Last weekend has been a very busy one for STD.

During the past three days, Romania and Italy have been closer than ever thanks to the two “twin” openings of Footprints of Joy held in Cernavoda and Milan, a few hours from each other.

The adventure started on Friday when about thirty members and supporters left for Bucharest. Save the Dogs President and a part of our staff went with the guests in a trip to discovering the association symbol places, including the “old” shelter in Cernavoda, the sterilization Center in Medgidia and the Don Orione center in Voluntari where STD coordinates It’s Donkey Time!, the pet therapy project with donkeys that has been operating since 2011.

The climax of this greatly emotional three-day trip came on Saturday morning during the Footprints of Joy ribbon cut by moved Sara Turetta. Emotional as well were all the friends at the small ceremony along with the STD partners coming from Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Principality of Monaco, United Kingdom and the full Romanian staff.  In spite of the 40° C temperature, the visit at the shelter lasted a couple of hours and our members and supporters, most of them in Romania for the first time, had the chance to visit the facilities and meet our tailed guests: the dogs who had been transfered from the old shelter for a few days, the donkeys and the horses.

On Sunday morning, on the way back to the Bucharest airport, the short visit at the Don Orione Center moved again our guests who, led by Father Roberto, met four therapist donkeys and the children in the orphanage which, thanks to the partnership between STD and Paideia Foundation , houses the first onotherapy program in Romania.

After landing back in Italy the emotions did not end and the big event went on in Milan, where STD President symbolically cut a second red ribbon and toasted with the supporters and friends who were waiting for her in The Hub lounge for an aperitif which was offered by the Hotel. The evening ended with a very good vegetarian dinner where, as typical of STD events, there were also many Italian and Romanian four paws celebrating the big event with us and their owners.

It is really hard for us to pass on our emotions for such an important moment in words and to express the joy to share it with a part of our supporters and friends, both in Italy and in Romania. Thanks to their presence and their love we really felt you close while following and supporting us in these years. It is thanks to you if we could make this dream come true and if we can go on with our work in the future.

Click here to see all the pictures of opening in Romania and in Italy.

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(in the picture: George Hansa with Sara Turetta during his former mayoralty.)

He was predicted as favourite but we had to wait for the vote count for a confirmation.

Ex Cernavoda Mayor George Hansa (PNL), ex mathematics teacher who had welcome STD founder  Sara Turetta in 2002 allowing her to start the sterilization program, has been re-elected  mayor.
The outgoing mayor Mariana Mircea placed only as third, the one who had repeatedly awarded contracts for the stray dogs catch (and killing) to a company in Costanza and who had eliminated over 400 in three years. Not only that: Mrs. Mircea had had a kennel built that cost over 80.000 euro to the community and has never been finished, now only rubble is left.

The outgoing mayor unpopularity is not only due to her close-minded management of stray dogs (which unfortunately a large number of population still agrees with), but also  to many administrative choices that caused the citizenship’s dislike. Today for STD a new page is reopened for our now ten-year intervention in the area of Cernavoda: without the authorities cooperation, actually, any project that is intended to oppose such a complex situation has a limited efficiency.

Among the first provisions that STD is going to ask the mayor there are a private kennel-camp dismanteling, the census and registration/identification of owned dogs and their mandatory free sterilization in collaboration with STD. We send mayor George Hansa our congratulations and our best wishes for his work, hoping that Cernavoda will be back as an outpost in Europe for the stray dog management and a landmark for whole Romania.

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