Springtime brings with it the promise of new beginnings, and when Wetnose Animal Aid first traveled to Romania in April 2014 to help dogs in dire need, the seeds of hope for a brighter tomorrow for canines who are living and dying in nightmarish conditions were sown.
During an October 2015 return trip to the country she has taken to her heart, Wetnose Animal Aid founder Andrea Gamby-Boulger found that positive change is slowly taking root. A group consisting of Paws2 Rescue founder Alison Standbridge, Wild at Heart Foundation co-founder Nadine Kayser and volunteer Danielle, and Wetnose Animal Aid's Andrea Gamby-Boulger began their visit by bringing vital food supplies to Odai Public Shelter.
Overpopulated with 600 dogs, there is too little food and a lack of veterinary treatment, and unneutered dogs breed and give birth in the kennels in a continuation of a sad cycle that has sealed the fate of so many Romanian dogs. Two fortunate puppies were pulled from the shelter to receive immediate care from a vet located 90 minutes away. A pup the group dubbed Danny was coughing and very sleepy, while George was extremely thin and had lost his fur.
Here's another pic of Danny Wetnose Animal Aid have helped with vet fees in Romania. pic.twitter.com/CBbKAOwRny— Wetnose Animal Aid (@WetnoseAnimal) October 13, 2015
Day two of the journey offered a glimpse at the dawn of a new day for the country's canines in crisis as the group paid a visit to the Asociatia Pentru Protectia Animalelor Kola Kariola. In stark contrast to the disorder and despair of the public shelter in Bucharest, this shelter offers dogs room to run, a swimming pool to splash around in hot weather, and most important of all, the loving attention of the shelter's owners, Marius and his wife, Elena.
The couple have worked 14-hour days throughout 2015 to complete the shelter before winter sets in, and in that time new buildings have been erected on the property and larger kennel space has been created.
On the third and final day of the trip, the team stopped by a shelter in Fundulea, bringing with them much-needed meals to feed the 80 dogs in the facility's care for the day.
Although there has been a slight shift in Romania's attitude toward street dogs, it will take the combined effort of people around the world with a passion for compassion to create long-lasting change. Statistics state that one female dog can give birth to approximately 12 puppies each year -- that's more than 60 puppies in her lifetime. If all of those dogs have pups of their own, more than 50,000 puppies will be born from that one original dog into a world where strays struggle daily just to stay alive.
The answer to the overpopulation problem is Trap, Neuter and Return programs. The reduction in the population of stray dogs will equate to fewer of our four-legged friends suffering and dying in the streets, and more help for existing dogs.
Donations to aid these programs, pay vet bills, provide life-saving sustenance for shelter dogs, and support the ongoing efforts of caring Romanian citizens like Marius and Elena of Asociatia Pentru Protectia Animalelor Kola Kariola are greatly needed. To make a contribution via PalPal, click the donate button on Wetnose Animal Aid's website.