The owner of a dog shelter says she is “terrified” and desperate for support as she fears 1,400 dogs may end up being put down because the charity is on the brink of collapse. Roz Dilly, 58, from Huddersfield, Yorkshire, is one of the owners of Bid to Save a Stray, a Romanian dog rescue charity.
She and her close friend Cristina Paun set up the charity eight years ago because there was no one to save the dogs. The shelter, which has over 1,400 dogs in Romania, takes them off the streets and saves them from some of the brutal tactics applied by Romanian authorities.
Unlike UK shelters, the dogs are kept in cramped spaces and often put down in very inhumane ways. Roz is concerned, due to the cost of living crisis, Brexit and new government laws, that the charity is on the brink of collapse.
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Without adequate support the dogs could be sent back out onto the streets of Romania, where dog-catchers often torture and kill them. Roz told YorkshireLive: “In 2013, I found a post on Facebook about this rescuer in Romania who had rescued a black and tan dog
“I ended up adopting the dog, and the dog has lived quite happily with me for 8 years. Christina asked me to help her get these dogs adopted in the UK because there were very few being adopted. Romanian dogs are not kept in the same way, they are pack animals and they have to allow their pack instincts to work.
“In Romania they have the dog catchers, they are asked to catch the dogs and put them to sleep. Every town in Romania has its own shelter, they capture them in the most barbaric ways, they are caught in horrendous ways, once they are in the public shelter they are lucky if they are fed once a week,
“Dogs give up in the public shelter because they know what their fate is, every 14 days they are killed, they have been buried alive, injected with paint thinners, hit over the head with shovels, strangled with tongs. They treat dogs like vermin, any animal in Romania has to have a purpose and if it doesn’t have a purpose they are killed.”
Roz and Christina now have a farm in Romania where the huge pack of dogs are able to roam free. However, due to the number of dogs in the shelter, the charity can no longer take any more.
All of the animals will have an adopter, none of the dogs Roz and Christine bring in are without a potential new family. But the cost of caring for the dogs is increasing and now the charity has fallen on hard times; it costs around €450 a day to feed them, then there are the worker salaries and the vet bills.
Roz said: “Our donations are half what they used to be, the cost of living crisis is affecting us, we used to pay £5 a bag for food and now it’s double that, we are really struggling. We are terrified, what would we do with 1,400 dogs.
“I know what will happen, they will all be released and the dog catchers will get them and they will be killed. We will have done all this for 8 years for nothing, I know everyone is struggling, every charity is struggling. I am terrified of what the outcome will be if we don’t get out of this. A dog is a dog, it has as much right to life and didn’t choose to be born in Romania.”
The charity is now appealing for help. Roz added: “It’s not us you are supporting, it is to save the dogs. It is not their fault, anything that happens to dogs, good or bad is caused by humans. Since Covid there is just a lack of compassion, we have some fantastic supporters, but we need more of them. We need to build the charity, everything we do is on Facebook, we are trying to reach out to a wider audience.”
To donate to the charity, see its website here.
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