Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The ugly side of Romania

I have debated a really long time with myself whether to post this article. But it's our daily reality and it should be told. This blog tends to present the happy cases in my own spirit of always focusing on the positive. In effect, this blog only shows the tip of the iceberg, a small amount of all the work we do. Now it is time to tell the other stories as well.

Story 1. Dog poisoned last December and dumped at a garbage collection point, in between life and death, having convulsions and vomiting blood. I called the vet and the only thing that we could do for him at that point was to humanely put him to sleep so his suffering would be over.

Story 2. A dog we called Totto, a dog that is always in the street. Turns out this dog actually has a family and a home. We had found a foster opportunity for Totto and we went to talk with this supposed family of his to allow us to rescue Totto. They did not even want to hear about it, they said Totto was their dog. In many Romanians' mentality, it's totally ok to allow your dog to roam the streets freely. This dog continues to be in the street for 90% of the time, hungry and looking for food.

Story 3. Babushka, a tiny super sweet older female dumped in the street like worthless garbage. We could tell she had been someone's beloved pet and had only lived inside. It's very likely her original owner passed away and the inheritors simply disposed of Babushka in the street. Not used to the street, Babushka developed pneumonia, then went into heat. Luckily, she was rescued and after a few months in our care, she is now happily adopted and doing really well again.

Story 4. An old Cocker Spaniel female dumped by the train tracks when she got old and developed a mammary tumor. My friend Gabriela and vice-president of RSDP took her in foster care and to the vet where this girl's mammary tumor was treated and removed, at Gabriela's expense. She died a few weeks later naturally, but at least she died loved and cared for.

Story 5. Yet another abandoned pup found alone and roaming the streets. Apart from the cruelty involved in abandoning them like this in the streets, the person who dumped her like this also cut her tail off before dumping her. Cruelty to the max. And a very common story here.

Story 6. Mom Piki and her 5 pups dumped on the side of the road, mom still wearing a collar. Many people dump their female dogs and unwanted pups instead of simply having their female dog sterilized. Also a painfully common Romanian story.

Story 7. Puppy Ruby thrown over the fence in someone else's courtyard. Some people think they rescue an animal by simply disposing of it in someone else's garden, passing on the responsibility to someone else and moving on.

Story 8. Stray born pups and abandoned pups galore, everywhere you go in Ploiesti. Especially in parks and by garbage collection points.

Puppy Benny abandoned with his 3 siblings at a garbage collection point, full of fleas and ticks

Puppy Snowy, dumped all alone on freezing temperatures in snow bigger than her

Puppy Princess Sissy, abandoned by the road and being hit by a car shortly after

Story 9. Sweet Onbe, a young tiny female dog also abandoned in Ploiesti. We know for sure that a man working in the area where she was dumped grabbed her by the neck and threw her to the ground because "he enjoyed hearing dogs squeal in pain." Such psychopathic tendencies against animals in Romania tend to almost never get punished, hence abuse continues. Now Onbe is safe in my apartment at the moment.

Story 10. Sweet Papito/Lavinia, born into the home of a wonderful Chinese lady that lived temporarily in Ploiesti. As Papito grew, her owner had to leave Romania for good and was unable to take the dog with her. Her owner agreed with a neighbor to take Papito in and adopt her, leaving the neighbor money and bags of dog food for her. The Chinese lady left, and the following day the neighbor threw Papito out in the streets, totally forgetting about the commitment to care for Papito. Luckily, we could rescue Papito and now she is happily re-homed in Holland.

There is something inherently wrong with Romanian culture if such cases of abuse and neglect are so pervasive, so widely accepted, and almost always tolerated by authorities.

We at RSDP try to do everything to change such a culture and prevent more animal suffering, but there is a lot on our shoulders. We focus on educating the new generations in the spirit of humane and responsible treatment towards animals, as well as on free sterilizations in order to prevent more animals from being born to suffer and die like this. But we cannot do it alone. We need your help and support to make substantial changes happen.

Thank you for reading this!

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