’ At a distance of only two years from its founding, we can say that STD has really made huge strides. If 2005 was the year of uncertainties (will we be able to establish ourselves in Italy? Will supporters trust us?) and of great disappointments (for the approximate 70,000 euro that the association Vitadacani never sent to the shelter despite repeated promises and despite the will of donors clearly expressed via the description of bank payments made in the name of “Romania”), 2006 was the year of the mobile clinic and of the determined development of operations in Romania. The year 2007 was according to our plans, to be the year of consolidation in Italy, and so it was. Thanks to volunteers and staff at the operational branch in Milan, STD managed to make a giant leap in quality and to create a direct and constant relationship with supporters and families that had adopted our animals at a distance. The activity of the Association has been concentrated on communication via the newsletter SAVE, while as President I have been able to reinforce relationships with both Italian and foreign partners, beginning new joint projects with England and the Netherlands and joining Wspa’s worldwide network. Moreover it was an honor for STD to receive honorary membership from the Jane Goodall Institute, after my meeting with primatologist, Jane Goodall. Jane will always remain a light and a wonderful example of strength and serenity for those, like us, who fight in the struggle against the suffering of many innocent beings.
Here is a summary of 2007’s important milestones:
-nomination of the Executive President, Laurentiu Vasilescu;
-expansion of the staff (1 person in charge of adoptions, 4 people charged with cleaning and taking care of the animals, 1 person in charge of “captures”, and 1 veterinary nurse) for a total of 24 people hired locally;
- Spaying/neutering of approximately 2000 stray and privately-owned dogs and cats (as soon as the precise stats are available we will publish them), and hundreds of emergency interventions;
-weekly shipment by plane of vaccinated and sterilized dogs, for a total of approximately 570 animals happily adopted in Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands (for specific adoption information please visit the Adoption Statistics section of the website);
-Increase in the number of horses taken in by the Association and various emergency interventions upon request by local police;
-rescue of 14 abandoned and mistreated donkeys, of which 2 foals (total number of donkeys at the end of 2007: 21);
-lobbying work (with the Italian Embassy and some members of the Romanian Parliament)
-support provided during emergency situations including those in Giurgiu, Sighisoara and Slatina via the donation of materials and assistance with adoptions.
In Italy and Europe:
-Opening of the operational branch in Milan on via Villapizzone (February);
-complete reconstruction of the Association’s website on occasion of the radio campaign on stations RMC and 105 Network (April);
-launch of the STD online shop (June);
-weekly shipment of medical supplies and various equipment from the operational branch in Milan to Romania (including surgical lamps and two operating tables) for a total of approximately 3000 kg;
-promotion of the demonstration in Milan (together with the Radicals) against the killing of “in excess” dogs and cats in the European Union and request for a meeting with Commissioner Markos Kyprianou (September);
-Participation in the ICAWC in Berlin, organized by the British foundation Dog Trust (November);
- Enrolment as member of the new association PIE, Pets in Europe (November);
-Agreement with the British association, The Donkey Sanctuary, to strengthen and expand the intervention on behalf of the donkeys in Romania.
The secret behind these results is surely the opening up of the association to other groups that think the same way about intervening in Romania in favor of the animals: only by joining forces, learning from other and collaborating with those with the same ideals, can you really change things.
Thank you, friends of STD, because you are the precious “fuel” that allows us to save thousands of animals each year. Thank you, friends of STD, because without you our operation would be much more limited and the world would surely be worse off than now.
Sara Turetta — President of STD