Friesland, home of Romanian stray dogs [1]

In Romania, the topic of stray dogs is a sensitive matter, as in 2013, due to several incidents of people being bitten by them, the former president gave a declaration in which he aimed to kill as many as 200.000 of stray dogs in the city of Bucharest. However, this problem wasn’t a recent one, as the shelters for the stray dogs were known to be insufficient for the number of dogs. Also, the funds were not enough, thus these places becoming inhumane and the dogs had a horrible life.

By: Laura Apostol – photo: Barking Romania

Saving stray dogs
Seeing that this situation was going to a worst place, Roxana Deissima, a Romanian dog lover, knew something needed to be done. Finishing her language studies in 2007, and quitting her daily job, she focused on making the lives of stray dogs a little better.

Starting by adopting a few dogs in her apartment, she couldn’t save as many as she wanted, so she moved to a house with a bigger backyard. However, not even then, she felt satisfied; she wanted to do more. So, she started taking in dogs for a temporary period of time, hoping that, if she grooms them and give them a veterinary check, Romanians will adopt them. Despite her hard work, she couldn’t convince people to adopt the dogs.

Despite the struggles she encountered when it came to finding people to adopt the dogs, Roxana had to think bigger and outside of the box, so she created Barking Romania, along with Barbara van der Weijen from Dronrijp in the Netherlands, and started posting pictures on Facebook with the dogs. More Dutch people became interested, especially from Friesland as Barbara is living in this province, but also outside. The funds started to grow and Dutch people wanted the dogs so badly that they bought plane tickets for them to be transported to the Netherlands.

The process of adopting
This process may seem hard when thinking about it, but is not: a person has to buy a two-way ticket to Romania, and on the way back to Netherlands, they take the dog or sometimes more dogs from Romania and pay an extra fee for animals. The dogs are put in cages during the flight and when the said person arrives at Schiphol, the future owners are expecting happily their new member of the family.

All the care they need
Many may wonder, how this transition can be easy for the dog. Well, since the first moment the dogs arrive, the future owners are offering the best care: they take the dog to the vet, they make sure it is fed properly, pay it medical bills, if the dog has problems and they even organize parties for dogs, where the little souls can socialize and make friends.

Friesland, a forever home
Up until now, hundreds of doggies were saved and precious souls like Aki, Yindi and Veve, found a forever home in Friesland and other parts of the Netherlands. Even though Roxana is not satisfied with her work, she saved and changed the lives of many stray dogs, and she is struggling to get funds to save even more souls.