Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Going further in our Ploiesti Neutering Challenge

Since I've launched the Ploiesti Neutering Challenge on March 30th, there has been a Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3, in which a total of 63 animals were sterilized. A marvelous achievement for Ploiesti, an amazing feel-good feeling for all the ones that got involved. For it's not little to prevent the unnecessary suffering of the countless puppies and kittens whose birth was prevented through these sterilizations.

But something happened that made me want to go further, to push this Neutering Challenge to a whole new level.

A friend of mine happened to be visiting the local Bucov pound, when an old man riding his bicycle arrived at the shelter and asked about the cost of a sterilization performed there. This old man wasn't a Ploiesti local, having ridden his bike for kilometers in scorching weather, coming from his village adjacent Ploiesti to find out how much it would cost to have his female dog sterilized. When shelter staff told him the cost of a sterilization was 100 ron, he was shocked, and the only thing he could do was turn around and go back, obviously disappointed that he could not afford his dog's sterilization.

But my friend was there and ran after the old man, telling him about our Ploiesti Neutering Challenge. Now, a bit about old Romanian men from the countryside...

In my whole experience, and in the experience of all the Romanian people I have spoken to about the old man, we all agreed he is a very rare and special case. It is much more common for old Romanian men from the countryside, with their old mentalities, to just drown newly born puppies and kittens in rivers, to dispose of them in toilets, or to abandon them on the side of the road or in the forest. It is incredibly rare, if not unique, for an old Romanian man from the countryside to ride his bicycle for kilometers in scorching weather, to find out how much it would cost to have his female dog sterilized. It's virtually unheard of.

In his honor, because such behavior is so admirable and should by all means be rewarded, I want to hold Day 4 of our Ploiesti Neutering Challenge in the old man's village near Ploiesti. Because such beautiful people must by all means be encouraged in Romania. Not deterred, humiliated and turned around. 

If you'd like to help such a beautiful person, please support Day 4 so we can go sterilize as many dogs as possible in his village. Because such good people must prevail in the end. Thank you!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Princess Sissy and her knight, Rocco

We found little Princess Sissy injured, recently hit by car, on the side of the road some weeks ago, on Day 2 of our Ploiesti Neutering Challenge. She was taken to the vet but fortunately the X-ray showed her injured leg wasn't broken, just presenting fissures that could heal in a growing puppy. So Sissy got her injured leg bandaged, and was placed in foster care with another young abandoned puppy, Rocco. As for Rocco, he had been a shy, skinny little guy with no appetite, no tail wagging, just a miserable looking soul, yet another puppy to worry about in the beginning.

Sissy in the first few days of foster care with her injured leg bandaged

Little did we know how well these two would get along and help each other flourish. From day 1 of being together, Rocco embraced Sissy's presence and truly became her knight, chivalrously allowing her to eat first, and accepting any kind of behavior from her. Her presence made Rocco open up like we had never imagined: now Rocco is one of the happiest, most playful doggies I know, always wanting to play, and constantly wagging his tail. Meet Princess Sissy and her knight, Rocco, now:

Sissy and Rocco are now always playful, energetic puppies thriving together

Sissy is now approximately 3 months old, a friendly girl with a big, healthy appetite, and quite a beauty. Like a real princess!

Rocco is about 5-6 months old, very playful with other dogs, but keeping a small distance from unfamiliar people still. Given how much he has flourished since he was placed with Sissy, and how much he enjoys playing with other puppies such as Lazzie, Rocco would do best in a home with at least one other dog. He'll stay a small dog of no more than 7-8 kilos when fully grown. 

Both Sissy and Rocco are looking for their forever homes. Until then, they happily enjoy each single day together, helping each other flourish and being a super duper couple.

 Nighty night, y'all!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sad Lavinia/Papito Update

Remember Lavinia, the teenage puppy whose owner was about to leave the country for good? Unfortunately, the owner has recently left but failed to find a new home for Lavinia. Which means Lavinia (nicknamed Papito) is out and about in the streets. Very sad times for a wonderful girl, golden Lab mix, a doggie that was with her former owner from the moment she was born, having no experience with the dangers of a stray life.

Here's Lavinia/Papito these days, in the streets:

Please contact me if you'd like to hear more about Lavinia/Papito, if you'd like to see videos of her, or if you're considering offering this lovely young girl her forever home. Thank you!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mini, cuteness in a small package

Meet Mini, one abandoned little puppy that my friend found on Day 2 of our Ploiesti Neutering Challenge. Yet another puppy removed from her mother and siblings and dumped in the street all alone. Now she is about 2 months old and thriving in my friend's foster care. Meet Mini now:

Very soon, Mini will need a home. She will most likely stay a small dog when fully grown, but just as cute!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lazarika Update

Do you remember little Lazarika (now nicknamed Lazzie), the skeleton-skinny puppy we've found weeks ago, the only puppy found alive among his squashed siblings on a Romanian road near Ploiesti?

Meet Lazzie now, a super healthy and happy puppy that sticks to people like glue. One exceptionally affectionate little guy of about 4 months of age at the moment:

Lazzie will grow to be a medium to large dog judging by his current size. For now, he's a bundle of joy needing a home.

A miraculous rescue, now a highly affectionate puppy needing a family

Ploiesti Neutering Challenge Day 3

On Tuesday, May 8th, we held Day 3 of the Ploiesti Neutering Challenge. Twenty animals were neutered (15 dogs and 5 cats), raising the total number of sterilizations performed in this campaign to 63. Looking back, I am amazed with the support received all throughout the way since we've launched the Ploiesti Neutering Challenge on March 30th. In less than 6 weeks, TOGETHER, we've helped 63 animals not reproduce anymore, and prevented countless puppies and kittens from being born to a miserable and uncertain life in the streets.

Twenty souls (and me) give thanks to the ones that made Day 3 possible with their donation: Ulrike and Pieter and their dear Finchie, the organization SterilizeDogs and Jacqueline and Maria, the organization Help4Strays and Wouter, Claudia and her dear Nikita, Bianca, Andrea, Carole, Susann, Michael, Jette, Michaela.

So how did Day 3 go? Let's see. This time the FPCC team was away in a different part of Romania, but they kindly allowed us to use their clinic. It was Dr Pepe Stefan who came to Ploiesti to perform the surgeries instead. A bit about Dr Pepe: he graduated first in his vet class and is an absolutely brilliant veterinary surgeon with much compassion for the animals. See the animals benefiting from Ploiesti Neutering Challenge Day 3, and Dr Pepe at work:

The first 6 female dogs of the day!

The following 6 dogs to be sterilized!

Two more lovely ladies waiting for their turn to be spayed

Dr Pepe at work performing tiny, delicate surgeries

That's how small the surgery looks

And a more complicated lateral surgery for a female dog that had a hernia

The 5 cats recovering post surgery

We were at the clinic all day, but it's hard to describe in words the amazing feel-good feeling I had when the day was over. Twenty more animals sterilized, countless puppies and kittens helped by preventing their birth.

Close your eyes, imagine a little puppy hit by cars in traffic, severely injured but not dead yet, crying with distress and being in excruciating pain while trying to crawl to safely, to his mom and siblings on the side of the road. Now open your eyes and acknowledge that this puppy does not exist anymore- his suffering was prevented entirely because he wasn't born at all. A big gasp of relief. This is precisely the aim of our Ploiesti Neutering Challenge: to prevent such unnecessary suffering of countless innocent souls, by preventing their birth through spay and neuter. Together, we can achieve this. Until there will be literally no more puppies born to suffer and die like this. Do you believe in miracles? This one is within our reach!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Thanks from the heart!

The Romanian stray dogs of Ploiesti have many thanks to give straight from the heart to two Dutch friends: Barbara from DogCare Romania, and Bianca. These ladies collected much needed aid for the Ploiesti animals, ranging from over 500 kilos of dog food, to treats and rawhide, leashes and collars, blankets, metal cages, flea and tick medication, other medical supplies.

Doggie heaven by all means! Thanks to Bianca and Barbara/DogCare Romania
The quantity and quality of the aid is simply humbling. I have already shared some of it, and will continue to share it with other committed local animal rescuers. Because there are so many dogs to feed.
PS: The Romanian stray dogs of Ploiesti are extremely grateful!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Stunning beauties- former Ploiesti strays!

It is breathtaking to see such pictures of some of my dear former Ploiesti strays- animals that are now wonderful companion animals living a dream life in Germany and Holland. God bless them and their wonderful families who opened their hearts and homes to these sweethearts, helping them flourish and become the happy dogs they are today:

Tigger from Holland still thinks she can fit in the cat seat!

Nikita is a German diva!

Finchie the former escape artist awes with his charming looks and intelligence in Holland

Blanca in Holland barely remembers the hard life she had in a tough neighborhood of Ploiesti

Terry the intellectual likes to read his Dutch newspapers

Liublia shows her beautiful colours and Romanian pride at a Romanian Stray Dog animal walk in Holland

Snowy stuns with her white beauty in Holland

Some of these dogs were for months in our foster care, some needed treatment for conditions like scabies, some faced the very hard 2011-2012 Romanian winter outside in the cold... But what matters is the present: amazingly beautiful and loving companion animals living the wonderful life their deserve, brightening the days of their owners, and being ambassadors of the Ploiesti strays abroad!

Do you think you could create such a miracle for yet another Ploiesti stray?