Stray animals situation in Romania

         Romania is not only notorious for the large population of street animals but also animal welfare issue, arising from conditions within public shelters.
Many publications address the problems related to dozens of dogs living on the street and highlight the struggle faced by charities to reduce the number of stray dogs through neutering programs. These attempts to corner the stray population are unfortunately without much success as daily dozens of females give birth to more puppies that further increase the number of strays within the community.
The situation regarding cats in Romania is similar to that of dogs with large number currently living on the street. As cats are not considered as problematic as dogs, they do not receive as much publicity.
Sava's Safe Haven is one of the charities that try to reduce the number of street animals through neutering projects. The charity also focuses upon improving conditions and animal welfare matters in the poor villages.

It is a fact that many of the charities concentrate mostly upon the stray population within the cities however problem may be just as bad in the villages, where people are poor and less likely to be educated. 
Sava's Safe Haven recognizes the need for help in such places. In Romanian villages most of the citizens keep their dogs tethered up on chains without proper food, shelter and medical care. 
Most of these animals are not neutered and often escape whilst in season.
 This consequently results in the birth of unwanted dogs which are abandoned on the streets and further fueling the stray population numbers.
 This problem is apparent in both rural and urban areas.

Sometimes people in urban areas contact organizations for support but this is rarely the case regarding older people of those living in rural environments. As an animal shelter we receive daily phone calls from people asking for our support, only 1 in 10 calls came from people living outside the immediate area. In some cases, people simply abandoned their dogs in front of the shelter or nearby fields. 

As the shelter is located between two villages within the Galati District it is however possible to communicate with people living in these places.

 During our spay/neutering campaign Sava's Safe Haven faces many problems caused by lack of education regarding animal welfare.

Many people brought their animals without realizing what sterilization involved. Most of them came to benefit from the facilities offered by the organization such as dog food, flea treatments and collars. 

We realize that many people would never contemplate bringing an animal to a vet, until the last moment due to lack of money or lack of veterinary clinics close to them. Many ill animals are left in agony unless they get real help in time, but for the less fortunate animals help never comes or it is simply too late.

Sava’s Safe Haven in Romania

Sava's Safe Haven is an animal rescue association in Galati, Romania In 2012 the Sava family began to build a safe refuge for animal’s welfare needs in a  small village. (30km from Galati City). 
The shelter has been built thought donations without any support from authorities or local companies. 
There are currently 250 animals residing in the shelter (mostly dogs and puppies but also a number of cats who were rescued from the streets).
 This shelter is still reliant upon donations from animal lovers which enables the lean to cover costs of food, veterinary care and repairs.

The shelter has no employees and is run entirely by the Sava family who alone care for all the animals. 
The sanctuary consists of the kennels, 2 playgrounds, quarantine room, puppy room, cat room and an attached veterinary clinic room incorporated within the building. 
In each kennel there is a doghouse which is filled with straw and blankets in winter. 
Every kennels has bowls of dog food and a bucket of water.
The cat shelter is comprised of an internal area including an isolation unit and an attached outside playground. 
All animals in the sanctuary are healthy, fully vaccinated, microchipped and neutered.
Sava's Safe Haven Veterinary clinic was developed in 2015 and was created to help the shelter animals access veterinary care including treatments and surgeries without them facing the additional stress of 30km journey. 
The little room is comprised of a surgical table, instruments for easy surgeries - spay/neutering, test kits for rescued animals to check for Parvovirus, distemper, health worms and other diseases prior to entry to the kennel.
 The shelter has a contract with a local vet who visit as often as necessary to provide medical care for the animals.

Dog Shelter

Cat Shelter

Veterinary Clinic

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