PROUD to be PATRON
Changing The Lives of
The Ones Left Behind.
Having been involved with Romanian Rescue dogs since 2015 both as a fosterer and through helping adopters with training advice and support, my fascination for the differences between Romanian dogs and British dogs has grown and grown. Through the articles I have written for my website, my business has naturally gravitated toward helping the people who have chosen to share their lives with a Rommie. In helping them understand the true nature of their Romanian dog, appreciate the differences in characteristics they have and how to work with their instinctive natures, I have been able to help many adopters over the last 4 years.
Whilst I have and do support the adoption of Romanian dogs into the UK I also believe there is much that needs to be done to help the dogs that are left behind. This includes both the dogs on the streets and the ones confined within the horrific conditions of Romania's public shelters. I also believe that, whilst there are many Romanian dogs happily adopted into families both in the UK and across Europe, there are equally as many that are simply not suitable for adoption. That doesn't mean they deserve to live out their lives starving in tiny pens often spending their days in darkness and squalor.
We can all argue that it's not our problem, leave it to the Romanian Government to sort out, but clearly that isn't happening any time soon. Whilst it's true that we can't help them all, until the laws change, we can at least do something to help as many as we can. They don't ask to be born into these conditions and circumstances, nor do they deserve to suffer in the intolerable way that they do when there are so many little things we can do to help them.
So when Diane Bowman and Gabriella Diana approached me about becoming a Patron for Annie's Trust, I didn't hesitate. I am honoured to stand beside what these ladies are working to achieve for the dogs left behind in Romania and will help in any and all ways that I can.
WHY DO I HELP THE ROMANIAN DOGS
I have often been asked why I help the dogs of Romania when we have so many of our own rescue dogs in this country. I can't disagree, there are far too many dogs in our own shelters, and I help those too in whatever way I can. For the most part though, they are not subjected to the appalling conditions of existence that the dogs of Romania are, and that is what is truly unacceptable. No dog deserves that.
They have nothing apart from a rationed meal every other day (which they often fight badly over) a bare dirty earth floor in a cage or cell and many of them live in the dark. The outside pens have no shade and their broken water buckets usually get tipped over within hours of them being filled. This means not only are their dirt floors, (which are the only place they have to lay down) turned to wet mud, they are often without water for anything up to 48 hours because the public shelter staff don't always visit every day. In summer temperatures of 30+ degrees, many dogs, including young puppies become severely dehydrated.
All of this leads to an environment rife with disease. It’s impossible to clean adequately in conditions such as these, poor diet, lack of basic medical treatment and fresh water, exposure to high temperatures in summer and well below freezing temperatures in winter mean nothing but a daily existence of misery for these dogs left behind.
If you would like to take a look at Annie's Trust Facebook post explaining more about the stray dog problem in Romania, the way these dogs are treated and the conditions they have to endure, you can find that HERE....BUT! I have to warn you that the post contains some very upsetting images.
HOWEVER... the good news is, it doesn't take very much to help improve the day to day physical and emotional wellbeing for the ones left behind. Some of the smallest things can literally change the lives of these dogs, and that is what Annie's Trust is working tirelessly to do.
ABOUT ANNIE'S TRUST
Annie’s Trust is an Animal Charity set up to help ease the suffering of dogs that are living in captivity in some of the poorest Romanian dog shelters. Annie’s Trust is dedicated to the legacy of Rottweiler Annie, who was rescued and re-homed in the UK from a Shelter in Adjud, Romania.
Annie was one dog out of 350 that are living every day in captivity in Adjud Public Shelter. These 350 dogs are in crisis, many living without the bare essentials that every living soul deserves – shelter, warmth, food, clean water, and medicine.
Annie’s Trust has six dedicated volunteers who are working tirelessly to provide these neglected dogs with kennels, dog beds, fresh water, dog food, vaccinations, worming treatment, and flea and tick treatment. In addition, Annie’s Trust also has set up a Spay and Neuter programme to help tackle Romania’s dog crisis and help reduce the increasing the number of stray and abandoned dogs.
HOW ANNIE'S TRUST ARE
MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN ROMANIA
Through the generosity of supporters, fundraising auctions, raffles and spay and neuter campaigns, Annie's Trust are improving the day to day lives of these dogs massively. Take a look below at what Annie's Trust have been able to achieve at Adjud public shelter in the last 2 months alone with the help of their incredible supporters and volunteers.
"This week we funded the construction of four pens, which had previously been one large outside cage. This will separate males and females, big dogs and small dogs and puppies, timid dogs and aggressive dogs. This will help reduce the number of dog fights and breeding. Some of the dogs at least, can now be taken out of the dark sheds into the light and air."
"With generous donations during June/July we were able to fund the building of 2 new outside pens for puppies. They will no longer have to remain isolated in a dark cell."
"In addition, Annie's Trust funded the replacement of a large metal door to one of the shed cells, meaning these dogs were living in darkness. Now the dogs have some natural light which is a small step to improving their wellbeing."
"20 new and very lovely Horse Buckets arrived at the shelter today . We are so excited by this , because these are saving the dogs lives in this heat! While the water in the old metal troughs is becoming too hot to drink by mid day; these are remaining cool as they are insulated. They are deeper and can hold much more water and they can be placed in shady spots to remain cool. Buckets are no longer tipped over, so no more soaking wet pens or going without water for 24 hours ."
"We wish we could install them in all the pens , but buying a few each month is making a huge difference."
"We are extremely happy to announce that the shade netting arrived at Adjud Public Shelter this weekend and today our volunteers worked hard to put it up across the long outside pen! This small improvement will make a huge difference to the dogs outside in the soaring heat! We have also been able to provide the puppies with shade for their new pens, thanks to pledges and donations."
"Most of the shed dogs are without a dry place to sleep , with insufficient beds to go around , dogs are left to sleep on the filthy wet floors . Wooden Pallets are needed to provide a dry surface for them to rest upon. Outside in the big pens the pallets are used to raise the houses from the floor, in winter this keeps the kennels warmer and drier and prevents the bottoms of the kennels rotting."
"On August 10th around 70 pallets were delivered to the shelter. This is going to provide an even larger number of dogs with a dry place to lay and some much needed protection from the harsh winter weather."
"We are so happy to share that the puppy boxes have arrived at Adjud Public Shelter!! Previously, puppies were left to sleep on the wet dirt floor. When they were scared they would huddle in the corner of the cage shaking. With no mummy they were cold and only had each other to cuddle in to. Thanks to fundraising, we were just able to afford to purchase these simple puppy boxes. This means the puppies in the shelter have a simple little home to feel safe and secure. A place to cosy up together and sleep warmly. They certainly seem very happy with them indeed!
"This is the beginning of our big kennel build which we hope will provide every single dog in the shelter a secure and comfortable place to sleep. We are investing in insulated wooden kennels as most of the chip-board kennels were provided by the municipality years ago and are literally falling apart."
On August 4th 150 bales of straw were delivered to the shelter. "AUCTION NEWS! - 150 STRAW BALES DELIVERED TO THE SHELTER. The dogs will feel a bit cosier this coming Winter."
Straw is the only form of warmth for the dogs in the Winter. It conserves their body temperature and keeps them dry. This is such a basic and small thing that once again will make an incredible difference to these dogs physical and emotional wellbeing this coming winter.
BASIC MEDICAL TREATMENTS
"60 more dogs treated for fleas today ! Well done to the volunteers as it’s not an easy task. Thank you for supporting and donating to Annie’s Trust Auctions, you are making such a big difference!"
The monies raised from all the supporters and fundraising efforts by Annie's Trust also go toward providing basic medical treatments to the dogs at Adjud. Flea and worming treatments together with vaccinations mean that these dogs will not only feel better and healthier but will also prevent the spread of disease throughout the shelter.
SPAY & NEUTER CAMPAIGNS
"Buy a Spay for £20 through our SPAYS for STRAYS campaign to prevent hundreds more pups being born into suffering and abuse on the streets of Romania."
"The number of stray dogs has hit crisis point and the public shelters are at bursting point. Tragically this leads to more pain and suffering for these stray dogs, new mums and newborn pups who often don’t survive this tough start to life. Please help us tackle the problem by helping spay and neuter to prevent more tragic breeding."
This is one of the biggest ways we can help improve the situation for the dogs in Romania. If we can prevent the reproduction, then we can begin to reduce the numbers. There is a lot of growing media attention in this area, and we need to help spread the word. Adopting these dogs will not solve Romania's stray dog problem. Yes it improves the life of that dog, and that is wonderful, but we need to improve the lives of all of them ultimately to prevent future suffering.
I think you will agree all of these things are quite small and simple, but the fact is they all make a phenomenal difference to the physical and emotional wellbeing and day to day lives of the dogs in Adjud public shelter.
All of this has been made possible by the generous supporters and fundraising efforts of Annie's Trust together with their wonderful volunteers who visit the shelter daily to help the charity on the ground in Romania. They build and install kennels and puppy boxes, put up shade nets, administer medications, provide food, water and much craved love and affection.
Personally, I am humbled by all of this and I look forward to continuing to raise awareness both of the plight of these dogs and by providing much needed understanding and advice to adopters here in the UK. As Patron for Annie's Trust, I hope to be able to help make a difference and build a better future for the Romanian dogs left behind and I hope you will consider helping too, in any small way you can.
WAYS YOU CAN SUPPORT ANNIE'S TRUST
Join Annie's Trust Facebook page and fundraising groups and share their posts and articles (links provided below). Maybe you aren't in a position to help financially at the moment, but some of your friends and family may be and the more awareness we can raise, the more we can help the dogs of Adjud and hopefully more like them at other shelters in the future.
Every single £1 can help, so no matter how small a donation it all makes a difference... lots of little's can become a lot! £1 buys a bale of straw that will keep a dog warm and dry in the winter.
Host your own fundraising event. Have fun spending time with like minded people and raise money to help the shelter dogs while you do it! That sounds like an awesome win win to me!
Do you have any unwanted gifts or items you could donate to an auction? The auctions are an essential part of the fundraising structure that has enabled Annie's Trust to do all the things mentioned above in just a couple of months!
SUPPORT THE AUCTIONS
Check out the auction items and see if there's anything you fancy. There are often some really great and unusual items donated.
Every month the money raised from Annie's Trust raffles provide essential funds for the spay and neuter campaign. This is so great because it is helping to reduce the number of puppies born in the shelter and on the streets surrounding the shelter.
The easiest way to help Annie's Trust and it doesn't cost you a penny! Easyfundraising is a great website where you can help Annie's Trust raise funds simply by doing your everyday online shopping with over 3,600 big name retailers like Amazon, Argos, John Lewis, ASOS, Booking.com, eBay, Boden, and M&S.
Every time you shop, Annie's Trust receives a small donation to say ‘thank you’ and it’s completely free too! We want to raise as much as possible so please sign up and help at: https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/anniestrust/
If you are about to adopt a Romanian Rescue dog, please head over to read my article on The Recommended Do's and Don'ts of settling in your Romanian Rescue Dog. So many adopters are still not being correctly informed of what to expect when their new rescue dog arrives. Mistakes made in the early stages of adoption can mean the difference between that adoption being a success or failure. If the adoption fails this poor dog is sent back to the rescue, often back into a kennel environment which can result in the development of behavioural problems which reduces their chance of a future adoption.
These dogs need thoughtful handling and understanding when they first arrive to ensure they settle with their new families as easily and stress free as possible. I have worked with many experienced clients who've had dogs their whole lives, including rescue dogs and rescue dogs with 'issues' but who have said to me they were still unprepared for and somewhat unsure of how best to help and support their new Rommie.
If you have adopted a Romanian Rescue dog and would like to understand more about them or get help with any challenges you may be facing, please take a look at the Group Video Workshops Available. These workshops have been an invaluable, affordable resource for many Rommie adopters. You might also like to join The Dog's Point of View private Facebook group, where you will find many other adopters to share your stories with.