What is the current situation with homeless dogs in Romania?
Since 2001, little has changed. The public shelters administrated by the local authorities continue to be filthy, overpopulated and most don’t respect the minimal standards clearly specified by the European applicable laws. Dogs from public shelters “disappear” mysteriously, are killed with methods which the animal activists can’t verify. Legally, in public shelters, a dog can be euthanised after 14 days. Often, the dogs die of starvation, or eat each other, or die because untreated diseases, wounds, poor hygiene before the 14th day.
The only positive change is a law approved in 2013, which declared it to be mandatory that dogs who have a human companion are: sterilised, microchipped and registration with the national database called RECS.
The number of street dogs in Romania is extreme high, estimated to 2.5 million. The poorest areas (north, south-east of the country) have the highest number of strays.
After ROLDA created the first modern private shelter in Romania, it was encouraging to see that others, mostly foreign citizens, also helped Romanian animals. They often followed us and built, in different communities across the country, a few quality facilities for rescued animals.
While the poverty, lack of education and corruption exist, it is difficult to control efficiently, humanely and responsibly the strays’ overpopulation at national level.