Craiova, Romania May 2015
The spay campaign in Craiova began on Sunday 17th May, four volunteers arrived from the UK together with Nancy and Rory Janes and Suzy Morris from the USA. The full Team consisted of four vets including Dr Aurelian Stefan (Head Vet and RAR Manager) Dr Pepe Stefan, Dr Roxana Elena-Stan and Dr Miruna and Vet Techs Ruth Osborne and Anda Popescu. 30 cats and dogs were sterilized on sunday.
Each day comprised of Canis Amator (Speranta Pentru Animale – Olividiu) and Frank Goralski (Handicapped Dogs and More) et el driving the RAR van at 6am to the outer remote villages of Craiova to collect dogs to bring to the Campaign. Often they would find stray dogs ontheir way also so brought them back for surgery and subsequent re-homing with Speranta or another wonderful organisation Friends for Life ( Dana Patrascu and Bia Jannin)
Village life for people is very hard and the average wage is only 200 – 300 euros per month. The average cost of sterilizing a dog is 45 – 70 euros(200 – 300 Lei) so prices are out of most poor villagers league. RAR are able to sterilize a dog for 23 Euros(£16), each spay/neuter is fundraised for prior to the campaigns, and subsequently free of charge to all the dogs and cats that are operated on.
On arrival at the Clinic dogs and cats will wait in their crates and or the waiting room to be given a pre-medication injection by the vet techs. Each dog and cat is booked in by Iulia Voicu (Speranta Pentru Animale) and given a number.
Both dogs and cats were carried into surgery by the volunteers, to an awaiting team of at least 4 vets. The veterinary surgeons are so highly skilled and adept at their work they are able to operate on one dog in a matter of 5 – 10 minutes! Vets and Vet Techs work incredibly long hours also 12 – 16 hours a day without a significant break for lunch or anything…
With four veterinary surgeons operating at any one time the team averaged about 80 operations in any one day. Together with a large team of volunteers 10 – 12 people from all over the world helping prior to surgery and in recovery. After surgery animals were taken into the recovery area, where many volunteers were available to keep a close eye on them.
Cats are snuggled together during recovery and covered in a space blanket for warmth, and tend to sleep much longer under anasethesia than dogs. During the dogs recovery period volunteers would groom the dogs if necessary,removing tics (of which there could be many) and treating all dogs that needed it for fleas.
Several dogs arrived severely matted so volunteers would use their grooming skills to shave all the fur off if need be.Very young pups and small dogs were cuddled during recovery as the physical contact calmed them down and provided them with comfort.
Friends for Life ( Dana Patrascu and Bia Jannin)
During the campaign volunteers were lucky enough to visit a local rescue shelter who work together with RAR to treat and sterilize the dogs there, several of whom were brought in to be spay/neutered during the spayathon. Many dogs from Friends for Life have been rescued from the notorious Breasta public shelter in Craiova. The shelter is maintained by Dana Patrascu and Bia Jannin who also have full time time jobs during the day and then their evenings are filled with cleaning,feeding and generally cariing for 90 dogs in all.
The shelter was basic but very clean and spacious and as can be seen full of very happy dogs!
Speranta Pentru Animale ( Canis Amator and Iulia Voicu)
Jan Blomfield – Volunteer “How do I start to describe Speranta shelter, Vicki and myself were taken to the shelter with Iulia Voicu, to begin with it is a fair drive to the outskirts of Craiova and at one stage we drove through an area which made me fell rather uncomfortable so my first concern was for this girls safety as she does this journey on a daily basis.Once we arrived Iulia said to us that once through the gates we would not be able to be heard over the dogs then the gates opened and we were confronted with lines of kennel runs no space wasted at present they are homing about 300 dogs as they try there hardest never to turn a dog away, the shelter is basic but all the dogs are well cared for with food, water and cover. As we walked round looking at each of these precious babies I was over whelmed by the compassion that comes from these handful of people that take care of the shelter, for us it was a beautiful sunny day but I was all the time thinking how on earth do you do this in the winter, I have 10 dogs and some days I think I don’t have enough time but the commitment these amazing people make is beyond words. The true fact is that many of these dogs may never have home offers but at least they are safe and cared for, If ever a shelter needed support it is this one, these guys work so hard and its all voluntary they do not really have the time to promote themselves or the dogs, and even at a time when they are bursting at the seams they were still kind enough to take care of some of our babies until they are ready to travel. In truth I can not give a true description of the shelter as it is something you need to experience in person as it is an emotion rather than a sight. Please do look through the photos as there is some beautiful dogs there and very cute puppies all looking for there own little world where they can be an individual and not one of many. All I can say that in a world that for some reason has not been made perfect I can only give thanks that we are given Earth Angels that work tirelessly to replace pain,abandonment, suffering and cruelty with kindness, safety and love. Bless you xxx”
After a hard days work the volunteers travelled into Craiova town to eat and relax a bit over dinner. One evening they had a little guest! A small, young dog was seen limping around on the streets of Craiova, on inspection he had obviously injured one of his legs…so a collar and lead was bought for him and he joined them for dinner being named Mr Eddy Toad!
Mr Toad was taken back to the volunteers lodgings and to the clinic the next day where he was neutered, and had his fractured leg plastered. Then onto Friends for Life for the time being from where “Baggys Legacy” (Jan Blomfield and Vicki Ecke) will rehome him in the UK!
From one lady’s experience whilst on a hiking trip through the Carpathian Mountains…turned into one ladys vision of what a future in Romania for dogs could be like…
Romania Animal Rescue and Animal Spay and Neuter International were born from this vision…that no dog would be born to stray…and all would have a home where they are loved and cared for as apart of the family…
This incredible lady is making every dogs dream come true…