Up early to visit a horrible public shelter called Pallady in Bucharest, the dogs are brought in by ASPA, the dog catchers get paid 50 euros per dog so they catch from anywhere they can. Many of the dogs are traumatised after being held up in the air on long poles and crammed into a van in hot weather without water….terrible. The good news is that Alison can get some of these dogs to the UK by being adopted and transported, all above board and legal. This poor baby who has nothing left is coming home to the UK soon, look at the one underneath too scared to come out.
We filled our car full of dog food to go and visit the Red Panda Shelter which is really good, so well organised, the dogs are groomed and given lots of human contact (I like to say cuddles). Red Panda also visits local schools and give talks to the children; they also had a fun day dog show which is slowly catching on in Romania. Talks in the evening with people we know to find out what is happening with the street dogs and if things have changed in any way, sadly not.
Up early again with Alison to fill the car up with more dog food for another shelter, now this shelter is old and tatty but a new one is being built to re-place the old one and the gypsy workers who are so good and love the dogs are also going to the new shelter which is so nice.
In the afternoon we went to the Parliament Building Protest in Bucharest where TV crews and press arrived and we met Elaine Renton who organised the event.
To get to any of these places or shelters it can take 1.5 – 2 hours, nothing is just down the road so miles of travelling has to be done, thank goodness for Sat Nav. Right onto the New Shelter which is run by Marius, this shelter will be one of the best in Romania, Marius has designed it himself, you just don’t get shelter like this, it will be amazing when finished more details on our Facebook Page.
The dogs can run free in acres of land with woods, but they always come back because of food and they love Marius and his wife Elena. There is a lovely video on their facebook page. How many shelters get a plunge pool! In the Summer the temperatures can get to 35 – 40 so this is paradise for the dogs. When we give dog food we always give bread and cheese and cigarettes to the workers, they are so grateful.
Had a lovely VIP Day out at Woodgreen Animal Centre in Cambridge with our Social Media Assistant Tiffany Belle. We’re pleased to say Woodgreen are supporting our Wetnose Day this year and are helping with promotion and will be selling noses in their shop.
Amazing Centre so well organised, clean, tidy and everyone we meet was so friendly….thank you Woodgreen lovely place, love the horses.
Our tribute to Gavin is to have his dream come true, to carry on with the National televised 'Wetnose Day', similar to the annual 'Red Nose Day'. And to highlight the plight of animals throughout the World, and to raise much needed donations, and help those who strive to help our animal friends. Wetnose will also carry on to have the Wetnose Awards 2015 and to help promote and support the many rescue centres that we knew and loved. That was Gavin's dream...
On March 28th 2014, The Wetnose Team finally landed in Romania, the campaign began by visiting various Rescue Shelters within Bucharest, to publicise the work being done, and to show the World what is happening to Romania's stray dogs.
Wetnose Animal Aid Founders, Andrea & Gavin Gamby Boulger, were joined once again by Gary Edwards from Norton Animal Rescue, and the girls from K-9 Angels, Pola Pospieszalska and Victoria Eisermann with Jade Williams (singer) and Nanu Madalina from Craiova and Ioana Iordana our interpreter for our Romanian trip.
Our celebrity guests Lorraine Chase and Saffron Sprackling (Republica), joined forces to become a voice for the many dogs who are being killed and abused. Together, the 'A Team' (Animal Team) have documented the plight of these animals, and the desperation of those people trying to save their lives.
Just last week for example the Vier Pfoten shelter run by Vet Anca Tomescu was shocked by the raid ordered by Razvan Bancescu from ASPA Bucharest at a private shelter where 90 dogs that were steriziled, vaccinated, passports and were ready to be adopted to the families abroad waiting for them. The Shelter was OUTRAGED by the savagery shown by Razvan Bancescu' employees...we found out that they KILLED 8 dogs. We found out that 15 of those dogs they confiscated (most likely ILLEGALY) were there recuperating after surgery.
ASPA action was barbaric and this is unacceptable for a civilized country, member of the EU. These ASPA (dog catchers) are paid 50 euros to kill the dogs, thousands have been killed since September last year, when a New Law was passed to go ahead and kill the dogs. Now the latest public statements made by Razvan Bancescu, says he now intends to obstruct adoptions from the public shelters in Bucharest coordinated by ASPA. How can he do this, which Law can Razvan Bancescu use to ban people from adopting dogs?
This is what is happening in Romania today 21/3/2014 the ASPA who run the public death camps came and took 90 healthy well cared for dogs from a private shelter (Vier Pfoter) a lot were waiting to travel to the UK. It's brutal and there are at least 2 videos, people locked themselves in the cages to try and save the dogs, the ASPA broke the cages, one lady hid a dog down her trousers and under a blanket, so 2 dogs were saved.
About 15 of the dogs were taken from the shelter clinic and had just been operated on. One lady who witnessed all this had a heart attacked and is in hospital. Reports suggest the dogs have been taken to the Makati City Shelter which is a death camp. All will be killed! All the dogs were micro-chipped, paperwork ready, and were waiting to come over to the UK, this is trespassing and illegal to take dogs from a Private Shelter, illegally. Dogs are being stopped from being deported, reports are coming in that this is happening in Bulgaria too.
Illegally, public funds were allocated to local authorities in Romania for humane solutions to the stray dog problem including spay/neuter programs but these were never implemented. The money disappeared and animals are dealt with in a most cruel way instead and euthanised in a completely inhumane manner. The reports in the Romanian media and true eye witnesses accounts state these cheap and effective euthanasia methods including beating to death, clubbing, injecting paint thinner or other cheap toxin into the lungs, burning, drowning and poisoning with substances including antifreeze.
The petitions, demonstrations, and acts of heroism being offered and shown, have set this flame alight across the World...
Here in England, many individuals and organisations are working to bring an end to this savagery; some are flying over to Romania, to protest, and to highlight the plight of the animals, and the people who are trying to help them.
Wetnose Animal Aid and Norton Animal Rescue Foundation (Peter Egan, Sam Fox, Lorraine Chase, Wendy Turner Webster, Saffron Rock Band Republica) and others are making plans to visit Romania in February in order to film the atrocities, meet those who are fighting against this evil, and to show the entire world what is happening to Romanian strays. With a celebrity team, camera crew, we will strive to bring 'Justice for Romanian Strays', as we did with the recent case of 'Borko the crippled dog', and the many other Bulgarian animals also suffering indifference and abuse.
We have so much to plan, and so little time in which to organise this effort, as the situation is already more than we can bear, and the animals are suffering and being exterminated as I speak...if any organisations and individuals wish to donate any amount, no matter how small, then please can all donations be sent directly to Wetnose Animal Aid, and please specify that donations are for the Romanian mission.
We are often referred to as 'Heroes' or 'wonderful people' believe me; we are none of these things. We are born to do what we do, and we cannot change who we are, and therefore all we are is a voice, for those who cannot speak for themselves...we deserve no praise, we want no rewards, ALL we ask for is justice for the countless animal lives, who suffer every day at the hands of cruel humans.
Wetnose is pleased to announce that a trip is planned for June 2013 to visit Pen Farthing (Ex-Royal Marine) and the animals at Nowzad Shelter which started in 2006, we plan to film and report our findings and to get a press release out to all media outlets.
Wetnose gave Nowzad a *Hero Award* at our 4th Animal Awards Ceremony last month for the bravery and care these soldiers give these poor animals who are used as footballs by the children, they don't know animals feel pain!
We are taking with us footballs and t-shirts with the words on them *Kick a ball not a puppy*. The soldiers get a lot of comfort knowing these dogs and cats are being saved and looked after, so we feel it helps everybody, the children learn not to hurt the animals, the soldiers feel good, and the animals get the food (soldiers food when found) then wormed and vaccinated at the shelter.
Our aim is too highlight and help educate the local children that puppies and kittens should not be used as footballs.
Peter Egan talks to Mathew Wright about NOWZAD, Wetnose and more.
Taking place on 22nd Feb 2014, raising awareness and funds for & Team Wetnose Animal Aid, Animals Asia Foundation, Doris Banham Dog Rescue and Team Badger.
Channel 5 TV presenter Matthew Wright compered the show with guest speakers, actor Peter Egan and actress Lorraine Chase and members of each charity were in attendance to show the great work they do day in and day out. Hawkwind were magnificent playing their legendary album 'The Space Ritual'. It was a wonderful and unforgettable evening in support of the vital work to save and protect animals. World renowned guitarist John Etheridge played a wonderful set of his music and International singer song writer Maria Daines was also rocking the night away, over 1700 people were there helping to give animals a voice.
A total of £18,000 was raised for the 4 animal causes so Rock 4 Rescue really did ROCK!!
Early this morning Hillside gave sanctuary to ten ponies in emergency situation. These exceptionally friendly animals have been through an extraordinary journey of hopelessness and despair. They had been signed over to a meat dealer to face slaughter in a deal which allowed their owner to evade prosecution. Their next stop was to have been the abattoir!
In their short lives, these unfortunate ponies have really been 'through the mill'. They had been 'rescued' by a sanctuary in Wales where very recently 30 other horses and ponies were found starved to death or were so emaciated, they were euthanised by the RSPCA. Did the betrayal of the animals end there? No, the proprietor of the sanctuary was then, astonishingly, told she must sign over some of the surviving animals, including these ten ponies, to a meat dealer in order to avoid being prosecuted. When news of the heartbreaking events at the sanctuary broke, there was an outcry from animal lovers who raised the funds to buy these ponies their freedom and bring them to Hillside. Unfortunately, it was too late for six of the sanctuary's goats who had already been killed and six of the cows are still in the clutches of the dealer. We are still hopeful that they can also be saved after all they have been through.
Amazingly, this catalogue of events wasn't the beginning of these ponies' tormented lives. Before all this, they had PREVIOUSLY been rescued from slaughter by ANOTHER Welsh sanctuary who had also been closed down after animals there were found neglected and dying. After being so badly let down so many times in the past, for these ponies, Hillside is now their third and final rescue home. It is only through the determination and dedication of Heather, Lesley, Lisa, Debbie and Andrea from Wetnose Animal Aid (who paid for all the transport fees) that these ponies have been released to enjoy a brighter future at Hillside. All ten ponies are now safe at Hillside. Wetnose is now collecting donations for these 10 ponies at Hillside.
Well after a 24 hour journey on our first day a bomb went off near Kabul airport, so it was chaos everywhere with security staff and police, but quiet exciting in a weird sort of way. We eventually made our way to our hotel that had lot of steel doors and then some more security doors behind those, so at least we felt safe in the hotel. On our trip was Wetnose Ambassador Actor Peter Egan, Gavin Gamby-Boulger from Wetnose Animal Aid and Peter Fison from South West London TV.
We met Pen Farthing the shelter founder, Pen was a Royal Marine for 20 years, but after he broke up a dog fight and the dog started following him around, he couldn’t resist those big brown eyes, he called his new buddy NOWZAD same name as the shelter which he set up in 2006 in Kabul. We went to the shelter where there are 80+ dogs, cats and 3 donkeys, a sea of happy faces and waggy tails, a very well-run place where the animals get vaccinated, wormed and well fed by the staff. Then we met Jo a lovely big boy who was so friendly, he lost part of his nose due to Leishmania Disease which is from sand flies. We hope to go back in 2014 with more footballs for the children.
One of the Centres we did visit with TV Presenter/Author Wendy Turner Webster and actress Lorraine Chase was Sofia Animal Rescue in Bulgaria which had the most fantastic friendly dogs there. Other centres were not nice to see and had over 800 dogs in there!
We met Borko the now famous dog who was beaten and abused until his spine broke. He was given a cart to walk in and kept by Dr Litov. The Borko childrens book still available to buy. Click Here for more details.
On our arrival we were greeted by a volunteer Melissa Beamish who had worked there for many weeks and has fallen in love with the animals and the island of Kefalonia, after walking around and talking for well over 1.5 hours, we took some film footage and pictures and also met the owner Marina. This lady (Marina)is like a dog whisper, she was born in Columbia and almost brought up in the jungle so has a real bond with all the animals (wow what a story that would make)!
Many of the dogs are checked for Leishmaniasis disease which is found in many EU Countries and can only be controlled and not cured, see details below:
Canine leishmaniasis (LESH-ma-NIGH-ah-sis) is a zoonotic disease (see human leishmaniasis) caused by Leishmania parasites transmitted by the bite of an infected phlebotomine sandfly. Canine leishmaniasis was first identified in Europe in 1903, and in 1940, 40% of all dogs in Rome were determined to be positive for leishmaniasis. Traditionally thought of as a disease only found near the Mediterranean basin, 2008 research claims new findings are evidence that canine leishmaniasis is currently expanding in continental climate areas of northwestern Italy, far from the recognized disease-endemic areas along the Mediterranean coasts.
Many dogs have ticks which need to be treated and of course worms and fleas, we’re pleased to say the dogs were all very happy and healthy, and we could of easily bought one home, they were so friendly and had a lot of care given by the volunteers. A small centre that is growing fast and will do well, the local vet was very helpful and would often pop round to see the dogs and cats, we at Wetnose will keep in contact with them on facebook under Friends of ARK. (Animal Rescue Kefalonia).
Was a very cold Sunday when we went round to have a look, some of the stories are awful, but the horses and ponies looked well fed and looked after, I have to say though I thought the place was a bit bare and not enough things for the horses to do, no trees, not a very natural environment, seemed very clinical. Saying that well worth a look round and great to take the children.
Hillside was founded in 1995 to help and campaign for animals in need' and most importantly, to bring public awareness to the millions of animals suffering every day in the intensive factory farming industry. Although at Hillside we have given sanctuary to over 250 horses, donkeys and ponies, most of our 900 residents have been rescued from the farming industry.
Lovely place, very well run and peaceful, we had a tour round with the manager, very happy and contented animals. Well done Wendy.
Well after 3 long years Gav and Andrea from Wetnose Animal Aid decided to have 1 week’s holiday to try and chill out and re-charge our worn out batteries. The Greek island of Samos near Turkey is lovely, the people are really friendly, the weather perfect, what more could you ask for…..well to visit a Rescue Centre of course!
So off we trotted, we had heard of one place in Thassos which is not very well run, so we went to *Animal Care Samos* run by Tom & Ingrid who are Dutch. The Centre is high up in the mountains right next door to a waste site which smells in the heat.
No heating or electricity and water has to be pumped from a well by an old generator but the shelter is open from 10.00am till 12.00 noon every day and looked very clean and tidy. While we were there someone had tied up a dog down the road by the waste site and just left it in the sun, poor thing was getting all stressed and scared, a visitor came back and said help this dog, so we all ran down the road and Ingrid cut it lose and carried it back to the centre and vaccinated it straight away. Many of the locals now give their unwanted dogs to the army camps on the Island as they know they will be fed, then after a few days the army bring in 3 or 4 dogs in to the Centre but sometimes the dogs are not in the best of health and should have been brought in sooner, but it’s better than leaving them on the streets.
It is unlikely that the situation will change much as long as the attitude of many Greeks stays the way it is. However, progress can be seen, more and more people take care of their dog and have it spayed. At the same time, kids learn in school that it is not funny to beat, kick or otherwise tease dogs.
Some Greeks are now walking their dogs on leads instead of letting them wonder all over the place, so slowly things are changing. But there are still plenty of horror stories!
Cats well that’s totally different, there are hundreds everywhere and nobody seems to care at all, they are nearly all feral, but Animal Care Samos do catch neuter and release which is the perfect answer. I love cats and just had to say hello to the friendly ones.
Greece has got such a bad reputation when it comes to animal welfare, but education is still the key thing, shepherds in the mountains cut off the ears of adult dogs as they say it helps them to hear better……yeh right!!
After many years of campaigning and helping these animals from Organisations such as Greek Animal Rescue and shelters like Animal Care Samos, things are slowly getting better, my only concern is the collapse of the Euro or lack of tourists in 2012 could make things very bad for animals again!
Vickee Taylor has 80 cats and 29 dogs, she feeds strays and help many unwanted cats in the Algarve area. Dawn (Midlands coordinator with Vickee) went to see Vickee many times with donations and goody parcels.
Dolly (left) is about 26 years old. She had been used as a brood mare year after year until internal problems prevented her from being put into foal again. (i.e. as soon as she stopped being a nice little earner she was out). She is now happily retired at the sanctuary.
Fiona Oakes also won a Wetnose Award in 2010 for “Best Vegan Rescue Centre” presented by actress Nicola Duffett. Fiona runs marathons to raise funds and also has a bad knee, amazing lady.
Wetnose Animal Aid had sent parcels and money to help the ProAnimal Rescue Centre in Gorj, Romania, prior to our visit. Andrea Gamby-Boulger from WAA have been helping by sending knitted coats, knitted blankets, leads, bowls, flea powder, bandages, wound cream, clippers, all sorts of parcels to help the 300 dogs at the shelter who have nothing.
Andrea said "Patricia at the ProAnimals shelter tries so hard with her mother Carmena to care for these dogs, some of which come in with broken legs or so thin they can barely walk. So we all decided to do something about it". The ProAnimals website is www.ProAnimals.ro
These dogs really have nothing at all, no toys, no coats in the cold winters, no leads or collars. They deserve so much more. Patricia is desperately trying to start a Neutering Programme and to educate the local people about looking after their animals. But you can't do these things without money.
Gavin (Wetnose Founder) heard how Romania had terrible welfare issues and went to see for himself, he was very shocked when he returned. Things have improved very slightly over the years but are still very bad indeed.
People moved from the mountains into the Towns for work and left there animal behind, which is why reason why there are so many dogs and cats out there. ProAnimals is still going strong today and has more people helping, but Romania is still a bad place for animal welfare like Greece, Iran, Bulgaria and many other Countries.
Wetnose has made a start by giving aid, please join us and give what you can as well. Cheques can be sent to Wetnose at Wetnose Animal Aid, Newgate Lodge, Kirby Cane, Norfolk, NR35 2PP or given to our shop at 14A Hungate, Beccles.
Wetnose went to visit Josefina and her husband and what a really fantastic job they do working 7 days a week, helping and re-homing loads of dogs and cats every year. Some of the animals are just thrown over the fence in a sack. All the animals are wormed and vaccinated and when funds allow Neutered. A lot of the dogs were running around in their 3 acres of ground.
Sociedad Protectora para Animales de Torrevieja' (or S.A.T) is a registered charity whose aim is to alleviate the local stray and abandoned dog problem. It was formed in 1992 by like minded people and became registered in Valencia as Charity no: 3463. It is also registered with Torrevieja Town hall. Wetnose visited this lovely centre.
S.A.T was founded in 1992 by a group of people of all nationalities who saw the need for a sanctuary for the abandoned dogs that roamed the streets of Torrevieja. Today, with its kennels at Dolores which can home upto 70 dogs, it is still a multi-national organisation and a registered charity with the Valencian Community. Our aim is to prevent unnecessary suffering and rehome the many abandoned dogs within the Costa Blanca area. No longer do we only cover Torrevieja, we have cries for help from as far as Murcia and as far inland as Pinoso and Sax. Luckily for us, there are now more places like ours that take in abandoned animals and we can deal with the immediate problems in the Vega Baja area more readily. www.satanimalrescue.com
Wetnose went to visit Holly Hedge in Bristol in 2000, lovely friendly place, Holly Hedge has a fantastic cattery which is open with a garden scene for the cats to exercise in. A very well run Centre and clean and tidy.
Holly Hedge won a Wetnose Award in March 2013 in London with Rick Wakeman and Vicki Michelle OBE with £1,000 donation given by Animal Friends Insurance.