26|05|2017 – 30|05|2017
I travelled to Bucharest, Romania as part of Paws2Rescue. We arrived at the hotel pretty late the first night, so we just got some sleep to prepare for our early start the next morning.
The next morning was real miserable, still warm outside, but torrential rain. We decided to visit one of our rescuers at home, meet the dogs in the house, and keep out of the rain, it was a lovely relaxed morning, getting to know our rescuers and the dogs.
As we pulled up so did someone else, they had a dog that was found injured on the streets, the old dog looked as if he had had surgery on his leg, but had ended up on the street again and his wound had reopened, luckily he was brought to safety and this lovely old boy will receive treatment and love from our rescuers.
Afterwards we decided to visit the Centre of Hope; A state of the art veterinary hospital funded 100% on donations, run by Stefan and his team, the hospital has opened to treat stray dogs, low income pets and rescues, and also private pets. Stefan describes Centre of Hope as an “embassy for animals”. The hospital is still very new, but it has been built and equipped for the future and beyond. So many life saving surgeries and treatments have already taken place at the hospital already, and they will continue to grow and develop with time and science.
Later on our second day we came across an elderly lady sitting outside her home close to a busy road, she had her rescued dogs and cats with her, dangerously close to traffic we offered her some food for her animals, and encouraged her to go back inside, a wonderful old lady just trying to do what she can for the animals she finds on the streets.
Day three, we went to visit our wonderful NGO Kola Kariola (This is where my Ricky came from.), I was so excited for a full day at the shelter playing with the dogs. Our first stop was to visit the disabled dogs, so happy and full of love, they special dogs live in a purpose built shelter, special flooring allows them to scoot around, it’s truly incredible to watch each paralysed dog adapt to their disability, it doesn’t get them down. Each dog has their own custom cart, so at playtime they are able to go outside into the surrounding fields and run free. We support the disabled dogs through our sister HEART.
Kola Kariola has so many perfect puppies, dogs, and senior dogs available for adoption.
With around 500 dogs in their care, our rescuers dedication, resilience, and love never seems to run out. The work they do is truly never ending, calls and messages every minute about stray, abandoned, or injured dogs. They can’t do it all, but they certainly do try their very hardest.
Don’t think it stop’s at dogs either, at Kola Kariola they also have cows, bulls, pigs, goats, sheep, horses, and donkey’s.
I opened a bag of dog treats while we were in an enclosure with our dogs, and we became trapped when Ronaldo and his buddy came across for some tasty treats too. Eek!
Later on once we had finished playing at the shelter, we went along to the Kola Kariola food collection which is held once a month, it is hard work to feed 500 dogs that eat around 300kg of food a day. That food needs to come from some place. We managed to raise some money and buy food to go onto the van back to Kola Kariola, and also some food to go to our wonderful rescuer Mada.
We also support another 2 NGO’s plus dozens of individual rescuers who struggle to raise money each month to feed their dogs and pay for vet treatment, if you would like to donate towards feeding our sweet dogs please paypal firstname.lastname@example.org or donate by text, text paws39 to 70070 followed by £1 £2 £3 £5 or £10, or you can visit our Amazon Wishlist.
That evening I had the pleasure of going to visit the lovely Mada at her home, I have spoken to Mada online for a while and even wrote a blog post on this incredible lady before Christmas which you can check out here. Mada is a truly dedicated woman, the work she does is tireless, a true inspiration. (She would hate me for saying this stuff, but it’s true.) She is a real friend, and a genuinely kind hearted angel.
Spending time with the recently rescued puppies who have just recovered from being unwell was so lovely, visiting the kitties, Cappy the goat, Tris the horse, the back yard kids, the hedgehogs, pigeons, a chicken and a duck. It was a great experience after hearing about them all for so long. Mada always talks so passionately about the “Misfit Superheros” It was amazing to finally meet everyone!
If you are interested in adopting a puppy, dog, or cat, please visit Paws2Rescue.com or email email@example.com. We support Mada and help her get her cats adopted through Paws2Whiskers.
On day 4 we visited a public shelter, on our way a dog ran out into traffic, she missed the cars and got back into the field at the side of the road, Marius from Kola Kariola was in the van in front of us, he turned around, opened his van door and called the dog, she ran over and jumped into his van. Another precious life saved from the streets.
We got to the public shelter, not sure where we were or even the name of the shelter, Marius stayed with his new rescue at the van. This was a “nicer” public shelter, the cages were still unclean, but at least the dogs had food and water. This shelter had around 1000 dogs in 200 enclosures, the worker said they were not a kill shelter, but Romanian law states that public shelters must kill dogs after 14 days of capture. We were not allowed to adopt any dogs, no matter which enclosure we chose there was a reason we could not have a dog. Adoptions are free at this shelter, but sadly they would not allow us to have any dog.
On the way back into Bucharest from the Public shelter, Marius got a call about a dog who had been hit by a car, the petrol station workers were keeping the dog safe, the dog had a broken leg and again Marius took on this dog, he would be going to the vet for treatment. This dog was remembered, he lived close by the the petrol station and our team fed him and his friend at the grocery store the month before, we were sad that his friend would now be alone, but not for long, our angel Elena (Marius’s wife.) and her friend Raluca appeared in the van, she had gone to collect the other dog, they can now be together again as best friends, now safe and off the streets.
To end our day, we went off to feed some stray dogs, we bought them some good food and treats, so friendly and full of love, it must be nice for them to receive some love back.
Our last day, we went back to Kola Kariola to have one last play with our dogs, it was lovely and sunny, just the perfect day.
Unfortunately our play time was cut short, a sweet pup that was found a few weeks ago who had a cut the entire was down his face (He has had treatment and his face has healed wonderfully.) was sick, he was a little lifeless and would not eat. With fears it was Parvovirus which can kill puppies within 24 hours we rushed this sweet baby to the vet, he tested negative for Parvo, but we left him there for treatment. Since returning home we have found out that it is Babesiosis, which is a disease contracted from ticks, ticks are unavoidable when dogs are living in the streets. We just have to hope he can make it through treatment, he has been through so very much already.
We went on to meet the trauma vet, a true miracle worker. Kola Kariola will rescue any dog no matter of size, age, or injuries. It was shocking to see these extreme cases in real life, truly horrifying, most will be able to recover and live their life only knowing love from now on. Some dog’s still require multiple reconstructive surgeries. I’m sorry if the following images are upsetting, but it’s the harsh reality of the life of a street dog in Romania.
From left to right, the first dog was found after being hit by a car, and requires surgery for a broken leg. The second dog, a more extreme case was found after he was ran over by a tram, he has lost part of his face and has also lost half his front leg, and also lost a paw on his other front leg, he will receive reconstructive surgeries once he has healed. The third dog was found with a tumour on his face.
Unfortunately these life changing surgeries do not come for free, our rescuers bill is around £2,000, Paws2Rescue paid £500 while we were there, but this is why we fundraiser and ask for donations so we can save more lives like these ones. If you would like to donate towards helping these sweet dogs and more like them receive surgeries they desperately need please paypal firstname.lastname@example.org or donate by text, text paws39 to 70070 followed by £1 £2 £3 £5 or £10.
After our visit we headed to the airport to return back to the UK, we were quiet on the flight as we reflected on our trip. It is always so very sad to leave the dogs and other animals behind.
If you would like more information on Paws2Rescue and the work we do, also how to get involved, or information on adoption please visit Paws2Rescue.com. You can also find out about our other 2017 projects here.
Thank you all for reading about my trip to Romania, even if you can’t adopt, foster, or donate, at least you can share, tell a friend, and spread awareness. Every little truly does help, even if it is just spreading the word. It is always so very much appreciated.
Love & Peace, SBB. Xo