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Life As A Rescuer

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The Reality. What it is like every day living in Romania, written by a Paws2Rescue rescuer:

It took me a while to write this because I am constantly thinking of what words would better express my feelings. I will give it a try because I want everyone to know how it feels like to have a government who does not support animal well-being in any way, how it is to live in a corrupt system in which humanity is sometime regarded as a flaw and not as component part of the human being.

Have you ever felt afraid of going somewhere in your own country? I am sure that in most of the cases the answer is no. Well if you live in Romania and you are an animal lover things change completely! Whenever I go on a holiday in this country I am actually terrified of what I might find on the way, how many animals I will see hit on the streets, how many dead, how many alive trying to survive somehow. I am afraid of stopping by at a gas station along the way because I am certain I will find abandoned dogs there or dogs with medical issues and I will not have the power to help them all, as I wish I could. I have a long history of picking dogs from the gas stations or parking lots because I could not remain indifferent at their suffering. The ones that I could not save have stick with me for so long that I can't even remember and have made me feel miserable and guilty for letting them there…their eyes are the only thing that come into my mind and it breaks my heart. It took me a very long time to realize that the ones who do harm to animals in this country are way more numerous than the ones who want to help and love them. It took me a long time to accept that I could not save them all because I do not have this power…it took me an even longer time to struggle with myself and to accept that I am limited in my willingness to do good to them.

Either way, if you are an animal lover it is depressing to walk around this country. Things have not changed almost at all regarding animals in the past years. The public shelters are horror, the dogs are kept (in most of the cases) in terrible conditions and most of them die without knowing what love feels like. If you go to a public shelter you will have your heart broken to million of tiny pieces that will never be glued together. I admit, I do not have the courage to go in the public shelter and see all of those souls suffering, willing to be free, waging their tails but silently waiting in a death row, …I do not have the heart to see them all there and not be able to do anything for them, to leave them behind once I walk out the gate. I am weak, very weak when it comes to animal suffering…I know and I am guilty for this.

In Romania, if there are animals that people do not have any profit from (like meat, eggs, milk, etc.) nobody cares about them. I often see old dogs being abandoned because… IMAGINE THIS… they are old. I often question myself: how insensible can you be to leave a dog totally defenceless in the middle of nowhere? I never ever find an answer to this! I just wish that the ones who do this get the same treatment when they are old so they know how it feels like to be scared, to be hungry, to suffer in silence not knowing what you did to deserve this. I realized a long time ago that I love more animals than I love people. Their love is incomparable to anything else.

I have a dream that one day I will be able to walk around this country without being afraid of what horrific scenes I will assist to, without trying to not look on the highway to see animals who have died crashed by cars, without being worried that at every 6 months new puppies will be killed or left on the street / woods because people are to ignorant and do not spy their females. We have laws, but what use if they are never applied? People kill, beat, abandon their animals and no one suffers any consequence. The justice is blind, the animals are not important so no measures are taken against anyone. It is just a case that is present today and will be forgotten tomorrow…this is until the next one comes out. It is just like a circle that no one seems to break.

I have a dream that someday people will start neutering their animals so the suffering will end, I have a dream that justice will be made in the name of all the dogs that have died, I have a dream that someday this country will become animal friendly…I just have a dream shared with million of other animal lovers.

I am on a mission to save animals but I also have a dream that someday I will not have to.

Our October Trip

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During October 2017, we took one of our patrons, Wendy Turner-Webster, singer Pippa Langhorne, Wetnose Animal Aid and Green World TV to Romania to show them some of our work, and so they could see the situation for the dogs in Romania for themselves. We visited various shelters – privately owned, where the dogs are given a sanctuary for life. Public shelters, where the government paid dog catchers take dogs, leave them and in most public shelters, inhumanely euthanise them after 14 days.

The conditions in some of the shelters we went to were appalling, and it was distressing for us to see the dogs, many who had lost hope, staring out at us from behind the rusty bars of their prison. Some of the dogs had stopped eating, others were not allowed to eat, because the stronger dogs were fighting over meagre amounts of cheap, cardboard like food. The ground soaked from rain, and covered in faeces and urine. Life doesn’t get much worse.

We spent time in one public shelter where they have accepted help from local and European groups, and we watched our neuter campaign in action, as dogs were brought in from the surrounding area to be spayed and other females from the public shelter were spayed.

Of course we had happy memories too, of Pippa singing inside the public shelter, in a cage where the dogs simply fell silenced, stunned with happiness at the beautiful sounds never heard before.

We had fun with the paralysed dogs – those who have been deliberately run over and lost the use of their limbs. At our rescuers shelter there are over 30 of these dogs, and they have a home for life, enjoying baths, care workers and wheelcarts.

Yet every day, one of the things that blighted our trip was the vast amount of puppies. Ranging from days old – brought into the public shelters who would no doubt die of disease, and many in the streets, fields and simply dumped. Left in cardboard boxes by uncaring owners of their un-neutered dogs. It’s a saddening sight, knowing that not one of these puppies would find a family of its own, that each and every one would have to fight for survival to live to become a junior. Life simply is that bad.

These are just a few reasons why we will continue our spay and neuter campaigns across Romania. In 2018, it will be our 6th year and we will keep neutering. It is vital to stop puppies from being born. Please support us in our work as our team of rescuers saves lives of those in desperate need – every single day.

Urgent Appeal

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Please help! One of our lovely rescuers really needs our help. Her dogs are in outside pens and she just can’t keep them warm. She has tiny puppies who will die if we can’t help her. She desperately needs kennels and we would love to buy her 8, at 80 euros each so we need to raise 640 euros. This rescuer is very special to us; she is in a wheelchair herself yet still battles to save as many dogs as she can. She truly is one of life’s heroes and we would love to ease her burden a little. Please donate, every little truly does help, and literally means the difference between life and death for these souls.

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.

Thank you