My R.A.R. journey in 2013

Somehow I knew that my 30th year would be the one when my life would change completely, when I would find the meaning of it. I missed feeling passionate about my work, knowing that what I do makes a difference and that I am appreciated for who I am and for what I do. And yes, the change came and it has been a fabulous year!
I was given the wonderful opportunity of helping the R.A.R. vet team on their campaigns throughout Romania. My year started with celebrating the World’s Spay Day in Moreni, my hometown, in February 2013. 

Last year, a total of 427 animals were spayed and neutered for free in Moreni thanks to Romania Animal Rescue and their wonderful donors.  I am so happy to join this amazing veterinary team who does such a great job at preventing thousands of unwanted puppies and kittens to be born and abandoned on the streets.

Craiova – the place where I met wonderful new friends
The R.A.R. spayathon in Craiova in May 2013 gave me the chance to meet wonderful new friends who changed my life for the better. The wonderful Nancy Janes who showed me that compassion, kindness, determination and sincerity can move mountains; Rory Janes, a man who showed me that men are not too important to care about animals; Bonnie Siddons who impressed me with her kindness, but also with her amazing commitment to a cause half around the world away from her home; Leila Creangă, a dear friend and advisor, Susy Utzinger and her great team, all so very dedicated to helping Romanian animals with donations and, most importantly, with free spay/neuter campaigns, Carol Byers, a wonderful Opera singer who is doing so many wonderful things for the animals in need.
I was also amazed to see the exceptional work of the R.A.R. veterinarian team, who managed to spay/neuter  550 animals in only 5 days.

Buhuşi – two successful campaigns
I went to Buhuşi twice last year, in June and in October; both times, the community was so happy to have us there help their animals; the people are poor and can’t afford to spay/neuter their animals, but they were aware of how important it is for them and for the community to prevent the birth of more unwanted animals. It was for the first time when I helped the team working outside Moreni and again I was impressed of their exceptional skills and devotion to animals; working no less than 10, maybe 12 hours a day, but doing it with great professionalism and care for the individuals. A R.A.R. free spay/neuter campaign is all about caring for animals, great medical performance, patience and interest for the education of young people and pet owners, understanding and harmony amongst the team members. I was always surrounded by kindness and a great interest for sharing their experience with me; they taught me what responsibility, accuracy and performance is all about. R.A.R. helped a total of 362 animals last year in Buhuşi.

No matter how many hours they worked, a R.A.R. vet always makes time to give individuals the care that they require.

Târgovişte – happy to be back
One hot day last July, 41 animals were helped in Târgovişte. The charity there, Asociaţia Sufleţel Târgovişte, was very grateful for this help, because their town is facing a severe stray dog problem. I then learnt that speed and great performance is possible, seeing dr Aurelian Ştefan and dr. Petrişor Ştefan doing so many procedures in only a few hours; the R.A.R. vet team is indeed a Dream Team, Romania is proud to have them.

Bistriţa – a pleasant surprise
I was in Bistriţa last October for 4 hard working days; it was all worth it, because the R.A.R. vet team managed to help a total of 163 animals in need. I was very surprised to see 4 high school students who were there for the whole campaign, helping us with everything we needed; they were very committed and it gave me hope in a better future for animals in Romania. The new generation is the one who needs to understand the importance of responsibility and  compassion towards animals, as well as the huge importance of spay/neuter in solving the stray dogs over population. In Bistriţa, it was never a dole moment; people kept coming and coming, asking for our help. 

Râmnicu Sărăt – a place of despair
Early November I was at Râmnicu Sărăt with the R.A.R. vet team, where we were requested to help the dogs from the public shelter. In 2 and a half  days, the R.A.R. vets helped not only those dogs, but also dogs with owners, sparing countless other unborn puppies to share their parents’ tragic fate. It was an overwhelming experience for me, being so close to dogcatchers, but I worked as hard as I could to prevent other dogs from being trapped in a life of torture. 114 animals were helped, but Râmnicu Sărăt is in great need of help, as are so many other places in Romania.

Brăila – long time, no see
Nancy Janes’ weak spot, Brăila is one of the towns where we were most wanted. People fought each other to get their animals spayed/neutered, because they were so sick of facing the same problem twice a year, every year: what to do with the unwanted puppies/kittens? Most of them are poor people who can’t afford paying for the procedure, a lot of old people who waited for hours to have their animals sterilized. All of them asked us when we are coming back, because the situation is deplorable: irresponsible people abandon the unwanted animals, while few people are able to adopt from the public shelter; a lot of animals are sacrificed each year, because there are simply not enough homes in the world for all the puppies that are born each year. This is the reality all around Romania, people’s irresponsibility and lack of care gets thousands of dogs killed every year. The people of Brăila are hoping for another R.A.R. campaign in 2014; last November, we managed to help 89 animals in need.

Băcu  - a once a year time experience
The last R.A.R. campaign of 2013 that I participated was in Băcu, a village outside Bucharest, where people have no means to have their dogs and cats spayed or neutered. A veterinary student offered her home and her time to organize, once a year, a free spay/neuter campaign for her neighbors. This is a place where people understood the importance of spay/neuter and they are happy to receive such great help. 54 animals were spayed during 2 days of hard, but very satisfying work. It was a great way to say farewell to 2013!

Emergency procedures performed by the amazing R.A.R. vet team

The R.A.R. veterinarians are often asked to help injured animals whose owners or protectors can’t afford to pay; because of the generosity of R.A.R.’s donors, these animals are restored back to health. Weeks and sometimes months of pain and distress are soon forgotten, because of the great skills and dedication of the R.A.R. vet team.
A GSD female was suffering for months after her hind leg was smashed by an excavator; we can’t even imagine the pain she went through until she could be helped by dr Aurelian Ştefan in Buhuşi.

Another 2 desperate cases were solved in Buhuşi last October, a girl who got injured when she tried to jump over a fence in a private shelter and a dog who, because of the trauma suffered on the streets, bit his own tail. His new adopter was desperate to help him, so he asked for the R.A.R. vets’ help. Dr Irina Corbu and Luana Udrescu were pleased to come to their aid.

A poor boy in Târgovişte was helped overcome a severe case of Sticker tumor; dr Aurelian Stefan  operated him and Asociaţia Sufleţel Târgovişte helped him get the citostatyc treatment that he desperately needed.

Last year was a very special one for me and that is because I had the chance to see for myself the tremendous importance of spay/neuter campaigns in Romania. I learnt a lot about patience, responsibility, accuracy, discipline; I found great friends and co-workers and I have learnt what it is like to be appreciated for your work.
I would like to thank Nancy Janes and dr Aurelian Ştefan for giving me this opportunity, dr Irina Corbu, Luana Udrescu and Ioana Preda for trusting in me and teaching me everything I know today. But most of all, I would like give my thanks to all the people who have donated to Romania Animal Rescue! You have managed to save not one, not 10 or 20 animals, but thousands. Your effort counts and if you ever lost a goodnight’s sleep over animal cruelty in Romania, please know you that your donation is saving so many animals from a life of torture and despair.
This is my R.A.R. journey in 2013. It was a wonderful year, a busy one for me, but an even busier year for the R.A.R. vet team; they helped a lot of animals and communities in towns such as: Tecuci, Iaşi , Suceava, Vatra Dornei, Silişea, Ianca,  Sighet, Adjud, Radauti, Bucharest and the surrounding villages, reaching a total of 4878 spay/neuter procedures last year.

Romania Animal Rescue also funds educational programs in schools and veterinary training camps where more and more vets in Romania and abroad learn the modern spay/neuter procedures.
There is really no grater cause to support in Romania, than the amazing efforts of Romania Animal Rescue and its Dream Team. You can donate to Paypal: romaniadogs@sbcglobal.net.

In the end, here are some great moments of last year’s journey throughout Romania:



  2. Anda, you did a great job with this post and all the great pictures. I am so impressed with the RAR team and Romanians who are helping with APAM and other efforts to help animals there. I hope you will continue this work and I will help out again when I am able to. The world needs to see what you are doing and your blog-article here is really helpful!