My motto for this year’s A to Z is “Animals in my life – stuffed or alive”.
As I mentioned before, both of our dogs are former strays from Romania, a country in South-East Europe. We didn’t look for dogs from this country, our heart made the decision.
The problem Romania has with stray dogs is not new. It can be traced back to the dramatic political changes that took place thirty years ago. As a result, the people moved from the countryside into the big cities and left their cats and dogs behind. The former pets reproduced rapidly and followed the humans into the towns, looking for food. The answer of the government was killing thousands and thousands of dogs. Only a small number of them is lucky and adopted into foreign countries.
“Our” shelter works together with organisations that brings dogs from Romania to Germany and takes dogs from them whenever they can, so other dogs can be rescued.
Janet (right) was very afraid of humans for years. But once she moved in with us, she soon relaxed. You wouldn’t believe today that she had such a hard time earlier in her life. She now is a very happy Lady that enjoys her remaining years in a loving family.
Sam (left) is another story. Even though he was broght to Germany as a puppy, he is clearly deeply traumatized. We try to help him and work with him every day on his problems, but obviously they are very hard to overcome. Good thing we are very stubborn and persistent, too! We knew about Sam’s problems before he came to live with us, but we hoped they would be settled in a matter of months. Well, seems we are talking about years, but giving him up is not an option. We see his good character traits, he is very loyal and really wants to please his humans. We believe in him, and we have celebrated so many small victories together, we won’t give up now.
But Janet and Sam show that problem of stray dogs still isn’t adressed properly in Romania. Simply killing them can’t be the solution – the problem was created by humans, after all. And sadly not all dogs can be rescued. I think TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return) programs work best here. This would reduce the number of strays and improve the situation in the long run.