We are a registered Romanian charity dedicated to the protection of Romania’s animals (Charity No. 14920956). Our shelter was founded in a suburb just outside Bucharest in 2002, by Carmen Milobendzchi and Roxana Macoviciuc. At the time when they decided to found the organization, the mayor of Bucharest was killing dogs by the thousands, and many animal lovers had created make-shift shelters throughout the city. Unfortunately, these shelters were poorly organized, and countless dogs died each day from malnutrition, fights, and the quick spread of diseases caused by their constant enclosed proximity. Carmen and Roxy decided they wanted to do things differently.
With a few small start-up grants and the help of some generous animal-loving friends, we were able to buy a piece of land, build a containing wall, and construct several enclosures. Slowly, the dogs started coming in. Many things have changed since 2002, but our mission remains the same – to provide hope and a second chance for Bucharest’s 100,000+ stray dogs.
Today, our 100% no-kill shelter houses 350 dogs. We do not simply take dogs off the street, as we would fill the shelter up several times over each week doing so. Instead, we help the most helpless – namely, dogs we find injured by the side of the road, dogs we find sick, or newly abandoned puppies. We nurse each and every animal back to life, and then house them in our shelter while we try to re-home them. Every year, we find new families for about 100 dogs; our very thorough adoption process leaves us extremely confident that each and every one of them is going to a wonderful new life. Those that do not find a home remain in our shelter, where they receive daily food and water, and where we try our best to socialize them and give them the best life possible.
On top of housing and re-homing dogs, we have also teamed up with the mayor of Popesti since 2005 to sterilize dogs in our immediate area. Every spring and summer, we sterilize at least 500 dogs, either from the streets as part of a trap-neuter-release campaign, or from people’s yards – a service we offer for free. We are proud to say that, in our area, the results are visible – well over 90% of the dogs are sterilized and the population of strays is indeed decreasing. Naturally, more must be done city- and nation-wide for the impact to be real for Romania, but we are proof that a few committed individuals can begin to make a difference.
There is much more to be done. Our main buildings are not complete, and have not been since we started. The recent economic downturn in Europe has meant that donations are harder to come by; on top of that, more people are abandoning dogs than ever. This makes our work increasingly difficult and sometimes we feel like the difference we make is hardly a drop in the ocean, but every time we rescue a new puppy or send a dog off to a happy new home, our spirits are lifted and we have hope again. We hope you can share our hope and spread our message, and that one day change will come to Romania.