Born To Die?

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Iasi, Romania

Paws2Rescue have been helping the dogs in Iasi for quite some time. We have adopted dogs from the shelters and built partnerships in the County. In January 2018 we went to stay in Iasi, and took time to visit the two public shelters with 1,000 dogs. With temperatures dropping to -17C during our trip, it was a difficult trip for us. Bitterly cold, and snowing almost all day too, we found the conditions difficult, yet it is worse for dogs. Seeing dogs laying on the snow shivering broke our hearts, some digging out holes in the snow to keep them warm, but what was far worse was seeing the pups. We thought how unfair life can be for a tiny pup, born unwanted as s stray, because people do not neuter their dogs.

Iasi is better than other areas in Romania that we have been to, and the shelters do not kill at the moment, (although as they fill up, they will have no choice but to comply with the law and euthanise). Locals do adopt pups, but in the meantime, conditions at the shelters are no good for pups, and the shelter conditions are still restricted by public funding.

There simply is no money for vaccines. It costs EU7 (about £5.50) to vaccinate a pup against Distemper and Parvo, or EU15 (about £13) to vaccinate a pup against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Parainfluenza and Lepto.

A small price to pay for saving a life.

Why not hold a small fundraiser towards our Iasi Puppy Appeal and be a lifesaver.

Iasi Neuter 2018

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Cats have paws too!

We work closely with our rescue team in the east of Romania in Iasi. An amazing and dedicated team, they work so hard helping the cats and dogs, including the 1,000 dogs in the public shelter. The dogs are neutered in the shelters, but the cats need help too.

As with the whole country, there are rescue groups focusing on neutering dogs and yet there are thousands upon thousands of un neutered cats too. With many cat owners wanting to neuter, but simply not being able to afford it either, the problem multiplies every day.

During our visit to Iasi in January 2018, we went to watch our wonderful vet carry out neutering of cats, the operation was very quick, and the incisions smaller than our nails.

Throughout 2018, we will be carrying out neuter campaigns in Iasi. One neuter costs EU16.50, equivalent to £15.

Neuter campaigns, don’t all have to be huge, weekends long, large numbers, for our Iasi cat neuter campaign, we can carry out a campaign with just 10 neuters at a time. Little and often, all year long.

If you are holding a small fundraising event of your own, a coffee morning, a cake sale, dress down day at work, you can fund your own campaign in Iasi!

Our rescuers can make a small poster to include in the photos to thank you.

Please help us and support our neutering campaign – it is the only way to reduce the stray and unwanted population of cats.

Our neutering campaigns are supported by our patron Ricky Gervais.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, we hope that you will support us in helping the cats. From Oana and the team in Iasi.

Is corruption still rife? Romania 2018

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by Paws2Rescue on 14th January 2018

“The Scourge of Scamville”? Valcea, Romania 2018.

In 2014, the county of Valcea earned this title in the Daily Mail when it became the cyber-crime capital of the WORLD. This proudly followed quite a feat in 2013 when the Mayor was imprisoned for bribery, asking money in return for decisions.

He was replaced by the current Mayor, who has already had two prison sentences for corruption.

With the announcement that the dogs in Valcea public shelter will be killed starting from tomorrow, it makes us wonder why.

This public shelter has been supported for two years by a registered Finnish NGO Kirputtajat Ry, along with a local NGO. The dogs at this public shelter have food, pallets, kennels, bowls, medical treatment and are all neutered.

In October, just a few months ago, we were inside this public shelter, and spent a huge amount of time inside the cages too. We supported the Kirputtajat Ry neuter programme, and the physical shelter conditions were, and are, better than some of the private shelters we saw during that trip.

With the past reputation of Valcea, which used to be an industrial county, we have to wonder – is this about corruption and money?

Around £50 to capture each dog is a huge amount locally, where the average wage is under EU200 a month. Some of the dogs had two tags when we saw them, so money collected twice. Kill the dogs, empty the shelter, hunt for more dogs, whether they are owned or strays, and the money pours in. Is this a policy that Europe are proud of?

There are many good vets in Romania, and a thank you to the current vet, and all those in Valcea who refused to go and work at the shelter – because they realised that euthanasia is not necessary. Shame on the vet from outside the county that has agreed to come and do the dirty work and become the new Killer of Valcea.

The law in Romania does allow euthanasia when the dog shelter is full, but with Valcea’s past reputation, how can anyone check how the dogs will be euthanised? This shelter is NOT full, there ARE adoptions, and donators in the EU are helping by funding the running of this shelter. Whilst many public shelters in Romania are killing fields, this shelter has no reason to become one and as the world is once again DISGUSTED with Valcea, we ask “what can anyone do to help?”:

Do petitions ever work? We can only try, and this one is set up by the local NGO who are in the public shelter:

You can send an email to the Mayor Mircia Gutau, but probably best to be nice and not mention his prison sentences for corruption: You can comment on his Facebook page – only he has been deleting comments after they are written.

The new killer “vet”? His name is Gheorghe Ciornei. Pray for his soul, as he is about to stain the land of Valcea with the blood of their dogs.

We can help take dogs out, but that will not save the 500, nor the next 500 dogs. Please do not send money because the only solution for these dogs is for them not euthanise.

If the euthanasia starts, as planned, the global reputation of Valcea county as “The Scourge of Scamville” in our minds will simply become “Dog murderers of Europe”.

We will help as many dogs as we can, but in the meantime we pray for our rescuers and dog lovers in Romania, and for the dogs – they didn’t ask to be born there.

Happy Stitches

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Our neutering campaigns continue into 2018…

by Paws2Rescue January 2018

In Partnership

The project began in October 2017, as a partnership between: Paws2Rescue, CVD Farmamed (Dr. Diana Voicu, veterinarian) and Banca DVS (community organizer).

Main Objective

Reduce the number of abandoned dogs and cats in one of the key peripheral communes near Bucharest, by spaying and neutering dogs and cats with owners/caretakers that have limited or no financial capacity to otherwise pay for a spay/neuter surgery.

Project Goals

  • Reduce abandonment
  • Reduce accidental litters
  • Reduce animal cruelty
  • Reduce number of strays injured/killed in RTAs and cruelty incidents.
  • Reduce viral disease epidemics
  • Promote animal welfare
  • Promote responsible ownership: vaccination, microchipping and registration (compliance with legislation)

Schedule 2017 – Completed

Phase one – 20 spays (COMPLETE – October 2017)

11 cats

9 dogs

  • Two pregnant females
  • One retained testicle male
  • One RTA dog
  • All rescued dogs

Phase two – 50 spays (COMPLETE – November 2017)

During December 2017, our partner vet was able to give food to those less well-off dog owners thanks to your kind donations from the UK:

Schedule 2018

The average cost of one neuter is EU25, which is c £22. (Obviously females cost more than males (EU30 against EU20)). Our campaign took a break in December 2017 and early January 2018 due to the cold weather and to funding resources.

We are keen to resume our campaign in early 2018. Research shows that just one female will lead to 67,000 pups being born in her lifetime. Spaying just one female at £22 is preventing this many unwanted pups being born in Romania – being born into an unwanted and life full of terror and pain.

Please support our Happy Stitches campaign so that we can neuter through the whole of 2018.

You can donate here at

Highlights of 2017

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2017 Paws2Rescue

Our UK team has been in Romania every month, with 17 trips in 2017, and we have made huge steps forward, including the achievement of all our projects which had been set in 2016.

Highlights month by month…

Our year started in January, with snowdrifts up to 10 feet high, as we shovelled snow in temperatures of – 25C during the day, digging dogs out of snowdrifts.

February arrived and our dreams came true in Baia Mare in the north of Romania. We brought running water to our NGO partner shelter there, thanks to everyone who donated. The team had been looking after 165 dogs by carrying water, half a km from the main road. Bringing running water to the shelter was a huge benefit to them all.

In March, we were able to bring solar panels and self generating electricity to one of our NGO partners’ shelters in Calarasi. A huge step forward in being able to heat water, and so desperately needed there, with over 500 dogs in their care. March also saw our first huge spay campaign of the year, in Constanta, Romania:

During our trip in April, we were happy to deliver chocolate eggs from our children’s Easter Egg appeal to children across Bucharest and some of the villages around. It was wonderful to see your donations being devoured by such happy young children, most of whom never receive an egg. Your gestures from the heart meant so much to us.

In May, after the shocking floods in Peru, and seeing the dogs drowning in the rising floodwaters, we were only too happy to work on a project with a local rescue out there. We supported a neuter campaign, presenting an award to a school for their outstanding levels of animal care, and helping stray dogs in need with treatments.

June and July, our focus turned to the horrific events in other parts of the world, as the dog meat festivals in China and South Korea started. Working with local rescuers, we flew 3 jindo dogs from South Korea to the UK, having rescued them from the sickening dog meat farms out there.

In July, we took Greyhounds in Need to Romania to see our work, and to visit one of the public shelters. As in many countries, greyhounds are used and then abused, and the charity has since adopted two of our rescued greyhounds and re-homed them.

In August, our founder, Alison Standbridge was nominated as the UK’s Most Inspirational Woman, run by the Daily Mail. With a one page national newspaper article about Alison and our work, it was a great opportunity for raising awareness across the UK.

September, and our team could finally breathe out. Our hugest achievement to date. Schools across 7 counties in Romania included our Animal Care lesson within their primary school curriculum. Already approved by the Romanian education Ministry, following our pilot the year before, finally our hard work and huge fund-raising efforts (£12,000 was the cost) were all made worthwhile when children returned to school.

In the autumn, various members of our team flew out to Romania, and within one six week period, we had 4 separate trips. One of these was to take Wetnose Animal Aid, once of our Patrons, and one of our Ambassadors on a visit across Romania, accompanied by a film crew. We rescued dogs from the most horrific shelter, and neutering in the public shelter during our visit. Raising wider awareness across media and the UK is an essential part of our work.

Following our visit, in October, we were able to donate the full cost of a CCTV system thanks to Paws2Rescue and Wetnose Animal Aid donators, to our NGO rescuer’s shelter. Following a break-in where the animals were let out the cages, and some tragically did not survive, this was vital to protect the dogs and animals.

October was the start of one of our neuter campaigns with CityVet in Bucharest, helping to tackle the root cause of the stray problem is key, and over 125 cats and dogs were neutered.

Happy Stitches became a reality in November, and our ongoing neuter campaign in Jilava, where we intend to continue neutering until every stray and every owned pet is neutered. Obviously, this is always reliant on donations, and the campaign will stop and start as funding dictates. We are committed to continue this into 2018.

During November, our Prepare for Winter campaign started releasing donations to small rescuers – those who get no, or little financial support, some who are not on social media. We used our Prepare for Winter donations that we had been raising since August and were able to buy straw, kennels and food for so many dogs. This campaign was an absolute lifeline in the communities difficult to reach.

As the year drew to a close, our final campaign of the year in December drew in. Our enormous Christmas Shoebox appeal, in its fifth year, had been embraced by the whole country. With collection points during November from Scotland to Cornwall, the public donated Christmas shoeboxes for orphans and children, and winter food for the strays. At Big Yellow Self Storage in Sutton, we loaded up the articulated lorry – with 40 tons of donations – and as the lorry set off for Romania, we prepared to fly out there for its arrival.

The week before Christmas, we were out in Romania, and it was all about the children: we met with the Bucharest council, taking dogs into a nursery school to promote animal care and adoptions, we spent emotional hours with orphans, and drove into the country to Moldova. We met with children who have literally nothing. Absolutely nothing at all. We brought Father Christmas and tons of Christmas presents and knitted jumpers, and thousands of pounds of food from the supermarkets out there. There are no words to describe the happiness and appreciation on the sallow, skinny yet happy faces, as we were honoured to share your gifts of love.

All through the Year…

  • We carried out neuter campaigns throughout the year, and across the country for the fourth year in a row, including a huge event over the weekends in March, in Constanta, campaigns in Bucharest, inside two public shelters, and our massive Happy Stitches campaign, as we continue our dreams of neutering every dog in Jilava county.
  • We rescued dogs from public shelters, every month, in ones and twos, those who were on death row, and would certainly not have been alive today without our help. We had 3 large public shelter visits, where on these occasions we took out large numbers of dogs. We have taken dogs from 11 public shelters across Romania and from varying conditions. Today, almost all of these are adopted into family homes, with our focus in 2018 on those still waiting for families. It is never our intention to save a dog from a public shelter, only for it to live behind bars in a private shelter.
  • Our work across Romania expanded into counties that we have not worked in over the four preceding years, and our work continues to be with 3 partner NGO’s and 30 rescuers. There are still over 2,400 dogs in our rescuers care, over 100 cats and a number of other animals.
  • We have continued to lobby and speak with government in Romania at different levels, and we dream that the continual pressure from Paws2Rescue and many, many animal lovers in Romania and across the world, will one day make a real change.
  • With over 400 dogs adopted into the UK, 1 into Germany and 2 in to France, our adoption programme has been a huge success. During 2017 we assessed every dog and pup in Romania, before it left Romania to travel to a family home, and this has really helped us to evaluate the characters of the dogs.
  • Our rescuers took 703 dogs who were in dire need of help from the streets. As a rule, we do not take “any” dog from the street, because our own rescuers and foster homes would be full within no time, sadly. The 703 dogs range from pregnant dogs on the main road, many hit by cars and left to die, dogs seriously abused by humans – the dogs who have high vet bills, maybe never homeable, those that no one else wants to rescue, but those who are at serious risk of death.

Our work in the UK…

  • Fundraising is at the heart of our work, because without the kindness of donations, we would not be able to help so many animals in such desperate need.
  • We attended events across the country, including the Vegan Festival in Edinburgh, Gay Pride in Brighton and Pup Aid in London. We work tirelessly to continue to raise awareness to the plight of our dogs, and support other charities in their work too.
  • Braver members of the team took on Challenges – with Nia doing a bungee jump over a river in the pitch dark – overcoming her fear of heights for those few seconds to raise £1,000 towards a neuter campaign.
  • In August and October, we had visits to the UK from our rescuers. We arranged events so that adopters could come with their dogs, and we had truly memorable times with them all. It is so great for the rescuers to come over from Romania, and to meet the families who have adopted their dogs, and to be reunited with their dogs again.
  • Of course, our adoptions, UK transport and homecheck teams are constantly working long hours (we are all volunteers), running the foster and adoption of dogs, moving dogs into their forever homes, answering phone calls and dealing with challenges. It is a huge, and rewarding part of our work here in the UK. We have adopted over 2,000 dogs into family homes over the past 5 years, and 400 in 2017. Many of these dogs have been rescued by our team from the most horrific situations.

How do we fundraise?

  • Our Facebook Paws2Dream auction is a big source of fundraising for us, as members donate items to be bid on, and we simply pay the postage costs.
  • Small monthly direct debits from supporters: every penny, every pound, really does add up, and helps us to continue to support our rescuers with vet bills and food for the dogs.
  • Social media appeals.
  • In 2017, and with a huge cost attaching to our education campaign, we asked 100 people to raise £100 in our first PawsofSummer appeals. It was a great success, and it was wonderful to see so many supporters who we see as the Paws family, taking part.
  • Supporters or adopters holding their own fundraising events – from coffee mornings, to parachute jumps, every single event is a huge help. Many a weekend our team have been selling at car boot sales to help raise donations.
  • It was truly fantastic to receive a few 4-figure donations in 2017, but other than these, fundraising for our day to day work in Romania, and all our projects, came from the above.

Summarising, we have made huge step forwards with our key education and neuter programmes in 2017 and in raising awareness for the dogs. Our team are all volunteers, and we work tirelessly, every day … because these dogs are in our hearts and souls. We will continue to speak out for those who have no voice.

Patitas a Rescatar Peru!

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February – March 2018 our team are going back to South America.

by Paws2Rescue

Following our neutering project in 2017, we are excited to announce that our team are once again heading off to Peru in South America, in February to carry out animal welfare programmes in the cities, villages and shanty towns, returning to the UK in March. A busy programme has been planned for Kerry, Yoshi and the team, and the trip will start in Lima and El Agustinu. Our street clinic will provide vaccination and treatment for the locals owned and stray dogs. The team are honoured to be meeting with the Mayor and local council.

As February is the start of summer, and temperatures are start in the mid to late 20’s C the ticks are out in force: we will be carrying out pre-promoted campaigns for tick and de-worming for hundreds of dogs. Of course, key to the control of the stray animal population is neutering, and our aim is neuter 200 dogs whilst our team are there in our neuter programme.

Our team will head to the Andes and to Ayacucho and Huamanga and continue the campaign there, including leaflet distributions on animal care and treatments.

Travelling to Cieneguilla and visiting the local dog shelter and orphanage will no doubt be an emotional part of the team’s trip too, but working with the children and stray dogs is key to our education programme in helping future generations to care for animals.

With suitcase allowances of only 64kg each, the difficulties of taking medicine into Peru, and the comparative cost to purchase cheaper locally, our wish list will be light and specifically focused.

The cost of neutering one dog is around £8, a total of £1,600 for 200 dogs. We will be following up our 2017 Peru education work and will buy locally a projector and chip, which is vital to ongoing education and will be used to show videos across schools and the communities. Already working with the local governments, local police and amazing local friends, our commitment is to continue to be education on animal care and control.

The total costs of our trip, including the £1,600 for the neuter campaign, the projector and de-worming tablets, leaflet distribution on a scale of thousands, and our street clinic, we are aiming to raise £2,000 for team Peru. Thank you for your support of our work as Paws2Rescue continue to help animals in need across the world.

Please donate and support our work in Peru, 2018. Or donate to Kerry at:

Peru campaign 2017:

Concrete for Baia Mare

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Would you want your dog to live like this? For only EU30, you could change this boy’s life.

Helping rescued dogs in such desperate need.

by Paws2Rescue in 2018

We are in our 4th year of partnership with NGO Adapostul de Caini din Baia Mare, saving the dogs in Baia Mare and surrounding towns. Their work includes running their own private shelter with around 165 dogs, taking dogs in desperate need into foster homes, and working to run the public shelter in Baia Mare which is hugely overcrowded and has over 450 dogs.

Many of the dogs at this shelter are medium size, but they share one thing in common – the temperament of most of these dogs is amazing, and a credit to the small, but very hard-working team in socialising them with humans.

In 2016, we ran a neuter campaign in partnership with them for the whole year. This meant that anyone in the town or villages around could bring their own dogs or strays in for free neuter, and we worked with two vets on this programme.

At the start of 2017, we brought running water to the shelter, thanks to your kind donations. This meant that the team of two volunteers no longer needed to carry buckets of water from half a km away to feed and clean the 165 dogs.

During the winter of 2017, we bought a few new kennels, and wood to repair broken kennels, and our amazing supporters donated to ensure that every dog had a roof over the kennel part of their enclosure.

The next step in their improvements is so desperately needed – concrete. Every time the rain falls, the stones in the enclosures sink into the mud, and it is impossible for workers to clean, and for the dogs to stay dry. It is such a huge cost, that cement has only ever been a dream.

The cost of the concrete is EU5,000. With 25 large enclosures and 5 small enclosures, it is £166 per enclosure. This may sound a lot, but with 165 dogs, the cost is EU30 per dog. Compared to the health, well-being and happiness of these dogs lives, it is a small price to pay, at only EU30, approximately £27 per dog.

With EU1,500 already raised by our NGO, our aim is still to raise the full EU5,000 because the cost of additional labour and other materials will be around EU1,500. Any surplus money will simply help replace more of the old kennels.

It is vital that the enclosures are concreted, and we cannot bear to see these dogs soaked in rain and mud, with everyone who cares being able to do nothing about it – until now. Please help us to raise EU5,000.

Our photos:

Would you want your dog to live like this? For only EU30, you could change this boy’s life.

Please donate and support our work in Baia Mare, 2018.

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.

Thank you