Donkeys are animals that cost little money and do not require big economic efforts for their maintenance and for these reasons they are still used for the transportation of agricultural goods in the poorest areas of Romania. Unfortunately these animals usually do not receive basic care such as deworming or the filing of the hooves, basic practices to ensure them a minimum welfare. Often following a health problem or on the eve of winter the donkeys are being sold for a few Euros by farmers to traders, who in turn resell them to Italian slaughterhouses. The owners who can arrange for the purchase of stocks of hay to feed their donkeys during the cold months are very few.
In order to prevent the abandonment and sale of animals and improve their health Save the Dogs has launched a program of free home assistance that complements our first aid activities and the shelter Footprints of Joy for abandoned and abused donkeys.
The main sponsor of all these activities is the British organization The Donkey Sanctuary.
Despite the economic boom of the recent years and the increase in the number of cars, the cart pulled by the horses remains the most widely used means of transport in the countryside.
Poverty and lack of education of the owners bring these animals (especially those held by the Roma community) to lead a very short life, made mostly of starvation.
When they cannot be exploited anymore, the horses are being slaughtered in Romania (usually illegaly, a phenomenon we are witnessing in Medgidia) but more often they are being sent abroad to enter the food chain.
Also for horses Save the Dogs built three stables at Footprints of Joy, by launching at the same time a small project of home care with a focus on the Roma communities of Cernavoda and Medgidia.
In 2016, 92 donkeys have been assisted for free through our home care program in 13 villages, while at the end of 2016 we were hosting 59 donkeys in our sanctuary.
At the end of 2016 Save the Dogs’ sanctuary was hosting 11 horses, all maintained thanks to our long distance adoption program and to the annual contribution of our partners. 132 horses have been assisted for free through our home care program in 7 villages.