Romania Animal Rescue, Inc.
neuter or spay--no more strays
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A Dream Come True

It all started with an email from Jane Sanderson, a teacher in the UK who had been involved in the relocation of the Buhusi Zoo animals (The Lion's Roar Project) and who was also impressed by the plight of the stray dogs/cats she left behind. I had been dreaming of rescuing stray dogs and cats for ever. I've even rescued several in the course of time, but have always felt helpless and guilty for not being able to do more. And one day, just out of the blue, Jane's email made it look like my dream was going to come true. Being an animal lover myself, I was on top of the world at the idea of getting professional help for the stray dog issue in the little town of Buhusi, in northeast Romania (their breeding getting out of hand has lead to strays being killed by authorities, getting hurt or poisoned by animal haters, wandering in packs through the streets and getting run down by vehicles or even starving or diseased dogs biting/attacking passers-by). Jane got Nancy's approval of the spayathon being organized in Buhusi and Dr. Aurelian Stefan's acceptance of the challenge. Lucky me! Lucky us!

The history of the stray dogs "disappearing" or rather, being killed, made us very cautious in approaching the authorities, so we had to do it carefully, one step at a time. This involved campaigning for the neutering event by promoting the project (titled "We Do Care" organized by Romania Animal Rescue, "Ion Borcea" Technical College and Buhusi Town Council) in the media (BUHUSI.NET, DESTEPTAREA.RO), discussing with the students the issues raised by the educational booklets provided by Nancy, designing posters and making drawings, preparing a flash mob (daily rehearsals) and the event proper (around 100 college students) and finally the spay/neuter proper. In the meantime Jane was doing her job: fund-raising, organizing charity events, tombolas, and what not, including keeping in contact with another animal lover, Toni from the States, who made a very generous donation and, of course, to Nancy, who contributed to the event herself, let alone the fact that she monitored it throughout. During the spay/neuter my students were of great help: some brought in dogs from the streets (especially the ones they knew and fed), others looked after the cats and dogs in the recovery room and kept records of their convalescence, while others took care of the stray dogs and cats before the surgery. My boss, Mr. Ion Fercu, the head teacher of Ion Borcea Technical College, was a go-between for myself (Mariana Sava, teacher of English), RAR and the Mayor and Vice-Mayor and also wrote a couple of articles on the neutering campaign.

At first I was rather apprehensive about the authorities' willingness to co-operate and the locals' response, but the fact that the local council agreed to co-operate and that the turnout was so high made the whole event a real success. 156 strays or pets were spayed/neutered in two and a half days by a fantastic team of doctors, nurses and volunteers! Many people and, most importantly, the local authorities have become aware of the necessity to humanely solve the problem of strays. They have proven to be responsible citizens and hopefully more and more inhabitants will eventually change their attitude.

On behalf of the people, students and authorities from Buhusi, I would like to thank Nancy Janes for her generosity and empathy and the team made up of Dr. Aurelian Stefan, Dr. Ana-Lucia Udrescu, Cristina Vaida (doctor), Ruth Osborne (vet nurse), Anda Popescu and Aurelian Raducu (volunteers) for their professionalism and commitment. Last but not least, I would like to express my gratitude to Jane Sanderson from the UK, Toni from USA and all the donors who trusted the two ladies' commitment to our cause.

Hopefully this is just the first of a series of such events, with the help of RAR and caring donors. Actually, the second has just been scheduled to take place in September this year. God bless you!