Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Why are the streets of Romania running with blood?

I've made various friends online over the last few years. Some through the unlikeliest sources. Like dating sites. And some through Twitter. And some through animal charities.

When I signed up to adopt my small Romanian hound I made a couple more. They are the people who are moving mountains every week to transport the lucky few dogs out of Romania to safety. They are the people who take food to the shelters. They are the people who are screaming for the world to take notice.

I know some people think I'm mental for banging on about it. And I've met a good few people who think I'm insane for forking over a few hundred quid to pay for Sushi to come over here. That I waited three months after paying. That I set up a convoluted journey to pick her up. That I've bothered to do all this when I could have adopted a dog from a couple of miles away.

But they don't see what it means. She may only be one small dog. And there may be tens of thousands of Sushis suffering and dying right now in Romania on state orders. But she is safe. And I saved her. And it feels like I have at least tried a bit.

It's taken me three and a half weeks to fall  completely in love with my dog. She lived on the streets, surviving as they all do by the kindness of some people, by joining a pack and by keeping her head down.

She clearly doesn't trust men. She was left for dead in the middle of the road. She survived by the skin of her teeth. She has clearly had babies, who knows how many litters? She has nicks out of her ears and only three legs. And she is the kindest, sweetest, most loving dog you can imagine.

All she wants is somewhere warm, a cuddle every now and again and company. And she just got lucky.

Last night thousands of dogs in the public shelters in Craiova were bludgeoned to death. This is the city that has a mayor who blithely gives the go ahead to kill these dogs. Brutally.

This is the city Sushi comes from.

and I've made a friend in the woman who helped to save sushi over there. She volunteers to help the dogs. Her company has a shelter with 300 dogs. And another with 90 dogs. And they also go to the public shelters to take food to the dogs there.

They're starved in the public shelters. And then they are slaughtered.

This mayor will not instigate  a systematic programme of spaying and neutering. But she will order mass culls.

We can keep pretending that this isn't happening. But the public shelters were literally running with blood this morning.

We can keep looking the other way. But it doesn't mean it isn't happening.

I look at Sushi and I give her another blanket. Even though she already has five. Because it's all I can do.

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