20 days of Stray Animal Care in Caracal, the city of dogs
Caracal, a historic trading post and second largest city in the Romanian region of Olt, has been the site of a 20-day Stray Animal Care project of FOUR PAWS Romania. 582 animals (568 dogs and 14 cats) were neutered and received medical treatment between November 13 and December 2, 2009. Experienced members of the FOUR PAWS team have stated that they have rarely seen so many dogs in a town this size. For them, a safer and better life has now begun.
Stray dogs are a very common sight in Romanian towns, but the density of canine population found in Caracal is fairly rare, nonetheless. The positive first conclusion is that the – also very common – killing raids have not been enforced to the same extent as in the larger Romanian cities, but only a legally binding statement of the local authorities and an animal-friendly population planning method can ensure the animals' safety and well-being. This was the task to deal with for FOUR PAWS unit who spent 20 cold November days in Caracal, treating 30 dogs a day.
A safer, better life for dogs
The town government had provided excellent facilities for the team, making sure that both the medical unit and the post-operation area for the dogs were spacious and warm – a very important issue to consider under such uncomfortable weather conditions. FOUR PAWS was able to work in the veterinary office near the City Hall, so both catching the dogs and keeping them monitored and cared for could be coordinated from a central location. The city officials, including the mayor and vice mayor, attended the press conference accompanying the Stray Animal Care project – a frequently repeated television campaign informed the public about the hows and whys. All of these things added up to quite ideal working conditions which could be a model for many other communities in Romania.
Caracal – a model project
As long as support is maintained both from local officials and FOUR PAWS donors, life can sustainably get better for the countless animals leading an unworthy existence on the streets, who are constantly under threat of being mistreated or killed. A little over a decade after FOUR PAWS has initiated its Stray Animal Care projects, this situation has improved massively. Projects like the one in Caracal are proof of that.