Local animal lovers help make spay/neuter campaign a success in Parscov, Romania!


I first became involved in Parscov, Romania about four years ago, to help a local woman named Savastita (now 92 years old) who, together with her niece Mariana, sheltered dogs rescued from dogcatchers, who otherwise would be killed in public extermination camps. I called in a dedicated and efficient friend and partner, Tamara Raab (Tammy), to help refurbish their house, which consisted only of four walls, no windows, an inadequate roof and earthen floor. From what had before been misnamed a “home”, a new house evolved, with proper flooring, slates, wooden flooring, furniture, electricity, heat, water and so on.

After Tammy suffered a tragic accident, which had her hospitalised for good in a special clinic, Helft Handeln Association – Tammy’s closest work partner – agreed to help the animals in that location, at least for a while. They provided constant aid including food supplies, spaying and neutering services, veterinary care, adoptions, various construction jobs, and more. Today, around 100 dogs and 30 cats are living in the Parscov facility.

We have gone to Parscov two to three times a year ever since, for period of four to five days, for various supported actions. This is how we came to know Parscov and the needs of the community. There are many animal lovers who care for many animals. Despite being a rural area, where access to information on animal protection and management is not easily available, we have met a lot of responsible people who are aware of the need to spay and neuter their animals.

Thus we decided to carry out a public six-day spay and neuter campaign for the village of Parscov and the surrounding area.

We had a wonderful team, who worked from morning till night to capture animals, transport them from owners could not afford it, sterilize them, treat them against fleas and ticks, and finally return them to their homes.

The outcome of our action was 206 sterilized animals, both dogs and cats, of whom 201 were females, within 6 days!

Although we knew that there were a lot of responsible owners, we did not expect at all such a huge wave of requests. Unfortunately, our team of two vets was unable to cope with all the demands from dog owners, in addition to the dogs in the street. Continuing spay and neuter campaigns is very necessary in this place. We only need vets – the owners don’t have to be convinced to neuter their animals!

We were impressed to see how many people overcame great inconvenience or age-related shortcomings in order to fulfill their responsibilities toward their animals. We met people, including elderly women, who had walked as far as three kilometres on difficult roads with their dogs on leashes, or carrying them in bags, just to bring them to us. Of course, we made sure they all went back home by car!

It gave us a good feeling to see that capturing the dogs was not accompanied (as in other places) by some citizens’ ridiculous “advice” for us to “take them away, because they bite”. To the contrary, people were helpful almost to the point of interfering with our work, in their desire to assist us in catching the dogs so we could sterilize them.

Besides Savastita and Mariana, we have come to know several other people in Parscov who shelter many animals, who have been abandoned or rescued from various other situations. Helft Handeln has agreed to help these people by providing monthly assistance with food, within the limits of its resources.

I would like to thank the team of Helft Handeln, who funded the campaign and also took part in it directly, as well as to all those involved during the course of the campaign.

Also, many thanks to Jessica Rath, who over the past two and a half years has made sure that help for the Parscov animals continues. She promotes the shelter and informs its sponsors. Although she has not managed to make her dream of meeting Grandma Sevastita’s animals – to whom she dedicates much of her time – come true yet, she knows them all from their pictures, by name and temperament!

To find out how you can help Helft Handeln care for the animals in Parscov and provide spay and neuter services to the area, please visit their website at https://www.helft-handeln.de/, or contact them directly at claudia@helft-handeln.de.

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Carmen Arsene is the president of the Romanian National Federation for Animal Protection (FNPA). Click to see author's profile.

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