Monday, 2 July 2012


Action Aid for Animals
AKA Romania Animal Aid

Going from strength to strength with your help!

For the last few months it has been distinctly quiet on the newsletter front. However the AAFA team does have very good reasons for this...You know those party poppers that when you pull the string there seems to be a never ending flow of small shaped metallic bits shooting out..Thats kind of how its been for them recently.
They have had to increase the team size just to cope, and thankfully Kendra has learnt to delegate to others (not that she is a control freak...much!). Thank goodness there were volunteers just like the AAFA team both in the UK and in Romania ready to step in and take the strain.
There is so much news to share with you guys in this months newsletter that my bit of the newsletter would burst, so will just let you sit back and enjoy reading all the good stuff below.
Of course this has nothing to do with the AAFA team forgetting what a star journalist I am, and restricting my artistic flow to one single column!!!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this months newsletter and as always on behalf of the AAFA team, I thank you all for your continued support. Without your support and donations, the strays wouldn't stand a chance.

Tessa, small Romanian stray welcomed into community during her blessing ceremony at Steps Farm...
We recently held our third Animal Blessing service in our garden in Somerset.
As in other years, we were hosting the event on behalf of the local Anglican church, and so the vicar did the actual blessings while we were responsible for the format: readings, hymns and prayers, etc.
These are always lovely occasions. Anyone can come and we never know until the beginning of the service who will be there. In the past we have had horses, cats, hens and rabbits brought along for their blessing, but naturally there are more dogs than any other species.
We try to create a balance between reflective readings and amusing ones, so we have had the following quotes read out which strike a note with pet owners:
“Dogs have owners, cats have staff." ~ Anonymous
"A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song." ~ Chinese Proverb
“If you talk to animals, they will talk with you
and you will know each other.
If you do not talk to them you will not know them,
and what you do not know you will fear.
What one fears one destroys.”
Chief Dan George.
There are so many beautiful pieces that could be incorporated into such a service and just surfing the Internet for suitable readings is a pleasure in itself.
It takes a great deal of organising and anything can go wrong but blessing services give us the opportunity to take a step back and look closely at the hugely important part animals play in our lives. It gives us the chance to say “Thank you. We appreciate you. Our lives would be poorer without you”
This year’s service was particularly special for us. We had only a fortnight before taken on little Tita (or Tessa as she is now called) from the Botosani shelter in Romania. We wondered how she would react to seeing so many people and animals in her garden. She behaved perfectly, just sitting quietly on my lap, soaking up the sounds of the choir and the various voices giving their readings and she listened intently when the vicar came around to her, addressing her by name and giving Tessa her special blessing.
It is quite amazing that so many dogs who don’t know each other, who are brought together in a given space, can all behave so impeccably! I would recommend anyone to create a service to celebrate our special companions – it is a lot of work, but well worth the effort. And on this occasion we were able to send off a donation to Action Aid for Animals in appreciation for the work done for the animals who live on the margins of society.

Tessa in her blessing ceremony

Action Aid for Animals Ambulane, the lifeline of the Strays in Romania
Daz, one of our volunteers sometimes drives 2-3 days to ensure the strays get to their adopters and the aid to Romania

Bringing strays to safety and love of their adopters Little Sausage arrives in Dover to lots of hugs and kisses from his new mummy.

Air conditioning, lots of straw, food and water makes for very content doggies on our transports
Please donate aid for the strays Life saving aid is took to Romania, going directly to the rescuers and shelters to feed and care for the street/rescued dogs.
Radauti Shelter, with ou charities help changes for the better are starting to happen Alina Ioana, an amazing rescuer in Radauti shelter feeds the dogs that once would have starved to death with food we sent the money to buy. We also work hard on finding these guys forever homes
A mummy cat and her kittens benefit from our aid A rescued mother cat and her kittens snuggle into one of the hundreds of dog coats we sent over. No one can accuse us of not being versatile with our aid!
Why our transports are the lifeblood of the strays we help
From the outside looking in, you could be mistaken for thinking our transports are just a way to get the rescued animals from A to B. The truth of the matter is that these transports are the lifeblood of our charity, we simply could not help the hundreds we do each month without them.
Prior to us organising our own transports, the costs to our charity for sending aid and for adopters to bring their furbabies to the UK and elsewhere were sky high. Also the cost for us to bring our own foster dogs to the UK was simply killing our charity account.
So we decided that there has to be a better way not just  to help our charity but also other animal welfare organisations in Europe that were until then also dependant upon the private businesses.
This is when we started to organise our own transports, and this system works out perfectly. The dogs/cats are brought to us at a friends sanctuary, as the dogs are loaded into our ambulance, we fill the now empty dog cages in our transport guys van with lifesaving aid. He heads back to Romania and delivers our aid to the shelters and rescuers and  we cross back over the channel to bring the doggies to their adopters, also collecting aid for the next run along the way.
By sharing spaces on our transport with other rescues and of course our own adopters pets, we are able to not just save us money, but also the rescues sharing our transport who benefit from lower costs meaning they too can save more lives. With the adopters donation towards transport, this allows not only aid to be taken back to Romania, but also some free spaces for emergency cases to be brought to us for foster, before now we had to work even harder to find the money for this.
Also, one of the biggest problems in the past for Romanian rescuers, is they themselves have their own supporters, but the cost of sending the large amount of aid that was desperately needed was beyond theirs or the supporters means. Because we believe our transports should benefit all to do with rescuing strays, we pick up donated items for them too and our Transport guy drops off their aid as well as ours.
So now you see why Ariel, our amazing ambulance to us and the strays of Romania is one of the most special vehicles on the road today.
By supporting our charity you truly are part of a life saving cycle that continues week in, week out. For this, and on behalf of the strays we help you have our sincerest gratitude.
If you are able to donate items to help the street dogs or help towards the cost of Ariel's maintenance etc, please see our Appeals section on our website or donate securely via paypal below. The need could not be any greater than it is now.

This month amongst so many others we would like to say a huge thank you to the following for there amazing donations of aid.

Medical aid donated by Katy Orton, Karen Rock and Vic Reeves Food, collars, cushions and other urgently needed items donated by Sharon Mason, Elaine Shaw and Viovet
Flea and tick treatment has been bought and will be sent in 2 weeks to Romania with the monetary donations from Brenda Chanczyky, Steps farm Blessing Ceremony and an anonymous donator. Photos will be added in next newsletter.
Thank you so very much guys, you are amazing.
Nancy Janes CEO and founder of Romania Animal RescueNancy Janes - CEO and founder of Romania Animal Rescue
Her experience in Romania and the importance of Spay and Neuter.
Kendra and all of the wonderful people involved in Action Aid for Animals, I am honored to be invited to write about the importance of spay and neuter to help the unwanted animals worldwide to live a better life.
In thinking about this presentation, my mind is full of the sadness and the suffering I have witnessed from the animals that did not have to be born in Romania to live a tortured life. The mother dogs who have given birth to litters upon litters of puppies, living their lives just to try to get enough nourishment to feed their pups and the new puppies that they are again pregnant with. I have seen females in heat being raped and ravaged by packs of male dogs… is seen often on the streets and alleys in Romania. Their lives are only as puppy producing machines…..and the puppies are born to suffer into a world that does not want them nor will provide for them.
I have also see the results of our spay/neuter programs in Romania. Every time another animal is spayed or neutered it is a reason to rejoice….females no longer having to fend for a family, no longer having to worry about being raped by a pack of male dogs while in heat time after time again. Finally, the female dog can gain some nourishment and live a life free of the endless burdens of litters. For the males, neutering diminishes their testosterone levels, making them less aggressive and less of a danger to humans or other animals.
For centuries humans have had to deal with unwanted stray animals…….whether that be through drowning, shooting, or poisoning the unwanted “pests”. With the introduction of spay/neuter, these means are now deemed obsolete, as they do not solve the problem in the first place.
Culling of animals simply removes those animals from a location that was a viable food source, allowing other animals to move in and take over this vacated area and begin reproducing. As has been witnessed time and time again in Romania, particularly in Bucharest where mass killings of dogs has been unsuccessfully tried a number of times, this approach does not solve the problem in any way. It may rid the streets of strays temporarily, but the strays will return, whether it be from abandonment from pet owners who cannot afford to have their animals spayed/neutered, or from other strays that migrate to the now “cleansed” areas to reproduce.
According to Dogs on Death Row and PETA, each unsprayed female dog and her offspring can potentially produce up to 67,000 puppies in her 7 year lifespan. Granted, most of these puppies will not live to maturity, and will suffer the diseases that inflict great misery such as parvo, distemper, hepatitis, along with infestations of parasites and being involved in accidents.
It is our opinion that the most humane way to help the stray animals is to provide the means for them not to reproduce – i.e. – no more suffering puppies or kittens. There are a number of very qualified vets now who are becoming world-renowned for their skills at high volume, safe, and sterile spay/neuter procedures, and Romania Animal Rescue, as well as Action Aid for Animals, is fortunate enough to be able to work with 3 of these vets in Romania:
Dr. Aurelian Stefan, DVM, Dr. Petrisor Stefan, DVM, and Dr. Irina Corbu, DVM
These vets not only provide spay/neuter services for our charities but also train other vets from around the world on how to perform safe and humane spay/neuter using the highest standards and best skills.
Thank you for taking the time to read about the importance of spay/neuter for animal welfare and well-being.
Nancy Janes
RAR's Team at work spaying and neutering

Romanian ladies bring their pets for spaying
Romanian ladies bring their pets to be sterilised

Dr Pepe at RAR Spayathon

Elderly Romanian lady brings her cat to be sterilised

ADOPTIONS UP BY 70%ADOPTIONS UP BY 70% (Month on month)
June was an utterly amazing month, since Claudia has took the strain of organising the transports for us, we have been able to concentrate on promoting the rescued Rommies.

As well as building our own website we have also joined one of the biggest adoption sites for the UK.  We work really hard to get these little guys into the public eye in hopes that the perfect home will be found for them. 
Adoptions through our charity are so easy, we take the strain and stress out of everything so all you guys have to do is sit back and wait for the arrival of your new furry family member to arrive.
At the bottom of this newsletter we have included looking for a forever home page, please print this off or share with family and friends and help us to promote these wonderful dogs and cats, helping them to find a forever home.
For those who have already adopted or are waiting for that new arrival, check out Alex Ionescu (animal behaviourist) below where she has also added some very useful hints and tips to make the transition easier for your rescued Rommie.

Why adopt a stray? - By Alex Ionescu -  M.S Animal Behaviour

There are several reasons why a stray dog can make a most wonderful pet. These are purely my observations though, without being based on scientific evidence I am aware of:
  • Stray dogs in Romania come in all sizes, ages, energy levels, colours, temperaments. Chances are one of these stray animals may be absolutely perfect for you.

  • Many stray dogs can be very easy to housetrain. A dog naturally avoids doing its business in the area where it eats or sleeps. Furthermore, strays tend to prefer doing their business in the grass outdoors. The stray puppies and adults we have fostered were sort of "naturally" housetrained- they would start crying and scratching at the door in order to be let outside to relieve themselves. I did not teach them this, I did not housetrain them myself, this is what 3 puppies and 1 young adult were doing naturally! This is very different from what dogs from caged environments- such as puppy mills- do. Usually, such dogs take the longest to housetrain, because their natural tendency to avoid relieving themselves where they eat and sleep was counteracted by the possibilities of their limited environment.
  • It is my impression that stray dogs tend to have fairly robust immune systems. Life on the streets is tough, plus no medical care usually, plus no preventive medication. It's really a survival of the fittest, meaning that the existing strays have strong immune systems if they survive and even get to reproduce in such conditions.
  • I also do believe that many stray dogs are particularly smart, crossing the streets with humans, learning to use the sound of the traffic lights for crossing the streets, knowing where to go for food, etc. Again, a sort of survival of the fittest that has selected for smart dogs, capable of living in urban environments and learning super fast, adjusting well to new environments.
  • Stray dogs LOVE food and are rarely picky. Furthermore, they're always willing to work for food, which is likely to make their training much easier. Brains plus love for food is a really good combination for when training a dog!
  • Many stray dogs are absolutely superb with people and other dogs. Chances are that as puppies, they were properly socialized with their siblings and other dogs from their pack. Furthermore, the lucky ones have hopefully been well socialized by well intended humans caring for them and bringing them food. 
That being said, there are some things to watch out for when choosing a stray: 
  • Some may have had really traumatizing experiences with people, or may not have been lucky enough to be properly socialized with people in their puppyhood. Such dogs may need a lot of time and patience and even expert behaviourist advice.
  • Stray dogs are likely to be fairly independent in the first few days from adoption. It's not uncommon for a newly adopted stray dog to try to escape during the first 2-3 days in its new home. Hence, care must be taken to ensure the dog cannot escape during its first couple of days in its new home, before it gets to form strong attachments to its caregivers and feel at home.
  • Even some of the smartest and best cared for strays still get into trouble, enduring injuries and broken bones during their tough life as strays. Hence, it's not unlikely the dog may have suffered a fracture in the past, his entire medical history being unknown until going through a thorough vet examination.
  • You may not know anything about its family history. So the cute, adorable puppy you like so much may grow to be quite a big doggie! Something else to be aware of.
I have tried to describe the benefits and drawbacks of adopting a stray dog from my own perspective, in a manner as objective as I could. Adopting a stray dog must be an informed decision, well considered, as I really do believe that "a dog is for life, not just for Christmas" (Dogs Trust logo, a quote I highly believe in). Personally, as owner of a stray dog, I know I made the right choice.
Hints & Tips:
I think the most important thing, by far, is having a lot of patience, good will, even more patience, and ability to set the rules from the very beginning. A combination of tenderness, understanding and discipline, really. The best owner is gentle but at the same time firm. For any doggie.

Gentle is really important- and positive reinforcement must be the setting stone of the relationship between owner and dog. That is, rewarding the animal for any behaviour that is good, and doing one's best to ignore the undesirable behaviours. With time, the dog will learn that certain behaviours give him loads of positive attention from his beloved owner, while other behaviours are simply ignored. Guess which behaviour the dog will eventually choose to perform!

Gentleness, patience and positive reinforcement are also important so the animal won't learn to fear the new owner. It's natural for humans to grow angry when they find their favorite shoes chewed by their new dog, the couch torn apart, or the dinner steak eaten. In effect, punishment works far better at teaching the animal to fear the owner. Unless punishment comes right away (the first second after the animal committed the unwanted deed), the animal does not associate the punishment with the thing he has done a while back ago. All he sees is the owner yelling at him for something he can not really figure out. Picture this: little Fluffy was left alone in her new home for 2 hours. The owners return, only to find their curtains to shreds, at the same time Fluffy happily wagging her tail and coming to greet her beloved owners. The owners yell at her and just shout and shout and shout. What did Fluffy take out if this? If she comes to welcome her owners when they come back home, they yell at her. THAT is all she will take out of such an episode unfortunately. Or even learn to fear her owners. Especially in such trying times, patience, understanding and gentleness are crucial for building a life long positive relationship with a new dog. Just ignore bad behaviour (or do your best to prevent it), and praise lavishly the good behaviour. On the long run, this builds a strong positive relationship and minimizes the chance of the dog learning to fear his owners.

Gentle is also important particularly in the case of newly arrived dogs with unknown previous history. The newly adopted Rommie may have had exceptionally bad experiences with people while living in the streets or in run down shelters. All of a sudden, he is in a new place (much nicer than anything he has seen before), surrounded by strangers who want to touch the dog all over. It's really a lot of novelty for a dog that may have had previous negative experiences with humans, or insufficient socialization while growing up. Gentleness is crucial especially for such animals.

That being said, the animal must have firm rules set from day 1 of coming in the new home. It's truly desirable for the owners to have clear rules for the new dog even before the dog arrives. This way, the animal won't have to learn new desirable behaviours later (learning that he is not allowed on the couch anymore, even if during the first week he was allowed). Plus setting the rules first, before the dog even gets to his new home, ensures that all members of the family have decided on the rules and they will all reinforce and allow the same behaviours.

But discipline is important for one more thing: stability and the good mental health of the animal. A firm set of rules (what is allowed and what is not) will help the animal understand and control his environment better. No confusion, no uncertainty. Just a set of rules that the human sets and the dog understands and obeys. Just like for any of us, going into a new country and learning the rules of socially accepted behaviour in the new land. That makes us people more at ease in the new land, emerged in the new culture. It's really the same with a new dog. A very clearly defined set of rules helps the dog settle well and be very clear about what is ok and what is not. So he won't be confused, fearful, uncertain.

The best owner is the one that is gentle but firm. Patient, clear, understanding, a good trainer, a committed human to his dog. But then, the relationship has all the chance to become golden. All the patience and shushed off frustration in the beginning will really pay off for the rest of the dog's life. It's really a small sacrifice in the beginning that paves the road for a beautiful lifelong friendship.

Has Alex's article inspired you to adopt or foster a rescued Rommie? If so please check out our Looking for a forever home section below. These little guys really need a safe and loving family.


Fetita is 2 years old female, Collie Cross. Micro chipped, vaccinated, sterilised, and has her very own EU passport - If you are interested in any of the furbabies below, please contact us asap

Fetita is 2 years old female, Collie Cross.

Fetitia started her life in the worst of ways. As a young dog she was abandoned on the cruel streets of Bucharest, left to starve and face the same cruel fate as so many do in that country. A life of abuse, neglect and starvation. However she was resuced and is in desperate need of a forever home. 

Fetita is  Microchipped, vaccinated, sterilised,and has her very own EU passport. She has a wonderful temperament, is very docile and has such a sweet, gentle nature.

This beautiful friendly young dog desperately needs  a forever home, a nice soft cushion to lay on and a family that will give her as much love and attention as she will give to them.
Please, if you can offer this little girl a home please contact us as soon as possible

Pusha, 2 year old female, terrier cross. Needing forever home.

Pusha has been rescued from a yard. Her and another female were surrounded by males and being bullied and attacked because they were in heat. All the dogs had collars but there was no adequate food or water and there were signs they were living on scraps, suggesting they had been abandoned. The two females were rescued before they came to serious harm.

Pusha was very nervous at first, however with some time in foster care she soon began to trust people again. Pusha is now very friendly around people and adores interaction with them. She has a huge heart and is very loving. She is also very good around other dogs. She now needs a forever home where she can be loved for the rest of her life and in a place she can truley call 'home'. She has even began leader training ready for her new life.
Pusha is vaccinated, spayed and micro chipped.

Mini, 2 year old female, Jack Russel Cross, needing forever home.

This is Mini, a two year old female who most certainly once had a family. However they abandoned her and she lived for some time as a stray near an industrial estate at the edge of the city. She was in poor condition until a worker from the industrial estate took her to the vet and had her treated, de-wormed, spayed and vaccinated.

Mini is a very loving, playful dog who loves interaction with people. She is also very good with other dogs. All she needs now is a forever home where her lovely and cheeky charactor can flourish.

Speedy, female, 2 years, small size , paralyzed on back legs needing a forever home.

Speedy was left frightened and all alone in the street. The streets are cruel and desperate places for dogs in Romania with the constant threat of physical abuse and beatings that can lead to death. What made the situation even more heartbreaking was that Speedy was paralized in her back legs. She was unable to find food, water, shelter or to defend herself.


But Speedy was to be very lucky. She was discovered by a wonderful, kind family who took her home, fed and watered her and helped her regain her strength.
This amazing family then made her a wheel chair, or rather wheels that could be fixed at her back end.. thus enabling Speedy to get around.

Speedy took to her new method of mobility very quickly and easily and was soon enjoying the outdoors again.

Now all Speedy needs is a forever home. Somewhere where she will feel safe, secure and loved for the rest of her days.

Despite her disbility she is an incredibly happy dog who loves to run around and play. She adores humans and other dogs and is full of fun and charactor.

Speedy is fully vaccinated, dewormed and micro chipped.

Bruno, 1 and a half year old male, small shepherd cross. Desperately needing forever home.

Bruno spent six months of his life in a shelter where he had little care, little food, and a hard time with the bigger dogs. He was a frightened dog, very stressed and unhappy. Luckily for Bruno he was rescued from this shelter and taken to a foster home where he still lives.

Despite the problems of the past Bruno has now gained a lot of confidence and had learnt to trust people again. He can be nervous of men who are carrying things like umberellas or sticks suggesting that he has in the past been hit..but once he knows a person he settles down very well. In fact he loves people now. He is a very happy dog and very playful, with humans and others dogs. He has a HUGE personality and a huge amount of love to give. What he really needs now is a forever home. He needs a special family to make him one of their own and to give him love and security for the rest of his life.

At this time it is unclear how Bruno reacts to cats, however a sat test can be done if necessary.
Bruno is Neutered, vaccinated and micro chipped

Lord, male 7 year old, spaniel. Desperately needing a forever home.

Lord is a gorgeous dog with a fantastic personality. Unfortunately his owner cannot cope with looking after him due to problems she has. Due to this Lord has ended up living outside in a yard through the freezing temperatures of winter, and will remain in the yard through the baking temperatures of summer.

He is the perfect pet in many ways. He is obedient and very gentle, he loves to play and adores people young and old. He is never aggressive and is good around other dogs and cats. He desperately need a forever home where he can truley be a part of the family. He needs a home where he can play, be petted and fussed and be shown the love he sadly misses at this time. Please give this perfect pet the perfect home.

Sissy 7month old female terrier cross needing a forever home.

Sissy was adopted by an elderly lady to keep her company, unfortunately after a while, the lady found she couldnt cope with Sissy any more. After calling the dog catcher Sissy then ended up on the streets, which is not a place to be, they either starve to death or end up being beaten or killed for money by the dog cathcers.

She is now in foster care after being found in the public shelter, also not a very nice place to be as the staff just cant give the dogs the care and attention they need.

Sissy is now in foster care and in desperate need of a loving home.

Sissy is coming out of her shell nicely, loves to be around people and knows what a leash is for. she is eating well She is in the process of being house trained and is a playfull little girl, she just needs that loving family to give her time, attention and love.


Sissy will be fully vaccinated, dewormed, spayed and microchipped ready to travel to her new home.


Could you give this adorable little lady a loving home ?

Snowy, 3 month old female labrador mix, needing forever home.

Snowy is just 3 months old. She was found in a park with her sister Ebony and there was no sign of a mother, leading to the conclusion that they had been abandoned. They were very frightened and underfed. Luckily they were seen and rescued, and with good food and plenty of care they are in in the best of health.

Snowy is as lovable and playful as any puppy her age. She is a little dog with a BIG personality, who adores people and interaction with them whether in play or having cuddles and fusses. She also gets on well with other dogs. She now needs a forever home where  she can be safe and secure for the rest of her life. This gorgeous dog needs someone special to love her the way she will love them.

Snowy is de-wormed, fully vaccinated, spayed and micro chipped

Pisu 4months male old needing a forever home

Pisu 4 months old, who could resist little sweetie !!!

He is a playfull little chap, full of life and energy, he just needs his forever home. He is into everything and curiosity holds no bounds he will be a bundle of joy to any family.

He will be neutered, vaccinated, dewormed and microchipped.

Curcubeu (Rainbow) 1 year spayed female - Beautiful cat looking for a forever home

Curcubeu (Rainbow) is a loving and playful 1 year old female cat who very much needs a forever home.

Very sociable with humans and other cats, even gets along with well mannered doggies.
She loves cuddles and to be fussed, is not picky what she eats and has an even temperament.
Though she will venture outside, she prefers to stay close to home.

Vaccinated, de-wormed, spayed and will got ready for travel as soon as a luck family falls in love with her.
If you are able to offer this lovely little feline princess a home please contact Action Aid for Animals

For more doggies and pussycats that desperately in need of adoptions please check out adoption site or www.catsblog,

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