During our visits to Romania, we visit public shelters. The Romanian stray dog policy is capture, hold and kill. The government paid dog catchers catch the dogs on dog poles, not in a humane manner, the dogs screaming in fear, and the dogs are then taken in vans to the public shelters. The conditions in many of these is simply horrific. We have worked with our rescuers to try to improve conditions, or expose the shelters. Many of the shelter staff simply do not care about the dogs. Dogs in public shelters eat each other in hunger, disease is rife and the puppies die. Not every public shelter is like this, but many are. The law is that the dogs are held in the shelter for up to 14 days. After 14 days they are killed – and not using the kind injection that is used in the civilised world.
In our visit in April 2017, we went to Mihailesti public shelter in Bucharest. Whilst it is clean, and the staff do care about the dogs, it is still a kill shelter. If the dogs are not adopted, after 14 days, they are killed here. Disease is rife, and the pups cannot survive. The kill list is long. It is our dilemma which dogs to take out – we think that it is not our right to choose who will live and die. We reserved and took out 14 dogs who are now in our rescuers care. It is heatbreaking to know what has happened to the rest of them: because the government should instil a national neuter programme.