duminică, 4 octombrie 2009

Animal welfare in Romania on World Animal Day

This post is dedicated to our new friends abroad. 

I love animals since I was just a kid. But loving animals in a country like Romania might be similar to a curse. I'm not going to blame or to criticize my country because I love Romania. I was borne here, here I accomplished my education, here I've learn to love both people and animals. But I cannot stop observing things that doesn't go well and one of this is the animal's condition.

Most of the Romanians people approach animals from the economical point of view. For them, the most valuable animals are cattle, pigs and sheep. Why? Because men can eat them or sell them for money. Horses are good for hard working, dogs for guard and cats for keeping mice and rats away. This is the limited way of a Romanian thinking. It doesn't mean that all the people think that way, but most of them do. And the animal's rights activists encounter asperities in their work mostly because of this line of thought.

Me and my colleagues from the Three Spotted Brothers Association are not fans of the aggressive way of fighting for animal's issues. We do not chain up, we do not demonstrate naked and we do not hysterically scream to come into notice. We believe that we have the power of polishing the old communist's mentalities in a more peaceful way. Starting from educating the young generation.

Yes, education is important. But what happens when a fresh trained child goes home where he comes butt against his old fashioned parents? The same people who were told by their own parents that dog's place is outside, chain up and the food for it consisted in soaked bread. Who will be more successful in such a family dispute?  We - as trainers or the parent - as an untrained person on animal's behavior, but also the family's boss.
The child has also his grandparent's pattern from the countryside who beats his dog or horse, drown the puppies or the kittens, expels the old pets because they are no longer useful, or kills the pets as a punishment for hunting the poultry. And he is told that this is the normal behavior when you deal with animals.
There was a horrific story on the Romanian TV, few month ago, about a man executing his own horse and disjointing it in front of his kids. He excused oneself : "we are a poor family and the kids need meat for food".  And nobody did anything, he wasn't accused for the crime he committed. I wonder what that kids will become after they witnessed such a horror.

The local administrations from each town in Romania receive a specific sum of money from the government, in order to manage the stray animal's situation. There are special offices in each Town Hall who has to work with that. But because dogs and cats from our streets are not important for the politicians, most of the mayors use the money for other purposes. Still, people complain about the presence of the aggressive (?!) stray animals and the authorities need to react. There is a Law for Animal's Protection which says that stray animals have to be catched, neutered, vaccinated and after 30 days of keeping them under observation in a local shelter, they have to be released in the same place. With the exception of sick or aggressive animals which has to be putted down  Because Romanian government has no money to spend on special programs for stray animals and the NGO-s are few and most of them founded by a small group of women who gather money from their own friends and families, Romania is very "rich" in stray animals.

BUT - in order to save that money, some of the local administrations catch the dogs and brutally kill them.  Or simply spread poison on the streets. And all of these in a big secret, of course, otherwise they can be putt in jail. Even if local Police is aware of this barbaric habit, they tacitly consent the situation under the excuse of no funds for neutering, vaccinating or euthanasia the stray animals. Here starts the war between the non-governmental organizations and local authorities. For example, my association spends money on neutering, vaccinating and marking the stray animals, but when the Town Hall send it's catchers, they make no difference between marked dogs and other stray dogs. Every dog from that street disappear and no one can ever find them. Without a private shelter, our work is a waste of time, money and energy. We asked our Town Hall manager for a ground to build a shelter, we compiled a technical project for it, but we get nothing. We also asked for the official reports on stray animals, budget, activity etc, according to the Transparency Law of Local Administrations, but no one answer to our application.

What could we do? We definetly need help from abroad. Help from people who know what lobby for animal's right  means, people who can bring to us  their know-how from years of experience in the field. We need professional tools for catching dogs, we need kennels and food. Animal's food is very expansive. Most of my colleagues adopted stray dogs and cats (up to 20/pers) and we spend our own money to feed them, neutered and vaccinate them. We do this because we love animals, we are aware of the importance of neutering stray animals and because we want to do something for our community. With all these personal sacrifices, there are people who call us nuts and our activity stinky.

Hopefully we'll live the day when people will treat animals will respect and no one will have to kill them for food. Not even other animals.

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13 comentarii:

  1. We know how important is to be educated about this.
    Here where we live, you can see lots and lots of stray dogs and cats and nodoby makes something to help them.
    When people complain about them, the authorities come, catch them and kill them.
    It is very sad.
    Kisses and hugs
    Lorenza

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  2. What an angel you are to do what you do to help animals. It seems like a hard thing to do where you are and I applaud your willingness to go against society. I'm sorry I don't know how to help you except to pray for you and your organization. Happy World Animal Day!
    Snuggles,
    Twix
    PS: it seems like most of the doxies in your photos are standards. Do you have minis in Romania too?

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  3. I don't know if you are aware that Romanian language is very similar to Spanish. We have here the famous Mexican Telenovelas and people learn to understand the language from it, but most of it from their similarities. Anyway, there are both Latin languages. I understand too, even if I hate any kind of telenovelas (my mom use to watch them.
    What I want to bring out into relief is that our people do not have only language's similarities but also the animal's issues mentalities are the same. Here, that is a result of a long process of industrialization during communist's age, when they took out people from their villages to work in the plants. Intellectuals were exterminated by the communists and replaced by the peasantry. This people brought with them their countryside mentalities which says that animal's role are only to fetch and carry humans. Today, after 50 years of communism and 21 years from the Revolution against Ceausescu, some of them learn to respect animals and love to have their own pet. But we still stumble against this old "legacy".
    Love, L&F

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  4. Twix, thank you for your kindly words. Preying in also very important. We are Orthodox and we believe in God very deeply. I suffered so much this summer because of the obtuseness of some people, mostly in my neighborhood, and only the prayers helped me.
    I wrote that this post thinking maybe someone can bring me into contact with international organizations. I also collaborate here with Peace Corps volunteers as a consequence of my membership in Gender And Development committee, from Peace Corps Romania. I have very good friends among them.

    We have mini dachshunds too. Lucy & Freddy are standard (I just find out that!).

    Kisses

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  5. Hi, You have a lovely blog. You can tell you love animals and they must love you also. Thank you for visiting my blog and following! It sounds like it is very difficult for some of your animals and pets. I got goose bumps when I was reading your post. I'll look forward to reading your blog. Thank you for your kindness towards animals. Happy Animal Day to you also!

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  6. Hi again,
    I have tried to sign on your followers, but I couldn't sign on..I will try again tomorrow! Thank you!

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  7. Hi, I forgot, The Blessings of the Pets is usually only found in the Franciscan Catholic Churches. Not all churches do this. Mine doesn't either. Also, I forgot to wish you a Happy Anniversary!! I hope you have many more!

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  8. Hey there, Brindusa
    GREETINGS FROM SOUTH AFRICA!
    ...and thank you for visiting my blog!
    (I've come to visit you now!)
    Your blogpost is extremely informative and very interesting! Thank you for being so candid! We can hear your frustration with the situation in Romania and the difficulties you face in your working with animals. My empathies are with you.
    Please don't get the wrong impression. Here in SA we also have many problems with stray animals and people who simply don't care! Indeed, I think most countries have their special groups of people (like you) who take up the challenge to fight.
    A blogger who really highlights these issues across the world is:
    http://lovingforaliving.blogspot.com/
    Perhaps you would like to visit her too..she is very good at showcasing the severity of situations like yours.
    Thank you for visiting. I like your writing!
    MAXDOG IN SOUTH AFRICA

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  9. Deborah,I love your blog. It is really special. I have never saw something like that here. It is such a wonderful think to put our pets in our prayers. I do palm therapy both with people and animals. I love to help them in any way I can.
    Thank you for you kind wishes.

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  10. Hey Max, I have to confess that for me, South Africa is a cloud land. All I know about it is from Tv or magazines. In my opinion, living there means the real life and a true challenge for an animal lover. I recently saw a TV show about the modern days life on SA, in contrast with the life before Nelson Mandela's success. Very interesting. How do you feel living there?
    Thank you for your appreciations about my work.
    I already signed as a follower for the blog you told me about. Very informative, indeed.
    I am also looking for places where I can tell about the animal's situation in Romania, about our efforts and frustrations. I do hope that some day, we'll be an important voice here.
    Love,
    Brindusa & company

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  11. Hi Deborah
    We are so sorry for the situation you have to deal with. Here in Canada animals are part of the family.
    My grandfather came from Poland and he had the same mentality as your country towards animals. I saw him do some pretty wicked stuff to his dogs.
    We hope you can bring about a change in your lifetime. I am proof that change can happen. I witnessed some horrible acts towards animals and I treat my animals like my children. They eat better and have better medical care than I do. They are loved.
    Ruby & Penny’s mom

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  12. thank you for the nice compliment on our blog! that is actually our great big female!

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  13. Draga Brandusa, mi-a facut o mare bucurie commentul tau.M-a bucurat si mai mult sa descopar ce om extraordinar esti. Iti multumesc pentru toata implicarea ta in viata animalelor si pentru sufletul tau.Numai oamenii cu suflete mari sunt capabili de asemenea lucruri.Ma gandesc ca ti-ar face placere sa o cunosti pe prietena mea Ana, o femeie fantastica, implicata activ in salvarea si ingrijirea animalelor.Iti las blogul ei aici: http://pisikana.ro/
    O zi frumoasa, Daiana
    PS. Cred ca ti-ar fi de folos daca ai adauga blogului tau Google Translate. Traducerea nu e prea grozava calitativ dar ar putea citi blogul tau oameni din toata lumea. Pupici

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