Our Work in Romania

Back in 2016 when Janet first became aware of the Boldesti Shelter and the amazing volunteers going in to rescue the dogs, it consisted of open courtyards with no shelter and no way to separate the dogs. Old in with young, males in with females, healthy in with sick, mothers and puppies in there too. To make matters worse, it was a dirt base covered in wooden pallets meaning the dogs would often break their legs, the tick infestation was huge and being in there to rescue the dogs was a dangerous job.
Now the present day shelter looks a lot different! There are now only two open, fully concreted court yards – one for males and one for females.
The Woodfield Foundation is so proud to have been able to fund the winter kennel block build and the sheet roof over the courtyards, as well as contribute to the upgrading and building of the other kennels and runs in the shelter. These improvements vastly increase the welfare standards for the dogs and give them somewhere comfortable to live whilst they wait for their happy ever after.

Mildred’s Mission

One of our charity’s main aims is to improve the welfare standards at the Boldesti Shelter in Romania, and we have achieved this so far by funding kennel builds, roofing structures in the courtyards, an onsite clinic and our latest project, the mother and pup unit. Another focus for our charity is to get to the root of the stray dog situation, drastically reducing the number of dogs ending up on the streets and ultimately in the Public Shelters.
Previously we have done this through smaller campaigns, which have enabled us to fund 1 and 2 day spay clinics; however we have now launched a new larger, ongoing campaign to raise money to fund more spay and neuter clinics at the Boldesti shelter. These clinics help encourage the local (and wider) community to neuter their dogs, as often they can’t afford the procedure themselves, or don’t understand the importance of doing so. The attitude in Romania towards dogs – and animals in general – is completely different to here in the UK. The problem initially stemmed from the fall in communism, with people being forced into high rise apartment blocks in the cities and unable to bring their pets with them. So, dogs and cats were abandoned on the streets unneutered and the stray dog population became an epidemic.
Rather than prevent unwanted animals from being born on to the streets by spay and neuter, the Romanian Government passed a law to simply capture and kill. They employed dog catchers to round up the stray dogs from the streets, throw them in Public Shelters, and if unclaimed after 14 days, to euthanise. The shelters are often in a horrendous state, where dogs are left in their own excrement, with little food and dirty or no water, no shelter and no protection from diseases. However, there are some amazing people in Romania who genuinely care about the dogs, two of which are the volunteers at the Boldesti Shelter. After supporting their work for a while and having adopted two dogs from the shelter via the volunteers, Janet McDougall – our charity’s founder – went to visit and raised money to hold a spay clinic during her trip back in 2017. She realised then that she had to do more than support from afar. Woodfield Dog Rescue was then born.

Mildred

During our May 2019 visit to the shelter, we fell in love with Mildred, a little old lady who we managed to save from the courtyard. It was obvious she had had a very hard life on the streets and had an old leg injury. We had high hopes for Mildred.

We knew she wouldn’t adapt well to a life in a home, but our plan was to get her leg fixed and then bring her to Woodfield to live out the rest of her days surrounded by love. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. Even though she managed to get over her fear of humans, she couldn’t get over her medical conditions.

A hard life on the streets without medical attention meant she was riddled with untreatable heart worm, a nasty tickborne disease and several other fatal ailments. The kindest option was to put her to sleep.

The Mission

Mildred only got 5 weeks of love and we at Woodfield can’t stand by and watch more dogs go through that for nothing. 5 weeks of love is not enough!

Spay and neuter is the ONLY way to prevent more dogs like Mildred suffering a life of hardship, of pain and deprivation. Facing abuse, starvation, illness or being killed or injured on the roads. Risking being taken from the streets by the dog catchers and thrown in a kill shelter to be disposed of as a number. As nothing!

That is why we have started Mildred’s Mission to spay and neuter as many dogs as we can!

If you would like to support our mission, then you can do so via Paypal: thewoodfieldfoundation@gmail.com or through Virgin Money Giving – simply search for “Mildred’s Mission”.

Please click here to see other ways in which you can support us.