and look forward to continuing to work with them in 2022.

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.

Discover more about IAPWA's projects in Borneo and Penang Island

Our first project, established in 2009, is based in Sabah, Borneo, where we have a team providing veterinary care and support to thousands of dogs and cats every year. Our companion animal programmes have since developed in Penang Island, find out more.


IAPWA have been working in Borneo since 2009 to provide a lifeline for animals through the support of our veterinary team, as well as providing aid to local sanctuaries and running outreach programmes in remote regions.
Find out more

Penang Island

In Penang Island, IAPWA are the first partner of the Penang Island Council (MBPP) to establish and manage a humane program for the strays who live there; a program that helps to save the lives of thousands of strays every year.
Find out more