Romania - 80 animals sterilized in a single day

Have you ever heard of a spayathon? If you follow us on Instagram and Facebook you have probably seen us use this term a number of times. The ‘spayathon’ is a sterilization marathon that we organize periodically at Footprints of Joy, at our shelter in Cernavoda, Romania. During the last event, we treated a total of 80 animals in a single day: 41 dogs and 39 cats, either strays or privately-owned.

People know that they can bring their animals to us to be treated free of charge, and in some cases we also arrange the transportation and aftercare for families do not have adequate space themselves.

These marathons are also the perfect opportunity to talk to the owners and raise awareness of this important issue. Sterilizing is vital to prevent abandoned and unwanted litters. It is the only really effective way to combat the phenomenon of strays because uncontrolled reproduction leads to the birth of so many puppies destined for a life of hardship or death in Romania’s public dog pounds.

For every animal that is spayed or neutered, there will be about 500 unborn animals over the next three years that will not need to suffer this sad plight.

The marathon is also a golden moment for talking with the families and making them more aware of the importance of responsible dog handling. We are often able to convince people to use leashes and harnesses instead of makeshift methods like chains or choke collars.

Overall, this event is widely appreciated: we are the only veterinary clinic located between Bucharest and Costanza and have become a very important reference point for people who care about their pets. Many of these people become aware of our center for the first time through the spayathon days.

Even better, we always have good stories to tell afterwards: for example, we recently met a gentleman who brought us a cat and her kittens. He proudly told us that he had rescued them from the street and had come specially to have them all spayed.

The spayathon days are always a lot of work, but they are really worth it!