A Step by Step Guide to The Boldesti Shelter

boldesti shelter

The manager and the dog catchers are completely separate to Happy Tails (Madalina and Dennis).
Madalina and Dennis are volunteers. They don’t get paid for their work at the shelter, they do it for the love of the dogs. They dedicate all of their free time to the care of the dogs in the shelter, fitting it in around their paid jobs and their own animals.

When instructed by the local authority, the dog catchers will go retrieve dogs from a specific “problem” area. They have transit vans with individual cages inside. The dog catchers dart the dogs with anaesthetic, insert numbered tags into the dogs ears and put them inside the van, then bring them to the shelter.
These dogs are then placed into one of two courtyards. One male, one female. The tag numbers are documented with date of capture, and from here the dogs have 14 days until put to sleep.
When Madalina and Dennis began volunteering at Boldesti, all there was, was courtyards. Open, no protection from the elements and highly dangerous as they were filled with pallets. No kennels. No runs.
Now there are just the two courtyards, with no pallets and some shade round the edges, plus a few dog houses. Still not ideal but better than it was! The shelter has a certain budget for captured dogs, so food for those dogs in the courtyard is scant and poor quality.
Mada and Dennis have been allowed to build kennels and runs, and convert buildings for storage and the clinic which is used for spay and the care of sick dogs. As long as they funded it themselves. Madalina and Dennis do not own these kennels. They are built by them and they are where the promoted dogs are cared for, but they are very much a part of the shelter.

The best way to describe a dog’s journey through the shelter is, it’s like a conveyer belt.

Step one:
The dogs are placed in the courtyards by the dog catchers and given 14 days.

Step two:
Madalina and Dennis enter the courtyards and rescue which dogs they can. This all depends on whether the dogs will allow themselves to be caught. Some are just too scared or simply too aggressive. Where possible the scared ones are worked on and once trust is gained, they too can be taken from the courtyards. The rest unfortunately, have to be left to their fate

Step three:
The dogs taken from the courtyards are documented, weighed, given flea, tick and worm treatment and then moved into a kennel.

There are 38 kennels at the shelter. These comfortably hold a small number of dogs, maybe 6-8 depending on size. Dogs from the courtyard cannot be placed directly into kennels with dogs who are further along in their conveyer belt, therefore whole kennels must be empty for courtyard rescue to happen.

Step four:
Once placed into the kennels, the dogs then have a one month reprieve from pts if a €35 distance adoption is paid. Per dog. If this is not paid in good time the dogs are at real risk of being pts as they are technically still under the 14 days they were given when placed in the courtyard. Rescue organisations or members of Happy Tails fund these distance adoptions.
This DA theoretically buys them time for…

(Step five and six go hand in hand however for the purposes of breaking things down I’ve separated them)

Step five:
Preparation begins.
Disease testing, vaccinations, microchip, passports and spay/neuter. And promotion on Happy Tails for adoption via reputable rescue organisations.

The full month is needed due to the nature of the vaccinations. The rabies vaccine has a mandatory hold period of 21 days, so the quicker this is administered, the better.
These preparation costs are covered by rescue organisations and members of Happy Tails.

If the dogs do not receive all their preparation steps in time, they are once again at high risk of pts as their 30 days will run out.
At this point, a second DA is requested, which buys the dog another month of life to hopefully complete their preparation and receive an offer of a place in overseas rescue.

If the second DA is not paid for, the dogs can and will be pts.

There is now the option of a third DA which is more of a curse than a blessing, as it means dogs are in the kennels too long, get frustrated and are at higher risk of fights, plus this means less courtyard dogs can be saved due to no room. Third DA is NOT encouraged.

The third DA however is their absolute final chance of a reprieve. Once their time has run out, that’s it. No more time. PTS.

Step six:
Places are offered by rescue organisations who can provide full rescue back up. Transport costs must be raised by the receiving organisation and then Madalina can book the dogs a place on the transport van.

If no overseas rescue place is offered, then a further DA is needed (if not already had it).

Once this time runs out, no overseas rescue offer = dog pts.

Step seven:
Dogs board the happy bus and begin their long journey to their new lives. Lots of paperwork is also involved here.
Only once they leave the shelter are they no longer at risk of being pts.

This cannot be reiterated enough. These dogs can be put to sleep at any time whilst they are in Boldesti, if their costs aren’t met almost immediately and they don’t receive rescue offers. There is not an inch of space at the shelter that is “safe” for them.

Once kennels are empty of dogs en route to their new lives away from Boldesti, only then can dogs be brought through from the courtyard.

No kennel space = no dogs saved from the courtyards.

The longer a dog is taking up space in a kennel (to be blunt), the more at risk the courtyard dogs become. It really is like a ticking time bomb. This is why it’s so important to raise the money as quickly as possible and find places in overseas rescue, so that the preparation steps can be completed in a timely manner and the dogs vacate ASAP!!

The shelter also has a limit of 500 dogs. In the whole shelter. Courtyards and kennels included. Once this limit is reached, the culls in the courtyards begin and the scrutiny of dates of those in the kennels begins. This is why once the numbers start creeping up that it is even more important to act quickly to find the promoted dogs a space out of Boldesti so less dogs are killed.

This is the timeline of a healthy dog. Those that become sick or need operations obviously need extra care and medication. This happens in the clinic – sometimes in the private clinic in town if they’re more complicated – however without funds for the lifesaving treatments such as Salvacan and Canglob, as well as all the antibiotics, vitamins, anti haemorrhagics, anti sickness meds etc etc etc these dogs stand no chance.

Without funding for good quality food, the dogs cannot be built up and get strong and fit for their long journey. Without good quality wet food, the sick dogs won’t eat. A dog who won’t eat, doesn’t respond to medication. Without good quality puppy food, the babies are even more at risk.

There are a lot of steps to the process at Boldesti however I hope this simplifies some of it and makes the importance of each step easier to understand.