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Why do we save Romanian dogs?

When we rescued Pixie we had no idea about the extent of the stray and abandoned dog problem in Romania.

So, we did a little research.

When we realised the sheer number of dogs living in heartbreaking and appalling conditions, often before they were rounded up and slaughtered by the state, we knew we had to help.

The Romanian dog problem

In the 1980s, Communist dictator Ceausescu forced thousands into crowded city tenements in an effort to industrialise Romania. As people were forced out of the countryside and their traditional cottages in the city were demolished, they had to leave their pets behind. Animals were abandoned in vast numbers. Dogs bred unchecked, leading to thousands of strays in the streets.

The Dog Catchers

Bucharest led the state-sanctioned solution of mass slaughter. For more than 20 years, dogs in Romania have been chased, beaten, captured, abused and killed.

They are routinely shot, hanged, poisoned and bludgeoned to death.


They are crowded into public shelters, run by the cities, to die of disease, hunger and thirst. Many are not fed at all while waiting their turn to be killed.

Dogs killed by lethal injection

The most common way dogs are killed in the public shelters in Romania is by lethal injection straight into their veins. They have no pain relief, no anaesthesia and, due to the sheer number of dogs that are killed at any one time, care isn’t even taken to make sure they’re injected correctly. More often than not, the dogs do not die a quick, painless death.

The 2008 Animal Protection Law

This law was meant to protect animals from being killed. The law specifically supports neutering and spaying dogs to help control the problem. Sadly, this just led to thousands of animals being left to rot in public shelters, where they die from injuries, disease, starvation and thirst.

Despite the law, dogs are still being killed illegally and unofficially. And sometimes dogs just disappear from the public shelters with no warning and no repercussions.

The police are disinterested and most officials are unaware or unwilling to help.

The 2013 Killing Law

After stray dogs were accused of attacking a small boy in Bucharest, the Romanian president pushed through a law allowing the killing of all dogs in public shelters after 14 days.

Local officials can alter these rules if they wish, but essentially a dog has 14 days in a public shelter before being killed. In addition, there is an incredibly high rate of pet abandonment. Many of the dogs we take in today are abandoned – young, old, pregnant, ill or just not wanted.

As the shelters are paid to kill these dogs, it has also encouraged mass catching and slaughter of dogs from the streets. This is statutory but corruption is endemic. Some people have grown rich on the back of the killing of dogs.

Barking Mad Dog Rescue saves dogs every single day

We know, as do many in Romania, that killing is not the answer to the abandoned and stray dog problem in Romania. The killing continues, as does the corruption.

But we, as well as many others, are working every day on the ground in Romania to save as many souls as possible.

So, why adopt a Romanian dog?

Yes, you can choose to save a dog in the UK. We know that there are many dogs and puppies in need on our shores, but the dogs in Romania do not stand a chance. They are routinely tortured when caught or live a life of begging, fear and slow starvation on the streets.

We won’t stop saving dogs in Romania. One by one. Until they are no longer persecuted and attitudes have changed.

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