The majority of our dogs come directly from Romania, although we do also take dogs from the UK into our care. We don’t discriminate on size, breed or age of a dog, and believe all are deserving of a loving suitable home.

Why are there so many stray dogs in Romania?

Romania has one of the biggest problems with stray dogs within Europe and has done for some time. The issue dates back many years when people moved into the cities for work, leaving behind their dogs.

With very few neutered, this sadly lead to over breeding and a huge increase of stray dogs which can be seen all over Romania.

As the problem continued to grow, a law was passed in 2013 which enables authorities to cull stray dogs. Dog catchers working in the streets to round up stray dogs and take them to the public shelters. This can be a brutal and traumatic experience for the dogs.

The public shelters often leave dogs to live in cramped conditions without enough food or water. They can also arrive with injuries from road traffic accidents, fights or human violence which are often left untreated. Due to the lack of care and basic necessities, there are cases of inter-dog aggression within the shelters, leading to fighting, at times, to the death.

The dogs in Romania have so much love to give.

What is being done to resolve the problem?

Many organisations, including the government, run neuter and release programmes but the large numbers of un-neutered stray dogs make it difficult to reduce stray dog numbers in the long term.

Many dogs are culled in the streets by qualified vets sent out to reduce numbers. Those who make it to the shelter are not out of the woods as many shelters euthanise on a regular basis to keep numbers down. Often culls are done in the middle of the shelter, in view of all the dogs with carcasses piled up whilst the cullings are performed. Those who make it to a public shelter that don’t euthanise can languish in horrific conditions for years, waiting to be saved or until they can no longer tolerate the harsh conditions.

You can read more about this via many news sites, such as this article written by the BBC regarding mass cullings.

Rebecca Smyth, CEO, with a dog in Tecuci public shelter who later travelled to her home as a foster
Rebecca Smyth, CEO, with Gypsy in Tecuci public shelter who later travelled to her home as a foster

These dogs live in such appalling conditions, we were moved to try to save as many as we possibly could.

We work with local partners in Romania who go into public shelters and assess which dogs can be saved or need urgent care. They pay the release fees for these dogs, provide immediate food and veterinary support on our behalf, triaging and cataloguing the dogs for movement to our rescue shelters where their health and temperament are further assessed.

When an assessment has indicated a dog is ready for a domestic home, local partners prepare the dogs for adoption.

We find suitable UK-based homes by advertising our rescue dogs to prospective UK adopters. We vet each fosterer and adopter’s home to ensure the home they can provide is a match with a suitable dog.

How can you help?

You can help by adopting, can’t adopt? Foster! Can’t foster? Donate! Can’t donate? Spread the word by sharing our message and posts about our dogs. Every dog we foster or adopt gets full lifetime rescue backup, which means if for any reason the dog’s current carer can no longer offer them a home, we find a new suitable home for them. We guarantee this to all dogs we have placed in a home. If you need to return a dog to our care, you can visit our surrender page.

Same dog as above, in UK foster!
Gypsy, in UK foster with Rebecca!

About our UK dogs

To help us save as many dogs as we can, we many foster carers based all over the UK. This offers a number of benefits to some adopters as we are able to give a more detailed report on the dog’s needs and behaviour and it enables adopters to meet the dog before adoption. Our UK dogs are normally dogs from Romania in UK foster but in some circumstances, they’re UK born dogs that have been given up due to a death, change in circumstances or other reasons. Our team have access to our full database so we can help match you to the perfect dog. We do also take in non-Pawprints UK surrenders.