FOUR PAWS became active in Romania because stray dogs were being killed to reduce the population, often using very inhumane methods. To date, legislation in Romania continues to permit euthanasia as a management tool for stray dog control. To help reduce the suffering of stray animals in this challenging environment, FOUR PAWS is committed to supporting local efforts to neuter, vaccinate, microchip and provide parasite control to stray animals in municipalities who commit to using humane management methods. FOUR PAWS also works with local vets and communities to provide education on responsible pet ownership. We continue to work towards facilitating sustainable and humane care and management for stray animals in Romania.
FOUR PAWS support for Romanian strays
FOUR PAWS has been providing neutering and veterinary support for stray animals in Romania for over 20 years. In the past decade alone, the local vet team has been active in over 35 cities and municipalities across Romania. A new mobile veterinary clinic allows the local team to travel widely throughout the country and to help stray dogs and cats even in the most remote and rural municipalities. In accordance with the recently introduced veterinary legislation, the new mobile clinic was the first fully ambulatory veterinary clinic registered in Romania in 2019. This clinic complements stray animal care work being done in a stationary veterinary clinic in Bucharest. In Romania, FOUR PAWS cooperates with an independent animal welfare organization, Animal Society, who deliver humane stray animal care programs locally.
Community Engagement in Romania
FOUR PAWS has also supported the first Community Engagement project in the Romanian city of Galati, in the northeast of the country. Community engagement is an integral part of our Stray Animal Care program and provides an opportunity for local residents and stakeholders to address the underlying issue of pet abandonment, which is a significant driver of stray animal overpopulation.
Update: May 2020
Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return of 600 stray cats in Romania: With the COVID-19 measures finally being lifted in Romania, our Stray Animal Care team are allowed to start their normal activities again. As travel is still not possible across all parts of the country, we have decided to focus our efforts in the area around our clinic, Bucharest. We are planning to Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return 600 cats in the next 3 weeks, while still observing the strict physical distancing rules, splitting our teams into two separate groups and avoiding interactions with the public as much as possible.
Working to improve the welfare of stray cats is still relatively new in Eastern Europe and we are proud to focus our energy on their plight. The project is challenging for the team and, so far, most of the cats are truly feral. They are not used to handling at all and resisting our well-intended efforts. Did you know that one female cat can produce around 10 babies each year and more than 100 kittens during her productive life? A single pair of cats and their kittens can produce as many as 420,000 offspring in just 7 years.
This project saves thousands of cats by preventing them from being born into a life of misery on the streets. The 600 trapped, vaccinated and sterilized cats have a much higher chance to lead longer, healthier lives going forward as they can now focus on finding food for themselves rather than fight with other tomcats or providing for their kittens.
Supporting the Human-Animal bond
In addition to our nationwide projects to neuter stray animals, we strive to provide a new life to these animals. In 2004, we started the "Dogs for People" project where we train former stray dogs to become therapy animals. Today, three dogs work in our project in Romania to support children with disabilities, students in universities, and elderly people in retirement homes. This project brings benefits to the stray animals involved as well as local people.