Italian charity Save The Dogs and Other Animals was founded by Sara Turetta in 2005 to address the problem of stray dogs in Romania; hundreds of thousands of dogs are abandoned and exterminated by the authorities each year. Save The Dogs believes that society has a responsibility of protection towards animals, as sentient beings able to suffer and to feel, and to the positive and irreplaceable role of animals within the human society.
Since 2007, The Donkey Sanctuary has been working with Save the Dogs and Other Animals to provide Sanctuary to mistreated and rescued donkeys in Romania. This project began after the economic climate and increased hay prices led to an alarming rise in the number of donkeys being abandoned. At Save The Dogs’ Cernavoda base we have built three large barns to house 60 rescued donkeys.
The number of donkeys arriving into our Sanctuary is fairly small each year but the ones that do arrive tend to be in the worst condition, having been subject to cruelty, neglect or abandonment. Here they receive the loving care and attention that they deserve.
The majority of Romania’s 30,000 donkeys are working animals, assisting with farming and transport tasks, so we needed an outreach programme that could help the donkeys and not leave impoverished owners at a loss. We now run a successful mobile veterinary service one day a week, and with the right funding, would like to increase this to two days a week in 2013.
Four of our donkeys, Boss, Claudio, Gogu and Sile, are on foster to the Don Orione centre in Bucharest, and help deliver a successful donkey assisted therapy programme to orphaned children with additional needs. They also receive visits and cuddles from elderly folk and children from local schools. The Donkey Sanctuary regularly checks on the well being of these donkeys and assists with their training and handler’s training; the project itself is funded by Save the Dogs and other Animals, Don Orione and other local charities.
Our work in Romania and the support of Save The Dogs has made an enormous difference to the lives of thousands of animals and we hope to continue this success and increase our services during 2013.