Save the Dogs operates on the basis of its internal policy and with precise operational protocols (Standard Operating Procedures) with which all staff and veterinarians must comply.
Save the Dogs Board, after several comments appeared on social media after the launching of the Italian program, feels the need to share the guidelines that have long been the basis of our work in Romania and to clarify the ways in which the association works.
In this country, and unfortunately in Eastern Europe, strays are still captured and brutally killed after 14 days in public kennels. The captures often occur in the presence of the Save the Dogs operators, who see the animals that they have learned to know, they have fed and often neutered, meet their death.
Despite this dramatic and frustrating situation, which causes anxiety to all of us, and even if our decisions continually expose us to criticism from the Romanian animal welfare groups, we continue to firmly pursue our guidelines, which include:
- Always release animals (dogs and cats) that are not socialized. These individuals are neutered, identified and released on the territory at the exact point where they were taken. If they need treatment, the most effective and decisive ones are chosen in the shortest possible time, to avoid imprisonment that is not compatible with these individuals;
- not socialized animal (dog or cat) are not included in international adoption programs or forced into detention in our facilities;
- We never take not socialized puppies from their territory. A careful analysis of the place and condition in which they are found, their age and behavior is carried out to assess if it is better to help them with food, always planning neutering;
- We help animals that are injured or in danger, abandoned puppies or puppies that are too young to survive without their mother or a pack. Each case is evaluated individually;
- only animals (dogs or cats) that have the possibility to be adopted and that show a good interaction with human beings are brought into our facilities;
- we welcome all the unwanted litters that unfortunately continue to be abandoned almost daily at our facilities’ entrance;
- We provide for regular census of the animals in the areas where we operate.
We have always been in favor of an integrated approach to the management of the endemic stray phenomenon, which does not include neutering as the only tool, but for which neutering is the mainstay that is impossible to ignore.
We believe in involving people in awareness and information activities, especially given that the main tributary to the large basin of stray dogs is that of unwanted litters of owned dogs left free to roam without being neutered or identifiable. For this reason, in Romania, we run since 2002 free-neutering campaigns and free registration of owned dogs (since 2013), as well as planned CNR activities (capture, neuter and release) on the territory.
We always act in full respect of the most modern ethological and canine knowledge, we recognize neighborhood dogs, feline colonies and we know that many individuals do not need contact with humans and have the right to live free and not to be locked up for life in an overcrowded structure. But we are also aware that many other individuals face a life of hunger and often death on the road, given that the stray animals phenomenon is mostly a characteristic of highly anthropized territories.
We believe that our commitment as an association has as its goal the reduction of “roaming animals”, to be pursued with serious and competent work, to avoid the drastic and brutal reduction of those animals (however ineffective) with poisonings, as in Southern Italy, or with systematic killings, as unfortunately happens in Romania and in other parts of the world every day.
The Italian project of Save the Dogs will follow the same guidelines that we have followed in our work in Romania, with some differences that we wish to list here for clarity:
- the adoptions and / or recovery dogs for stall or adoption are not part of the Save the Dogs Italian project
- the interventions will focus on neutering and identification of dogs belonging to people in the lower or middle to lower economic condition and to hoarders
- we provide monitoring activities on the territory with identification of dogs by geographical areas
- behavioral profile identification:
- Stray animals, former domestic
- Strays (they let themselves be fed by humans)
- Feral animals
The capture, neutering and release can only be done for categories A and B, for which there is a formal agreement with the local Veterinary ASLs (Vet Health Local Units), in compliance with the regional laws of the territory in which the project is active.
- Neutering and medical interventions are carried out by local veterinarians or local animal welfare groups , following partnerships and contracts stipulated between the parties.
Save the Dogs’ Board