EU: Control the public shelters of Romania!

/EU: Control the public shelters of Romania!

Respect for the Romanian street dogs’ rights. Respect for life!

Animal lovers worldwide have formed protests to express their strong disapproval of the new law that promotes the capture and killing of stray dogs in Romania.
Thousands of stray dogs are being brutally caught and sent to horrific dog pounds where they are given just 14 days to be either claimed by an owner or adopted.
Captured strays are abused, tortured, and slaughtered daily across Romania. Many of these are reported to the authorities but they choose to ignore.

On 05 May, ROLDA Gatehunder fra Romania representatives visited the public shelter of Galati. Although some improvements have been made over the past months, the place remains a death camp.
Authorities have repeatedly expressed to local media that the law will be enforced and dogs will be killed when the shelter is at full capacity.
The public shelter is currently overcrowded with about 1,000 dogs.

dog_bread1The conditions from the public shelters are horrible across Romania: the dogs are overcrowded in small, dark, filthy kennels where they suffer injuries. Dogs are starving and do not receive medical assistance.
While imprisoned in these death camps, dogs suffer extreme emotional shock, which they almost never recover from.Some remain with this trauma for the rest of their life — even if they’ve been rescued or adopted.

Why is the adoption rate so low?

  • Dogs are exposed permanently to contagious canine diseases;
  • Dogs do not get vaccinations, increasing the mortality rate of puppies and un-vaccinated adult dogs;
  • Dogs suffering distemper are considered “normal cases” and are not quarantined;
  • There is no evidence of dogs being vaccinated or sterilized;
  • There is no evidence of kennels being regularly disinfected, which discourages visitations from people interested in adopting a dog for fear of diseases;
  • Adopters distrust public shelters holding neglected, sick, starving, scared, and abused dogs. Presenting sociable dogs in a reputable shelter to potential adopters would increase the adoption rate.
  • Visitors are reluctant to adopt puppies sharing a shelter with sick dogs because of fear of contamination. They fear the puppy will die shortly after being adopted.


For all the reasons mentioned above, visiting a public dog shelter with children is dangerous. Exposing children to the horrific environment these dogs are subject to is not only a health risk, but it can cause severe trauma.
Even adults, including veteran animal activists, have difficulty entering a shelter with such inhumane conditions.
Animal activists who have witnessed the plight of many animals across the world were in tears after their visit to the Galati public dog shelter.


According to the new law, we remind you that the Romanian dogs are given just 14 days to be either claimed by an owner or adopted.



Who will adopt the dogs from these public pounds?

The EU legislation continues to add new requirements to export Romanian dogs to foreign countries, making it more difficult to adopt a dog from Romania.

Some requirements are regarding the general health of the dogs. Other regulations and laws from Romania are aligned to the EU standards and those refer to “the minimal conditions” that a shelter must fulfill in order to function legally.

ROLDA Gatehunder fra Romania asked the EU Commission delegates to perform random inspections of public dog shelters in Romania, and demand the ANSVSA to take legal and humane measures to close down these “death camps” until they are renovated to meet the claimed EU standards referred in the current laws.

After 14 days in a public shelter, a dog can be legally euthanized.


Unless claimed by its owner within 14 days, a dog in a public shelter in Romania has less than 1% chance of being adopted.
There are hundreds of reported cases of dogs that arrived in shelters with broken bones or fractured ribs as a result of improper and illegal “catching” methods. Other reports indicate injuries sustained during transportation due to lack of safety measures.

Once at the shelter, dogs are neglected and abused until they are euthanized. Starving dogs resort to eating each other to survive. Many dogs do not have access to fresh water.

Although required by the law, veterinary assistance for shelter dogs suffering from injuries is non-existent. Every day dogs in public shelters are dying of treatable injuries because they are not treated on time (or at all).

Animals that are denied access to medical assistance is an illegal act that continues to go unpunished in Romania.

Solutions that have worked well in one country are not guaranteed to work in another because of the different cultural, educational, political, religious, and economical barriers.
When Romania was accepted into the EU in 2007, it was not pardoned its social or economic problems.

If the export of Romanian dogs to the EU is compromised by new restrictions and limitations implemented by EU bodies, it is fair to demand that the EU enforce the laws of public dog shelters in Romania.

Considering the high corruption and poor economy of Romania, the EU Commission should order strict verifications to ensure that the public shelters in Romania meet the minimal conditions to function legally (aligned to the EU standards) for the safety of both the people adopting a dog from these shelters, and for the safety and well-being of the animals.

Demanding that Romania handle this problem internally, without assistance from the EU, is unhealthy and unrealistic. This only makes it difficult for foreigners to adopt a dog from Romania.

Visit to learn about ROLDA, an international charity with incorporated affiliates in the USA, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Germany, UK and Romania.


I am writing you being appalled by the conditions of the Romanian public shelters.

I am fully aware that the cohabitation of 2 million street dogs and humans is difficult, and on occasion, incidents can occur. Nobody wishes to live in a country where their safety and health are at risk.

Generations of Romanians were born and coexist day by day surrounded by dogs. The NGO’s work to rescue and provide the correct sheltering care to an increasing number of abused and abandoned animals is overwhelming. While the progresses are slowly showing, the community responds to these animals tragedy.

The most recent case is the new law/changed regulations which allows the mass killing of street dogs within 14 days unless these dogs are adopted. And many people were willing to save a dog from the public shelters.

Unfortunately, the positive reaction of the community is squashed by the deplorable sheltering conditions, the awful smell, the filthy kennels, the terror, and the inhumane way the dogs imprisoned in these places are subsisting.

It is almost impossible to visit these shelters and not have it affect your own physical health and the immense emotional impact these suffering animals.

Regardless, local people must be brave and visit these shelters to adopt. Without such action, these dogs are guaranteed to be killed.
Romania has been part of the EU since 2007. The EU funded the rabies vaccination for Romanian dogs, and probably supported other projects connected with animal welfare.

However, because of the corruption and the authorities’ indifference toward solving the stray problem, I urge you to contact Commission representatives and demand them to control the conditions of the public shelters in Romania, and implement immediate measures for illegally operating a shelter outside the EU minimal standards.

The health of imprisoned dogs in these filthy spaces, and the health and safety of the Romanian people who care about these animals are at stake.

You have the power to change the future of these poor souls.
Yours sincerely,

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