Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ploiesti Neutering Challenge Day 10

On September 18th we held Day 10 of our very own Ploiesti Neutering Challenge. Sterilizations were paid from donations of Wouter and Help4Strays, Dog's Wish, Maureen and Ulrike.

This time we helped a big animal lover and rescuer from the countryside sterilize his own rescue dogs and cats, as well as strays living in his village. Let's see how it all started for Mr. Popa, the animal rescuer we helped this time. Last year he rescued from the streets and adopted 2 stray female dogs. Unbeknown to him, these 2 sweet female dogs were already pregnant... Over winter, both newly adopted female dogs had puppies, and Mr. Popa managed to find homes for some of the boys, but no one wanted the female pups, so he kept them all.

Fortunately, he heard about our Ploiesti Neutering Challenge and got in touch with me. So on Day 10, we sterilized a total of 11 animals for Mr. Popa, as follows: 8 dogs and 3 cats.

 4 of the female dogs waiting to be spayed. The one of the left is one of the two mothers that started it all. Now she was pregnant again! And her teenage daughters were getting into their first season...

 A total of 8 dogs, that is, the 2 original stray moms and their teenage offspring, were sterilized on Day 10

 A teenage daughter that was getting into her first season. Very soon, she would have become a mom herself if she had not been spayed on Day 10

 The 3 cats of Mr Popa that also got sterilized, of which some were already pregnant

Vet Gabi Bratu operating away on Day 10 of our Ploiesti Neutering Challenge

So let's see where we stand now with the count of all the animals we have helped so far with free sterilizations. In the previous 9 days we managed to sterilize 265 animals. On Day 10 we sterilized 11 animals, and we also provided 2 emergency sterilizations for urgent cases these past few days. Added up, that means 278 animals sterilized for free since we launched our Ploiesti Neutering Challenge on March 30th.

It is so much in such little time, yet it is only the beginning. We have to continue, as we still see so many abandoned puppies in the streets of Ploiesti everywhere we turn:

On the same Day 10 we ran into these sweet street puppies; puppies that did not ask to be born, and yet they were born anyway to a life of suffering in the streets.

Please continue to support our Ploiesti Neutering Challenge until no pup will ever be born to be abandoned again. Thank you!

Monday, September 24, 2012


Sandy and Bell are two very sweet pups, sister and brother, abandoned in the streets of Ploiesti.

 Meet Sandy, the little sister

Meet Bell, the little brother

Sandy and Bell are about 3 months old and will most likely be medium sized when fully grown. They are very well socialized and super sweet!

Please help them not spend the cold season outside in freezing temperatures, but inside in loving homes.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A special team

It is important to be grateful and appreciative for the good people and things life brings along the way. All too often, we start taking the good things for granted, which we really shouldn't. So tonight I'd like to take the opportunity to mention a couple of people for which I am extremely grateful to have in my life. People that have truly made a difference with their kindness, compassion and commitment to help Romanian animals. People from whom I have learned a lot.

I am deeply thankful for all the good work Romania Animal Rescue and Nancy Janes have done all over Romania, including in Ploiesti. It is truly rare to find such kind and generous people going so much out of their way to lend a helping hand for the animals. Well, that would be Nancy. Romania Animal Rescue has helped sterilize 100 Ploiesti strays back in November, and has also provided several spay days this year as part of the Ploiesti Neutering Challenge. And I know it wasn't always easy.

Nancy with one sterilized dog in Ploiesti

All this would not have been possible also without the good work of the Romania Animal Rescue vet team, particularly Dr Aurelian and Dr Petrisor. I am always amazed by the great efforts they make to reach distant parts of Romania to do more spay and neuter. They literally are all over the map, going out of their way to reach out more, to help more. And the keyhole surgeries they provide are top quality, helping the animals recover right away. Apart from their commitment to helping animals with sterilizations, I cannot possibly forget all the times I have called Dr Aurelian for help in dealing with veterinary cases. It is always reassuring to have a truly good vet to call when needing advice.

 Dr Aurelian and Dr Petrisor during one of the spay days held at Ploiesti

I will stop before I get too corny. But it is only fair that good people and good deeds not be taken for granted. I appreciate all they have done for the Ploiesti strays.

Thank you for reading this. If you'd like to help Romania Animal Rescue in their good work, please have a look at their causes here. They are one most deserving team.

Two lucky ladies

At the beginning of September we held Day 9 of our Ploiesti Neutering Challenge at the Bucov shelter, when we sterilized shelter dogs as well as stray and owned animals. It was an opportunity to meet some sweet and needy shelter dogs. Coca, one of my beloved friends and great helpers, really fell in love that day with one little Chihuahua mix from the shelter. For days, she kept on thinking that she had to rescue that little dog from there. Said and done.

A few days later, Coca and I took a taxi and went to the Bucov shelter to rescue the little girl and try to place her in foster care locally. Strangely enough, the taxi driver who drove us there also happened to be on the lookout for a little dog for his own family...

In the end, not one, but two little ladies left Bucov shelter that day. The little Chihuahua mix left with Coca and me, while the taxi driver fell in live with and adopted another little doggie from the shelter.
 The little doggie adopted from the Bucov shelter by the taxi driver. They instantly got attached to each other and she stayed on his lap during the journey back

The sweet little Chihuahua mix rescued by Coca

Home at Coca's place we gave the little Chihuahua mix a much needed flea bath (her skin being covered in flea poop) and had her de-wormed. I left her in the good hands of Coca and went home. 

To my surprise, the following day brought some terrific news: Coca found for the little girl a most wonderful home locally, right in her neighborhood. Some friendly neighbors had recently lost their old dog and instantly fell in love with the wee darling. 

Now the little girl is called Betty, she is greatly loved and spoiled and has a dream life full of love, and comes visit Coca with her new owners. And Coca is super happy to have the opportunity to see her little rescue dog daily on walks in the neighborhood.

Pretty darn amazing. Some matches are truly made in heaven. It was meant to be.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Good news!

It's no secret that Romanian Stray Dogs Ploiesti is very close to becoming an official non profit animal protection and welfare organization. Woohoo! And I am very happy to introduce you to the new banner and logo of our new organization:

The organization banner, courtesy of friend Jacqueline
The organization logo, courtesy of friend Razvan

It's been a long way, and yet it's only the beginning. Now, let's roll our sleeves and get going!

Monday, September 17, 2012


Estella is a super sweet small sized young stray female from Ploiesti. She is cat sized, only taller, and weighing about 7-8 kilos max. But she weights a lot in terms of sweetness and beauty! Meet Estella:

Estella would really like not to spend any more winters outside in the freezing cold, but in a warm home full of love. Can you help Estella's wish come true?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mopey & Dopey plus Quido

With fall comes an undesired abundance of abandoned puppies everywhere you go in the streets of Ploiesti. Here are only three of the abandoned pups in our care, currently living in the streets: sister Mopey and brother Dopey, and pal Quido.

Here's Mopey: girl, about 3.5 months old, will stay small sized, probably 5-6 kilos when fully grown

Dopey: male, about 3.5 months old, will stay small to medium sized when fully grown

 Quido last week, a male pup recently abandoned, skinny and with scabies

Quido today, already looking better and currently being treated for scabies. He is about 4 months old and will stay medium sized fully grown

Mopey, Dopey and Quido. Three very sweet souls that did not ask to be born to be abandoned like this. But here they are today, living in the streets, and waiting for someone to give them the chance they deserve to a good life. They are well socialized and always happy to enjoy some human or canine company.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Chilly Willy update

Remember happy go lucky Chilly Willy? Chilly Willy is now a roughly 4 months old male puppy waiting for his equally lovely forever home.

Chilly Willy really stands out through his very sweet, cheerfully friendly personality. A shining character for a little guy still in the streets unfortunately. He will grow to be a medium sized dog at most. He is great with other dogs and cats, people and children. And always happy!

Chilly Willy with one of his stray doggie friends

Please, help Chilly Willy find his way to the wonderful home that deserves him!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Who I am

I've always believed people have to follow their heart in life and do what makes them happy. I always did what I wanted and what I was passionate about. I left my family and my Romanian home town Ploiesti at 19 years old and ventured in life all by myself. I went to college in the States on scholarship and studied Psychology, then got a full time job there.

While in the States I felt awfully lonely and really longed to have my own dog. I felt I was finally ready. I visited the local shelters in my area daily for several weeks, looking for the perfect dog for me. After a few weeks, I fell in love with Bebi, now my beloved companion. Bebi was a rescue dog from Puerto Rico from a place called Dead Dogs' Beach. This US shelter (St Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, NJ) had rescued Bebi and other Puerto Rican stray dogs from that awful place. So there I was, a foreigner living in the States, adopting this foreign stray dog. I also ended up volunteering at that shelter for a few months as a thank you for them having given me my Bebi.

Bebi and I, happy and grateful to see each other every morning

When I left the States and returned to Romania after years of being away, Bebi obviously came with me. Now, a bit about my Bebi. Bebi is terribly good and friendly with other dogs and is always curious and happy to meet and greet new dogs! So when I moved back to Romania with Bebi in 2009, Bebi befriended all the stray dogs in my neighborhood, and, through him, I also befriended these dogs and started caring about them.

As a side note, my family and I had always been sensitive to stray animals and could not bear their suffering. We would often feed them and care for them. But once I became the owner of my own former stray dog, I started loving stray dogs exponentially more. I felt really connected to them because of my own Bebi.

Months passed, and I was good friends now with all the dogs in my neighborhood. I had many of them sterilized, and would feed them daily. I also started to visit the local Bucov city pound to try to help the dogs there also. By this point, I already knew that rescuing and understanding better these fascinating animals was what I wanted to do with my life. So I applied and was accepted at a Masters program in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. My studies were supported with a scholarship from the British organization Dogs Trust, and my research and dissertation focused on canine temperament testing. I graduated with distinction in the fall of 2011, and since then I have been involved in a lot of rescue work in Ploiesti.

Along the way I have made wonderful friends from Romania and abroad, committed to helping me help the animals here. The list of friends is too big, but these wonderful people are always in my heart, whether they are from Ploiesti, USA, UK, Germany or Holland. And I am grateful for their friendship, trust and good will every single day. In the end, I am sure together we can make Ploiesti a place with substantially fewer suffering strays, and much improved animal welfare.

I have always listened to my heart, and after a long journey of many years around the world, my heart took me back to my old home town of Ploiesti, a place whose stray dogs need me the most. Sometimes you have to be where you are needed the most!

 Stray dogs are the most beautiful dogs to me

One year later!

All of a sudden it occurred to me that this blog is celebrating these days ONE YEAR of being alive! So what has happened in the last year? Let's see:

- this blog has happily disseminated lots of information about the Romanian strays of Ploiesti, growing awareness internationally and putting Ploiesti on the map in terms of companion animal welfare; 26,000 page views total!

- since launching this blog, we have sterilized a whooping 365 animals (yes, on average 1 animal per day!), including the 100 animals sterilized last November courtesy of Romania Animal Rescue, and the 265 animals sterilized in the last few months as part of our Ploiesti Neutering Challenge courtesy of Romania Animal Rescue, SterilizeDogs, Help4Strays, and many wonderful private donors;

- dozens of stray dogs and pups were rescued from the streets and found wonderful forever homes in Holland, Germany, Belgium and the UK.

One year later. Only the beginning!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Once there was a sweet little girl abandoned with her 3 siblings, two girls and one boy, near a train station in Ploiesti. Unfortunately, the little brother was soon killed by the passing traffic, but the three little sisters survived their days in the streets and were taken safely in foster care.

The little girl's name was Tera. Meet Tera on the first day we met her in the streets:

 Little Tera is on the left, looking straight into my eyes

While in foster care, growing up, Tera was always the heart of the doggie party, but also a super sweet puppy loving human company:

After weeks of preparation in foster care, the three surviving girls were finally ready to leave for their forever homes. But little Tera, rambunctious as she was, managed to fracture one leg, so she missed her departure, while her sisters left for beautiful lives abroad.

After weeks of special care, treatment and walking therapy, now teenage Tera is recovered 100%, and she'd really like to go home. She is a 5 month old female puppy, already spayed, Belgian Shepherd mix that will be about knee tall when fully grown. She loves to sit in people's laps and absolutely loves affection as well as other dogs' company. Meet Tera now:

 Tera insisting on staying on my lap!

 Tera the lap dog!

 Tera and pal Albi choosing the funniest places to play

Life is beautiful and fun with Tera around! :) Let's hope for the most amazing adoptive family for this sweet young girl!