December 2021, and we went back to Romania – twice! Our visits always pre-planned, often different UK team members going, each visit with booked and busy agendas, a huge amount of driving, and always very little sleep. Some of our trips are emotionally exhausting, yet we stay strong, in awe of our team in Romania, who have to do this day in and day out.
Yet what we were to stumble across in December chilled us to the very core…
Welcome to Moldova Noua…
Probably the lowest point of our visit was the sadness, once again, of the animals in Moldova Noua. On the south west of Romania, bordering Serbia, and in a county where the culture is very different from other areas where we have been to. A culture where so very few people in the places we visited care anything st all about the dogs or any animal at all. So disheartening, every day an uphill battle, knowing that the dogs lives here are in potential danger…. Every single day.
The public shelter which the town hall responsible for, had 70 plus dogs inside: they provide 3 bags of food a day, and an elderly worker who simply throws food into the cages.
For almost two years, we have been donating food to feed the dogs daily, and helping by providing and financing a private worker to clean and look after the dogs. However, with the breakdown of negotiations with the Mayor over the management of the dogs – because he is determined to euthanise them all – our worker had been banned from entering the public shelter, and the gates were chained closed.
This was the reason for our visit to see the dogs and see locally what could be done to help, and after “finding’ a way in, the horror that we saw totally broke our hearts in two:
Life here had always been shocking, but this was the worst, and we cleaned the dogs, bought food for the day and gave them all water:
By the time we left the public shelter, there were 43 dogs left inside, and we are continuing our quest to move as many as we possibly can out.
The first dog who left was our climbing girl Daisy, because every single week, her attempts to leave were simply the most desperate:
And here she is leaving the shelter with our lovely Kelly:
A very complex and ongoing dispute at this shelter, which has continued into 2022. However, with discussions with the town hall continuing again now, at least our help is permitted, so the dogs are being cleaned, fed and cared for, every single day. (this costs around EU90 a day for food and wages).
With Moldova Noua being one of the poorest regions in Romania, it is a difficult area to work in. So few people care about animals, and our work in the community is so vital.
We bought our neuter clinic here in December 2020 and we have formally launched, and started a continuous and free campaign there for 2022 – and locals are starting to bring their cats and dogs in too!
As our education in the community continues, to give you an idea of the levels of poverty here, here is one home that we were welcomed into with open arms – the equivalent of council housing in the UK, only living here on Moldova Noua sadly is so much harsher – especially when a whole family lives and sleeps in just one room: