Romanian rescue centre
Happy Tails, 1 Dog at a Time’s rescue centre in Bistrita Nasaud, Romania

A British dog charity is appealing to dog lovers to help them save a rescue in Romania that’s due to close later this year.

Jayne Watts knows from her own experience how important rescues like ‘Happy Tail’ in Bistrita Nasaud, Romania, are to street dogs in the area. Inspired by her own severely injured Romanian dog, Fozzy, she cofounded a charity called 1 Dog at a Time Rescue UK and opened the rescue Happy Tails. With the help of co-founder Crina Popescu, and volunteers in the UK and Romania, she has saved 250 abandoned Romanian dogs from horrific conditions in public shelters and on the streets.

Now the Oxfordshire resident has set her sights on buying the rescue, which she is currently renting. She explains, “The landlord of ‘Happys’ has decided to sell the kennels and land, and has given us a deadline of September 2017 to come up with £70,000 or we will lose it to another buyer.  So far, we have raised £20,000 which is just 28% of what we need to buy it.”

Romanian volunteers
The team of volunteers at Happy Tails in Romania

“Happy Tails’ is central to everything we do and so it’s not a question of if we can save ‘Happys’ we must to do it,” continues Jayne.  “I can’t tell you how important it is for us to be able to take the dogs from unimaginable squalor and cruelty and bring them into our own rescue centre, where our volunteers can really take care of them. Mostly the dogs just curl up and fall asleep for several days on arrival, they’re so exhausted after the horrors of what they have experienced and their constant struggle for survival.”

Life is hard for dogs in Romania and the Romanian Government’s public shelters’ only requirement is to keep the dogs off the streets. Dog catchers are employed to get the dogs by ‘whatever means possible’ so that they often endure terrible injuries. In Romanian public shelters, a lack of food, veterinary care and protection and lead to a generally short future for the dogs.

founders of the rescue centre
The founders of 1 Dog at a Time Rescue, Crina Popescu and Jayne Watts (left to right)

At Happy Tails, however, the dogs are put on the path to their forever home. Their wounds are treated and they are assessed so the volunteers to match them with a suitable owner.

There’s currently 21 weeks for the charity to reach their target and rescue their rescue centre, so the clock is ticking. If you would like to help 1 Dog at a Time Rescue achieve their dream, donate via their website where there is also further information about adopting or fostering Romanian dogs.



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