Rachael’s account of a day in Romania
What a long day 😪😴 emotional doesn't even come near to what I experienced today. It's gone 9pm and I'm exhausted. We were driving for 6 hours to get to Vaslui public shelter... the lovely Ana Grasu met me and Anna Mary to guide us in. To say I was anxious was an understatement. We had a row on the way in with the guard at the entrance but this is typical in Romania! They knew we were not going anywhere!
On the drive way down to the kill shelter we spotted 8 puppies on the road. We stopped and I got out to feed them some of wet sachets we had. They were starving 😞. Ana will go back and vaccinate them and take them to her shelter over the next few days.
On entering the shelter (I can still hear the cries 😪💔) the noise was horrific, desperate cries for help and before I entered I thought to myself 'I can't do this'... how can I go in and walk out without ALL of them. Feeling like the blood was almost on my hands was gut wrenching 😪💔.
We walked in and immediately I saw the cries for me to help them. We had already reserved some dogs but sadly 3 didn't make it, so that left 10 to come with us. The black one was not neutered so she will come next week, but is still under our name and safe. So 10 dogs! How can I walk away and not help more I kept asking? Every thought was going through my mind within moments, how can we re-home all these dogs? How can we afford all these dogs?
We have over 30 dogs reserved with our rescuers under the DWTW name and whilst we have sponsors for some we don't have for all AND in order to help more we need homes for some who have waited almost a year! After shedding lots of tears and feeding them treats one by one I went into each kennel to handle and feed them all. Some were so scared and those images will haunt me till I die. A few I remember touching and people would say 'don't touch they aggressive, they may bite' .... not one was aggressive, just petrified!
I stroked a few, who if they could have got through the wall to me, they would have. Once my hand was on them gently talking to them and reassuring them I could feel them tremble which meant the tears came rolling down my face, I couldn't hold it in any longer! I was upset throughout but there were a fair few doggies who got me, really, really got me 😞😪💔
We tried to take our dogs out to the van ourselves as the way the workers catch them is horrific, brutal and down right cruel. People wonder why some of these dogs are scarred for life 😞. We took 7 our ourselves but 2 we just couldn't as were so scared they were a little aggressive . Even through desperation of trying as we knew what was coming and if only we could talk to them and say 'come on mate you're better off coming with us by letting us carry you then these bastards doing it'.
We had 9 dogs loaded on to the van and Ana who visits here weekly asked the manager to let her take an old heavily pregnant bitch who was so stressed and biting at the bars, she didn't have long to go until pups arrive and what chance did any of them have? Ana said to the manager she was worried her giving birth in the shelter and luckily as she was old too and no chance of anyone adopting her they allowed her to take her (she isn't one of ours but still a relief knowing she's safe and out of that hell hole!).
As we were loading up, the cry from one particular dog (they were all crying but this one really stood out for us). He was begging us not to leave him so we reserved him too as, well as a further 8 so have 9 in total to get next week after they've been neutered! I could have taken them all BUT we don't have funds to pay for the ones we took let alone more 😞. We already took 10 more then we thought we would have! We are hoping that there is another organisation who will reserve some more this week. On every kennel which you can see is a board of the dogs tag numbers and the date they arrived, they have 14 days after this date then their time is up! Brutally murdered for what???!?!?!?! Being born 😞😪💔
We drove from the shelter to Ana's place where she has over 600 dogs which she's rescued from Vaslui and the streets. Whilst Ana is the most amazing person for doing what she does and all the dogs are very well cared for, what life is it to live the rest of their days in kennels with no real freedom? They need homes in order for her to help more and that's the same for us we need to re- home all of our doggies. We have 50 doggies now and we CANNOT help any more until we have homes for some of them. We will desperately need sponsors for our new doggies as again we cannot help without. Our foster fees will be near on £1,700.00 each month and being such a small charity we just don't have the funds! We have some amazing sponsors already but now need sponsors for all these doggies along with a further 10 who don't have sponsors.
We off-loaded the 10 doggies at Ana Grasu's and it was such a lovely sight seeing some of them come out of their shells. The little black skinny girl on her own, WOW she was already a different dog within 10 minutes.
We then met our 14 doggies which we rescued from Vaslui about 2 months ago. Sadly some are still very scared, but because Ana has so many dogs it's hard to work with them individually. They all get amazing care and are really well looked after, but the handling is a must so we decided to take 3 back to Anna Mary's with us so we can re-home more easily. I'm hoping once we can re-home 5 dogs from Anna Mary (we have 14 dogs with her already) we can then move those we rescued from Vaslui which are at Ana Grasu's to her, as Anna Mary can give them more handling as she has fewer dogs,
It's getting dark now and we are all exhausted, hardly any sleep the night before and long hours driving, plus emotionally and physically drained so we decided to stay in a motel near the shelter so we could take the 3 dogs back to Anna's in daylight. We are taking Alina (the white with brown patch on face, Dino the husky type who climbed the bars at Vaslui on our last rescue mission (he's my personal fav, and then the small tan doggie from today will also come back with us.
We are 5 min from the shelter and we will get up at 7 and take the dogs back to Anna's and then spend the day at Anna's shelter and take new videos and photographs of all our doggies available for adoption. Anna also found a really sick dog on Thursday which we want to find to take to her shelter so fingers crossed we find him.
It's nearly midnight so must try to get some sleep as another few busy days ahead of us although all I can hear is loud barks outside my window from the street dogs 😪😞
Sorry I've rambled on and sorry if this doesn't make much sense but I'm exhausted.