We didn’t think she would survive when we seized her, together with the Cernavoda police, from some Rom kids (see below). That day, Veneziana was dragging a cartful of waste, selected from the garbage dump by the poor children, and she could hardly stand up. She was malnourished, covered by abrasions and had a very serious infection in on of her front legs: a pocket of pus had formed which was preventing the use of the leg and the poor animal was staggering while the kids whipped her to force her into a run.
Two months after the event, the results of our veterinarian’s work can be seen: Veneziana has recovered, even though she will need many more weeks in order to regain her optimal weight (which she probably never had …). Thanks to anyone willing to contribute to her keep.
Notwithstanding the fact that she was dehydrated, weakened and affected by a severe hoof infection, she was being forced to run tied to a cart. Four boys from the Rom ethnic group, in the most degraded neighbourhood of Cernavoda, were stopped by the STD president and the General Director of the association in Romania, Laurentiu Vasilescu. While understanding the profound social hardship of the boys (from a family with 12 kids, one of whom in jail, and with an alcoholic father who lives in the streets), STD could not hold back from stepping in, due to the state of intense distress of the mare, by contacting the Cernavoda Police in order to carry out the impounding. Any attempt to interact with the boys, who were on their way to the dump where they are sent daily by their mother to look for metal scraps, turned out to be fruitless. One of them was about four years of age and none had shoes on their feet.The mare was loaded on the STD van and taken to the garden of our country house, in front of the donkey shelter. The poor animal had nearly collapsed from the heat and the thirst, while internal parasites were causing bleeding in various places and two legs were swollen due to an inflammation. The STD veterinarian maintains that, within the Cernavoda Rom community, there are at least 10 more horses in the same situation. Many more, instead, are those living in indescribable conditions in the “Ali Baba” Rom neighbourhood in Medgidia. Anyone wishing to contribute to the mare treatment can do so using their credit card or making a deposit on the association account.
Two tragic cases which, once again, attest to the atrocious conditions in which working horses are kept in Romania. The first case (above) was observed in Calarasi by Dr. Angela Gentile and two Italian volunteers. The animal, staggering and covered in wounds, had been kept in a field without water and shelter for several days. The “owner”, a Rom totally uninterested in the fate of the animal, refused us permission to either treat or to put down the horse. Nevertheless, we fed the horse for some days and provided some care, even though its conditions already looked desperate. The following week, notwithstanding the red tape, we put an end to the poor animal’s suffering.
The second case (below) concerns a Cernavoda horse, who seriously wounded some of its vertebrae while pulling a cart. This time the owner, a Rom who was extremely attached to the animal, had called us and asked us to save it. Unfortunately, after a few days of therapy it became clear that there was no hope left for the horse and we were forced to put it to sleep, to the despair of the owner who had grown up with it. Two tragic stories although “with a happy ending”, from certain point of view, in view of the opportunity that STD had to put an end to the suffering of these two animals.