Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Great efforts are being made to save thousands of Romanian ‘orphan’ dogs from a brutal death – and now, one Norfolk animal sanctuary is calling on the kindness of dog lovers across the county to give these four-legged friends a new home.
Some 60,000 stray dogs are believed to be at risk of being clubbed, stabbed, poisoned and starved to death in a bid to cut down their population in the eastern European country.
According to reports, Romania has European funding to sterilise, neuter and euthanise the strays humanely but, following a government ruling to remove tens of thousands of stray dogs from the streets of Bucharest, more brutal methods are being used to exterminate them.
There are people in Romania trying to save the dogs and are transporting them to Germany, other European countries and to the United States of America.
George and Christine Rockingham, who run the Pact Animal Sanctuary in Wood Rising, near Dereham, discovered what had been happening and have been taking steps to help save some of them.
As their animal sanctuary is full, the poor creatures have been kept in boarding kennels, hired by Pact and which cost thousands of pounds.
A fundraising event to help look after the Romanian dogs will be held next month.
Mr Rockingham said: “Britain is supposed to be a nation of dog lovers; it doesn’t say we only love dogs in Britain. About 40,000 dogs are put down in Britain every year but they are being killed humanely and are given a chance.
“Romania has the money to put them down or neuter them but they’re brutally killing them and are pocketing the money.
“If that doesn’t strike a chord with a dog lover in this country then something is wrong.”
Mr Rockingham said they had taken in 12 dogs, all of which are mongrels, since February.
He said one of the dogs in their care, an 18 month old, was doused with lighter fuel and burnt.
Those currently in their care include Angelo, who is six and described as a real beauty who has lots of confidence, is friendly and wants to please; Clay, four, a friendly, gentle boy, but a little food aggressive; Fred, four, a bouncy boy, kind and intelligent who wants to love and to please; and Mara and her brother Toro, who are described as gorgeous, friendly and playful dogs.
Mr Rockingham said they had created a separate fund to support the Romanian dogs which was kept separate from money raised for dogs in need of care in the UK.
It is hoped between £3,000 and £4,000 will be raised at their charity auction and raffle on Sunday, February 16. The event will be held at the Brook Hotel in Dereham Road, Norwich, at 2pm. There will be about 300 lots up for auction.
“As animal lovers, it would break our hearts to see lovely dogs that were just dying in front of our eyes,” said Mrs Rockingham.
“We followed our hearts and decided to join the fight, and help Pact raise much-needed money for these poor dogs to bring as many as we can to the UK to be homed and loved here.”
To give your support or to give one of the dogs a new home, contact Pact Animal Sanctuary on 01362 820775 or go to www.pactsanctuary.org.
People are also being urged to write letters to their MEP.