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Paws2Rescue Winter 2017 Campaigns

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Saving Lives and Christmas Shoebox Appeal

We are into our fifth year of our winter projects, and this is split into 4 areas:

Prepare for Winter

We are raising donations from September onwards to help rescuers cope throughout emergencies all winter as temperatures drop below -25C and the dogs freeze. Read more…

Save our Seniors

The older dogs simply cannot survive the cold. We have a number of fully assessed dogs over 7 years old desperate for a family home. Read more…

Christmas Shoebox – Merry Fishmas

Our Christmas shoebox appeal for the dogs – send us a shoebox filled with fish treats and food so that the dogs have a special Christmas Day. Read more…

Christmas Shoebox – Orphans Christmas smile

We have chosen 4 orphanages and children’s homes to support this Christmas – send us a shoebox filled with Christmas presents for the children who don’t even have a possession of their own. Read more…

Please see each Project page for more information, and contact us at team@paws2rescue.com for more information on how you can help us this winter.

Portrait of UK foster Bird

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The wonderfully talented Penny from Abracadabbles has painted this beautiful portrait of UK foster boy Bird. She used pastels and pastelmat paper to create this incredible portrait.

Penny will also be donating 5% of comissions to Paws2Rescue.

Thank you so very much again, Penny.
Please follow Penny on Instgram @abracadabbles and on Facebook here.

Educating Romania 2017

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Educating the future generation…

Help us – donating EU3 is the cost of one child’s education for one school year: https://www.youcaring.com/EducatingRomania

In Association with World Animal Protection

History

Romania has had a stray dog problem since at least the 19th century, when stray dogs were rounded up and killed, and owners told to chain their dogs in their yards so they would not be captured as strays. History has testimonials of people being unable to walk the streets at night because of the stray packs of dogs. Other testimonials write about rabid dogs attacking and dogs being aggressive because they were hungry.

In the 1980s as the communist dictator built blocks of flats, the stray dog population again exploded as owners were forced to leave their dogs in the streets. People in rural areas moved into towns to find work, and simply left thousands of dogs, left to fend for themselves in the countryside. Since then the stray dog population has grown into millions.

Recent Times

In September 2013, a media frenzy occurred following the death of a young boy by a privately owned dog. Of course, stray dogs were blamed, and the government ruled to cull all stray dogs. This decision became the start of modern Romania’s reputation in animal management, as a barbaric and corrupt country.

Dogs were being slaughtered in the streets using spades, or any means, and puppies killed with bricks. The capture and kill policy includes every dog and the means of slaughter inhumane, including injection of illegal substances.

And Paws2Rescue was born to help these poor defenceless animals.

Paws2Rescue

Paws2rescue have been working with local NGO’s across Romania since 2013, helping to build private shelters for thousands of dogs, and other animals, and donating for vet treatment for hundreds of horrifically abused dog – dogs abused by humans.

It quickly became clear that our long term strategy needed to include a huge focus on the overall population of dogs and animals. Since 2014, we have been carrying out neuter and spay campaigns, working with our local NGO’s across the country, and in 2016 we extended our focus to include the education of children.

Over the years that we have been working in Romania, being there every month, every year, visiting the poorer villages and rural areas, it has become clear to us that the children actually do not know that they are supposed to be kind to animals. When we went to one village this year, and bent down to stroke a dog who had almost no fur, the children looked at us as though we were aliens. It was a shocking wake up to us.

Of course, children have learned from their families, generation after generation telling the stories about the packs of dogs attacking people, how all dogs are rabid, the priests telling people not to neuter, to chain their dogs in the yards. And it goes on. Children are also witnessing with their own eyes, the horrific Easter traditions of slaughtering the lambs, the abuse to dogs who may steal a chicken egg through hunger.

In the past five years, we have seen the most horrific acts against dogs: raped dogs, eyes pulled out, dogs with their feet axed off – and one teenager’s excuse? “I don’t like dogs”, another’s was “we are poor”. Each time we have seen it, there have been no police justice against the children, because “they don’t know any better”, “this is what their families have taught them” we hear from the police.

WAP

In 2016, we began talking to the WSPA (World Society for Protection of Animals), now of course known as WAP (World Animal Protection). They have built an Animal Care Education programme to be used across primary schools in Romania. 2016 included the finalisation of the programme, writing the books for the teachers and pupils (remembering that in most rural areas of Romania there are no computers). The programme is split across two age groups ages 6 – 9 and 9 – 11 years old. The programme is to be used throughout the whole school year. The school and teachers can choose whether to hold pure animal care lessons, or start introducing animals within lessons such as maths, using animal pictures for counting. In 2016 a trial was held for 400 students across schools, and was a huge success.

WAP achieved the next stage of success when the Romanian Education Ministry approved the programme, allowing it to be officially within the Education programme within Romanian primary schools.

Launch

The programme will be a new lesson “Animal Care” in primary and junior schools from September 2017. The WAP team set up for the schools project have completed their part of the programme and handed over to us. Paws2Rescue have taken the baton, and working with dedicated volunteers in Romania, schools across 14 counties have been invited to take on the education programme in our first year.

Acceptance into our first year of the programme has now closed. Schools now wanting to take part, will wait until either January 2018, or the following September 2018 school year.

The statistics for the September 2017 school year Animal Care lessons:
We have 3,605 children aged 6-9 years old taking part.
We have 2,356 children aged 9-11 years old taking part.
331 teachers are taking part.
7 out of the 42 counties in Romania are taking part.
We only invited 10 out of the 42 counties to take part in Year One due to cost restraints.
17% of all counties are taking part.
36 schools in one county have signed up and will take part.
The cost per child and per teacher is EU3. This is the cost for the whole school year.
The total cost is EU18,876.
Paws2Rescue have to raise 100% of this cost.
This is a huge achievement and the 1st formal education campaign for any UK dog rescue.

This really is a FIRST for a UK registered dog rescue charity: In helping to educate the future generations in Romania, and actively tackling one of the root causes of the problems of such widespread animal abuse in Eastern Europe.

We are a small UK registered charity (registration number 1156882), and we are raising funds for this programme with a unique challenge: For individuals, groups or families to raise just £100 in 100 days. We have prepared fundraising packs, and our team are helping the Challengers as they prepare their events. A perfect way to spend some time in the long school holidays: by helping other children to become educated.

To take part in our challenge, and support this hugely important project, you can contact us: https://paws2rescue.com/be-a-part-of-our-2017-challenge-100pawsofsummer/

Proud to be supported by our Patrons including: Ricky Gervais, Marc Abraham, Wendy Turner-Webster, Sam Womack

And our Ambassadors and supporters including: Peter Egan, Angela and Martin Humphery and Greyhounds in Need.

And our storage partners, Big Yellow self Storage, without whom we would not be able to store donations of dog food and supplies, children’s clothes and our Christmas and Easter orphans shoebox appeals.

Please support us and help us raise donations to Educate Romania 2017.

BE A PART OF OUR 2017 CHALLENGE! #100pawsofsummer

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We are inviting everyone to join us in our 100 day challenge to each raise a minimum of £100 to help us in our work in Romania.

Your donations will go towards our key projects including our education programme in primary schools, neuter campaigns and preparing for winter. Our fundraising pack includes a poster to let people know what we do, and where the donations will go.

You can choose any days between 1st May 2017 and 1st October 2017 to complete this challenge.

Please email us at team@paws2rescue.com for a free fundraising pack which includes many suggestions of ways to raise donations from a sponsored event, to simply making packed lunches for a few weeks and not buying sandwiches.

Get excited with us and be a part of our 2017 challenge #100pawsofsummer

New Patron

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We are proud to announce that the amazing animal advocate, Ricky Gervais has become a Patron for Paws2Rescue. He will help us to raise awareness across the world to the plight of the Romanian dogs.

Announcement!

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The Paws2Rescue team’s hearts are permanently broken, knowing about the horrific abuse of dogs in the dog meat trade. Last year, in South Korea, 300 dogs were rescued from a dog farm near Seoul. As the dogs waited in cramped cages, others were being slaughtered in front of their eyes.

The dog meat trade in South Korea is sickening, and dogs destined for the dinner plate suffer the most extreme deaths imaginable, including many being boiled alive.

In June 2017, Gem, an 18 month old dog meat trade survivor, will leave South Korea forever, flying to the UK and Heathrow airport. Our team fell in love with Gem when they heard of her sickening start to life (she is only 18 months), and we wanted to help her. She will be our first Jindo dog in the UK, thanks to the wonderful rescuer Nami.

The costs of vaccinating and bringing Gem to the UK are huge, and we will be holding our own fundraising events to help her. If you would like to carry out a fundraising event – from a car boot sale to a bungee jump, please contact us and we can help you with an events pack.

What do we do each month, when we fly from the UK to Romania?

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We visit our rescuers and their dogs, we help them with cleaning, or walking or playing with the dogs, we buy them dog food, and strengthen our relationships. We fully assess dogs that are adopted and will travel to the UK or other countries and we feed strays – so many strays. Often, we go alone or with our rescuers as they are called to an emergency for a dog that is seriously injured or abused – (this still occurs at least on a weekly basis, if not more). On some visits, we join our neuter campaigns, we talk with locals, vets and the Romanian national TV. Yet, on every visit, always the low point of our visit, we go to the public shelters.

The local authority paid dog catchers will capture the dogs using dog poles, traumatising the dogs, and bring them to the local public shelter. The dog is then left there. Conditions at public shelters vary: few have kind workers, the cages are kept clean, and the dogs have water and food (even though the food is like cardboard). The public are allowed to visit and adopt a dog, and the dogs are not euthanised. These are the basic conditions that the Romanian law states a stray dog should have.

However, shelters like this are rare to find: most shelters that we have been to are rancid – you can smell them hundreds of yards before your each them – the excrement, and the smell of fear and despair. Workers are hard to find, many do not care about the dogs, and the money allocated by the local authority for the dogs doesn’t always appear to reach the dogs bowls (actually, most don’t have bowls either). Dogs will stay in cramped, dirty, disease ridden cages until they are euthanised. The shelters are supposed to keep the dogs for 14 days, but we have known shelters that kill the dogs within 3 days of arrival. Sadly, the nature of euthanasia is not a kind injection, like the one used in the UK, a range of methods have been used over the past few years – sickening, agonisingly slow and painful deaths, or harsh blows and even injection of illegal substances such as Furidan (even illegal by Romania’s standards).

We visit these shelters to at least take a few dogs out. Do not ask how we choose, because we have no idea, but each time, we do. We have worked with our rescuers to expose many of the worst public shelters, taking TV crews with us, and closing two shelters down last year. We made an arrangement to work with one shelter, to bring food, to improve the dog’s living conditions. Our rescuers in Baia Mare have taken over the running of their public shelter, bringing improved conditions and workers who at least love the dogs. We will help these shelters in neutering the dogs – because they are breeding inside the cages too! Anything that we can physically do to improve the lives of the dogs, we have done, and will do. We continue to speak out for those who have no voice – every day of the year.

Until the government, and each local authorities attitude changes towards the stray dogs, sadly, there is little more that we can do at these public shelters.

To turn back and look into the dogs’ eyes as we walk away and leave them behind breaks our hearts every time, and as long as we live, we will never be able to forget the eyes, and the screaming.

Why is there a stray dog population?

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In the Ceausescu era, (the ex-Romanian Communist Party leader who became President of Romania in 1974, ruling until 1989), people’s land and homes were taken away to pay off Romania’s debts, apartment buildings being built for them to live in instead. Anyone that owned dogs and cats had to turn them loose on the streets, they were not allowed to take them in the apartments. Most were not neutered and people were left powerless as the animals starting breeding on the streets.

Years on, and the dogs started running in packs and scaring people (most were harmless). So most people over the years started fearing and hating the dogs. This may explain why still today we see such violent cases of extreme abuse to dogs.

The mayor of the country’s capital Bucharest stated that the quickest way of getting rid of the strays was mass slaughter, and soon enough other cities followed in suit. For over 20 years the dogs were chased, captured and killed in numerous cruel and painful ways. They have been shot, poisoned, hung, burnt to death or crammed into small kennels to die of hunger and thirst – as they still are today.

The situation for dogs worsened once again in a horrific manner in the autumn of 2013, when stray dogs were accused of killing a boy in Bucharest (even though it has subsequently been discovered that this was not the case). The Romanian president and the press stirred up the hatred towards the animals, and succeeded in pushing through a Law allowing the killing of all dogs after 14 days of their capture, unless the local mayor has the funds to allow the dogs a longer stay at the public shelter.

Despite protests across Europe, petitions, appeals and demonstrations, the Law was accepted anyway. Romania took a huge step back in time. The streets became a frenzy of dogcatchers, and the images from Romania of abuse emerging was so sickening that Paws2Rescue was born to help the dogs.

Today, dogs are still killed using sickening cruel methods, and the Law encourages the mass catching and killings of dogs at public shelters. The President was supported in his campaign by uneducated people, who blindly believed his promises of cleaning the streets through the killings. Stray dogs started to become a big money earner for the government and dog catchers, paid to cleanse the streets.

It is a globally known fact is that the stray dog problem cannot be solved by killing dogs, but only with neutering and by the education of the nation. Yet the slaughter goes on in Romania, against all these facts.

Public shelters are overflowing with dogs, dying in inhumane conditions of starvation, disease, being eaten by other dogs, mistreated and abused by the workers and then killed painfully using inhumane methods.

Today, life as a stray in Romania is truly hell on earth – and the land remains stained red with the blood of the continual murder of innocent puppies and dogs.

Portos

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Portos was found in 2016, after news of a pup that had been seriously attacked circulated on social media. Whilst others took photos and walked past, our rescuer went to save him. He was allegedly attacked by a human with an axe, but we will never know. The photo above is how he was found.

He was taken to the trauma vet, and under-went months of surgery and skin grafts and we visited him there:

Our supporters kind donations paid for this little boy’s vet treatment, surgery and stay. Finally, towards the end of 2016, Portos was finally ready. He had been adopted, and he came to the UK to meet his forever family – in time for Christmas too!:

Black Out Bungee Jump Success!

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A huge thank you to Nia, Will, Keith and Marcus for their black out bungee jump on 11th March 2017.

They raised over £1,000 – thank you to everyone who donated! – the bungee jump team have chosen to fund a neuter campaign with the money raised.

If you would like to raise money to help our work in Romania, please email us so that we can help you with a preparation pack.

Thank you