Whilst researching into the success of animal rescues and charities, I have noticed that the issue of strays in Romania has been given a lot of media attention, giving us an insight into the abuse of animals that seems so foreign to us as a ‘Nation of animal lovers’.
An article that was particularly hard hitting was one covered by the Daily Mail reporting on the work of the Paws2Rescue charity. With a headline of ‘Legs hacked off, shot through the head with a nail and so badly beaten their eyes pop out: The dogs who go through hell on the streets of Romania’.The graphic content of article portrays the realism of this devastating issue.
In brief, the article reports of how Romanian streets are so over run with strays that the government are recruiting ‘Dog catchers’ to slaughter them in exchange for the equivalent of £44 and many of the community and officials are unwilling to change the abuse. A dog within a romanian rescue (with the ones visited in the article described as ‘death factories’) are allowed to ‘euthanize’ a dog after 14 days of staying. However, the ethical methods used in the UK are not followed by Romania, dogs are beaten, shot, buried alive, starved to death, abused with various different tools and instruments that they are unrecognisable as a dog. The images used in the article overwhelm me with anger, confusion and hatred. Why isn’t something being done? A neautiring programme, Advertisement of genuine adoption opportunities,regulation of so called animal rescues. People are so exposed to what's happening yet little if anything is changing, leading me to focus on the reasons why.
One of the most obvious reasons that comes to mind is socio-economic issues. A dog catcher within Romania is paid £44 per catch and when the monthly salary is on average £175 those struggling within Romania would take up that opportunity. Furthermore, could it be cultural relativism. We, in the UK view our dogs as a huge part of our family, In fact, in my personal view I don’t believe we are a nation of animal lovers but, more of a national of domestic animal lovers, and we particularly seem to favour our dogs. However, in Romania, a government funded dog catcher may be seen in parallel to a UK slaughter man/woman providing a arguably similar service in exchange for a wage, what is viewed in the article as unnecessary and inexpressibly cruel, it could be said that around 98% of the population are guilty of funding a similar type of act on a daily basis. A few other explanations that could be argued are, Pure evil, inability to feel empathy and lack of education but, regardless of which one you decide could be an explanation for the cruel slaughter of these dogs it is undeniably unjust to carry out such abusive acts on any living creature.
However, there is a huge positive ending to this article!!! Although not all of the dogs could be saved over a thousand were. Paws2Rescue along with other charities have funded Romanian strays to come back to the UK and various other countries to find their forever homes and they have done just that! Success stories are what makes reading such a heart breaking yet educational article a worthwhile read. The charities are also working with a small percentage of authorities to allow them to have more input and regulation of the shelters as well as media shaming the abuse that is committed by ‘dog catchers’ and will carry on their inspirational work within Romania and the UK.
So, please give the article a read if you wish, view the Paws2Rescue charity donate if you have any spare change even sign up as a volunteer! They do such an amazing job and is a comfort to know that the street dogs of Romania have a voice in the form of charities such as this one.
In addition, a local charity event is taking place in Billingham and all funds raised will be donated to travel, vet bills, essentials that are needed when rescuing a dog from Romania and finding its forever home!