Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving weekend and a great reason for Ploiesti strays to give their deepest thanks

Despite the newly voted legislation legalizing mass dog euthanasia in Romania, strangely enough, the Ploiesti stray animals do have a reason to be extremely grateful this Thanksgiving. This month, 100 animals were spayed/neutered for free in Ploiesti with the help of truly beautiful people whose dedication and generosity shown in helping Romanian strays is absolutely humbling.  US-based Romania Animal Rescue (RAR) and Prahova County-based Foundation for the Protection of Stray Dogs (locally known as "FPCC") joined hands to make this sorely needed campaign possible:

Sponsored by RAR, carried out by the local FPCC team, this campaign helped stray animals from each and every area of Ploiesti. 97 dogs and 3 cats, almost all females, many of them already pregnant, were gently caught by hand, transported to the FPCC clinic, neutered, provided care for 2 days post surgery and long-release antibiotics, and then returned in their territory. The operations were of very good quality, as you can see below:

Notice the tiny cut of this recently spayed female dog in this s/n campaign in Ploiesti.

I believe with all my heart that this campaign has been extremely beneficial on many levels:
  • First off, many litters were prevented this winter alone, not to mention the exponential number of animals that would have been born on the long run to the breeding females and their offspring. I would say that this winter alone, a few hundred puppies will not be born anymore in freezing temperatures and at risk of being killed due to the new legislation. A few hundred puppies will not not be born to suffer and die anymore. Prevention of their suffering is priceless. 
  • I truly hope and believe that the stray animals neutered in this campaign will be spared from the mass dog cull and left to live in their territories, cared for and protected by local rescuers. All neutered animals received orange ear tags with a unique code as well as the "FPCC" inscription on, as proof that they are neutered and thus not contribute anymore to the stray animal multiplication problem; also being registered in the FPCC database.

 A female dog being returned spayed to the block of flats where she is loved and protected by several kind-hearted residents

  • Several of the dogs neutered in this campaign are now happily owned dogs. For a few dogs, there were already locals wanting to adopt them, but only on condition that they be neutered first. Given that the prices charged by local vet practices can be as high as half the monthly pension of a retired person, many people simply cannot afford to spay/neuter an animal they would really like to adopt. So because of this RAR s/n campaign in Ploiesti, now a few more strays are off the streets, safe, and happily owned locally. YES, a neutered stray is far more adoptable locally than an entire one, particularly if the dog happens to be a female. People avoid adopting even the cutest female puppy because of the unwanted puppies that come along later from an entire female dog. The least likely to be adopted from the streets are entire females. Spaying them most certainly increases their chances to find a home locally.
 Meet Raluca, one of the females spayed in this RAR s/n campaign in Ploiesti. A local wanted to adopt her but on condition that she be spayed first. Raluca says: "Dear RAR, I want YOU to receive my deepest thanks for coming to Ploiesti to spay me and help ensure a good future and an owner for me this way!"

  • I have also managed to meet as part of this campaign many local rescuers who care for the strays from their neighborhoods, people I could not have met otherwise. It was a great way to strengthen and enlarge the network of rescuers from all neighborhoods of Ploiesti. I feel confident to say that this town has many people who care about stray animals and want to help; people who will continue to care for these animals; fight for them; and go to great lengths to keep them safe and away from a cruel death.
 Residents and recently neutered stray dogs from their neighborhoods being happily reunited. This dog is "hugging" the arm of the person who cares for him
  • I've managed to take pictures and promote several strays I got to meet during this campaign. Now some of them are wanted for adoption or fostering by wonderful families abroad. The lives of some of these dogs are now forever changed for the better. 
  • I think this campaign also helped make a change in community's attitude towards strays. I do believe many more people now think of these strays as more valuable than before, if an American organization cared so much about them as so organize this s/n campaign. I do believe more locals will think twice now about the value of a stray and how it should be treated.
  • This campaign, together with other such s/n campaigns, could potentially persuade the local administration towards s/n as the most effective means to control animal overpopulation. With other such campaigns, this s/n campaign could literally help save the lives of the Ploiesti dogs.
  • And as last thought, I think this campaign also showed that the RAR-FPCC collaboration is very efficient. It would be beyond amazing for such a collaboration to continue in the future and other such s/n events to take place. While a great deal has been achieved with this campaign, each subsequent campaign would truly help make a difference.
  While this s/n campaign helped animals from all over Ploiesti, more such campaigns would help make a substantial difference in the reduction of stray animal numbers in humane manner. The many puppies we have seen, many of them too young to be neutered quite yet, demonstrated the importance of regularly conducting s/n events to contain the stray animal overpopulation. I truly wish that RAR and FPCC will keep the Ploiesti strays on their radars and hopefully return soon!

It has been an honor to help coordinate this s/n campaign in Ploiesti. I am extremely grateful to RAR and their donors for the positive difference they have made this November in the lives of my dear local strays; and to FPCC for the good work they have performed throughout this campaign. The local rescuers and animal carers, the animals helped, and I have a big THANK YOU to give this Thanksgiving for this campaign.

 Me with a young female stray dog that benefited from the RAR-FPCC s/n campaign in Ploiesti in November 2011

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