Romania has a massive problem with stray dogs. The problems started in the 1980s when Nicolae Ceausescu aimed to industrialize Romania; people were forced to leave the countryside and move into cities. Houses were demolished to make way for apartment blocks and people had nowhere to keep their dogs, so many were abandoned on the streets. The dogs were left to breed and the population increased rapidly. It is estimated that In Bucharest alone there are 65,000 stray dogs on the streets. This is a problem that clearly needs addressing, but it is how Romania is addressing this issue that is currently causing increasing international outcry.
What is happening now
Currently in Romania stray dogs are targeted on the streets. Whilst many residents feed them, others attack them – they are deliberately run over, shot, poisoned, set on fire and beaten to death, or worse still mutilated and left to die a slow and agonizing death. If they avoid this fate then they are likely caught by the dog catchers who take them to the Public “kill” Shelters. The dog catchers do not use humane methods to catch the dogs in the street and many die or are severely injured in the process of capture or transport. They are then thrown into the public “shelter” without veterinary treatment. Here they are often kept in awful conditions, sometimes without food or water, often injured and then left to die slowly of their injuries, starvation or disease. Euthanasia, if conducted is not conducted in a civilized way – but using cruel methods. It is clearly not acceptable for this type of barbaric behavior to go on in a supposedly civilized country.
Please be aware that some of the images below are upsetting. We show them not to shock you, but to make you aware of what the dogs of Romania have to endure. These are not isolated cases, but show the everyday suffering that occurs on the streets and in the public shelters.