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Overview of the stray dogs situation in Romania


Update January 2nd


At the beginning of December, the Romanian government approved the methodological norms for the application of the stray dog law which will enable the killing of stray dogs. Our efforts to secure a more humane law were not accepted. Despite constructive collaboration between FOUR PAWS and the competent Romanian authorities, there have been drastic changes at the last moment. Previous agreements were taken back, such as the obligation of the city hall to catch aggressive dogs as a priority.


In spite of the difficult basic conditions, FOUR PAWS is dedicated to continue their work to facilitate adoptions and has set up a special Facebook page with detailed information about how to adopt a stray dog, with success. Animal lovers brought about 700 stray dogs, which were neutered by the FOUR PAWS team, and gave them a new home.


Unfortunately, the new law does not support adoptions at all and requires a discouraging bureaucratic procedure. But the FOUR PAWS team in Romania is going to support all animal lovers with the adoptions and continue to neuter stray dogs, if someone consents to take them in.

Update 23rd October


Up to now our FOUR PAWS team in Romania has been able to castrate 234 stray dogs and find new owners to take over responsibility for them and look after them. The killing of animals by private individuals is still against the law, with prosecution for offenders. Despite all this we are still hearing about cases of private killings and abuse, such as the particularly upsetting  story of Grivita. She is now in our care, and you can read more about her fight for life here. 


FOUR PAWS Romania has also set up a dedicated Facebook page with full information on how to adopt stray dogs:


Various animal shelters and reception centres are listed on our Romanian website:


To date twelve Romanian mayors have decided against official mass killings of strays  in their cities. We are working further to secure the cooperation of as many mayors as possible and to offer a humane solution for the stray dogs problem.

© FOUR PAWS l Fred Dott


Update, September 27th 2013:


Solidarity for stray dogs in Romania


FOUR PAWS held united actions for Romanian stray dogs in Vienna, Hamburg and Amsterdam. Together with our dogs, we protested against the mass killings and in favour of a humane solution to the stray dog issue in Romania.

Demo_Vienna_27.09.13.jpg 568_HerzfuerStreuner.jpg AktionHH_3.jpg AktionHH_1.jpg Solidarity_for_stray_dogs_Vienna.jpg

UPDATE, September 25th 2013


Today the Romanian Constitutional Court has unfortunately approved the law that allows the mass killing of stray dogs and we just received the message that president Basescu signed it! Please don’t give up and continue protesting! Here we listed some possibilities how you can support us by appealing to the president:

Send and share your protest to President Basescu:

Sign our protest to the Romanian mayors to ask them to promote adoptions instead of killing:

What you can do additionally:

Download the protest mail in PDF (in English):
PDF Download

You can send this by fax to the office of President Basescu using the following contact number: (+40-21) 410-38-58

You can also print out the protest and post it to the following address:

To President Basescu
Palatul Cotroceni,
Bulevardul Geniului nr. 1-3
Sector 6 - Bucuresti - Romania,
Postal code 060116

You can also send an e-mail to the following address:

Or, if you prefer, just phone President Basescu’s office directly:
Phone: (+40-21)410.05.81 – internal extension: 363; 305


You can also contact the romanian embassy in your country and appeal to the ambassadors to support the adoption of stray dogs!

Update 23rd September 2013


The FOUR PAWS team can still not enter the “Pallady” clinic and our medical equipment is still locked inside. With help from our lawyer we are planning to enter, escorted by the police, on the 26th. Nevertheless people are still adopting dogs from “Pallady”. Bucharest’s second public dog shelter, “Mihailesti”, was temporarily closed down. A witness from another NGO, who was there, stated to the press that the conditions at “Mihailesti” are very bad, dogs are suffering and the vets and authorities responsible did not help treat injured and sick dogs.


Last Saturday about 500 people protested on the streets of Bucharest against the mass killing of stray dogs. Also Romanian VIPs have started to support our adoption campaign, for example the singer Bodo, who was married to the daughter of President Basescu.

Update September 19th 2013


Yesterday in an overall Animal Welfare debate in the European Parliament with the “Intergroup on the Welfare & conservation of animals” in Brussels, the EU Commissioner for Health Tonio Borg, stated that the EU Commission will remind the Member State to comply with respective international agreements, such as the guidelines of the World Animals Health Organisations (OIE). For Romania, as member of the OIE, this means an important political impact, having agreed to the Terrestric guidelines on stray dog population control including the hierarchy of methods.

Update September 18th 2013

The FOUR PAWS team in Bucharest has now started supporting people who want to adopt a stray dog. Veterinary treatment is offered free of charge! This includes neutering, rabies vaccine, passport vaccinations, micro chipping and registration. Our teams are also sometimes able to collect dogs and transport them to the clinic. Romanian dog shelters can also count on us if they require veterinary expertise.

Please, continue to send the protest letter to support Romanian stray animals:

Update September 17th 2013

News from Romania:


FOUR PAWS called on the public attorney to involve the Romanian Constitutional Court (RCC) in stopping the mass killing of stray dogs law before the president of the country signs it. 30 representatives of the Romanian Parliament have challenged the law. On September 25thit will be discussed at the Constitutional Court. Until then the RCC puts the mass killing of stray dogs law on hold.


While there is no evidence regarding authorised mass killing inside public shelters yet, illegal massacres by private persons are on the increase on Romanian streets. FOUR PAWS has already taken legal action where the date, location and offender are known. Some Romanian dog ownershave startedtakingtheir dogs to work as they are afraid that something might happen to their dogs in their absence.

FOUR PAWS is now trying to nurture an adoption culture in Romania and will continue trying to save as many dogs as possible. All adopted dogs are examined and chipped by vets to allow registration and identification of the dogs. This is to prevent the dogs being abandoned again.

Update September 13th 2013

The Romanian FOUR PAWS team is still waiting to get access to the Pallady clinic. But they also had a pleasant surprise: More than 60 animal lovers were there to adopt stray dogs that were captured by the state ASPA dog catchers.

© FOUR PAWS I George Nedelcu

Update September 12th 2013

Romanian authorities prevent FOUR PAWS from continuing its stray animal care. This morning the FOUR PAWS stray animal care team was denied access to the animal clinic in Theodor Pallady Street, where the organisation had treated and neutered animals with the agreement of the City of Bucharest since April 2013. Yesterday ASPA also refused to let new stray dogs be brought to the clinic.


On September 9th ASPA issued an official written demand that the clinic be vacated during the next 24 hours. Their justification: Until a final decision on the matter of the stray dogs has been reached, ASPA is abandoning all agreements with the animal welfare organisation. FOUR PAWS responded by citing the agreement with the City of Bucharest stating that such a request has to be notified at least 72 hours in advance.

© FOUR PAWS I George Nedelcu

The last 16 dogs that had been neutered and treated in the clinic by the FOUR PAWS team have not been released as yet, but were instead brought to the “Speranta” shelter which is supported by FOUR PAWS. The organisation has created additional emergency accommodation for the strays there.


Please, protest against the mass killing of stray dogs:

Romanian Parliamentarians have passed Stone Age law allowing the killing of stray dogs

September 9th 2013

After the tragic incident last week in which a little boy was fatally injured by stray dogs, Romanian President Traian Basescu called on Parliament to legalise the killing of thousands of stray dogs immediately.


The law was adopted by the plenary on September 9thwith 266 votes "pro", 23 votes "against" and 20 abstentions.


The new law allows the killing of stray dogs after they have been kept in a dog shelter for 14 days. It is hugely unrealistic to think that the dogs could be adopted within such a short time. In addition, there are not enough shelters, food or veterinary care for the dogs. The law has condemned hundreds of thousands of Romanian stray animals to death.


Over 100,000 dogs have been neutered and released by FOUR PAWS' Stray Animal Care teams in the last decade. These efforts are recognised and endorsed by the European Parliament. Now we are looking for a solution to stop the implementation of the law and to prevent the legalisation of the mass killing of stray dogs.


Support us by sending a protest letter against the legalisation of mass killing: