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Has anyone rescued a dog from Romania?

(62 Posts)
Staringcoat Sat 10-Nov-18 17:52:06

We're looking for a second dog - a companion to our adopted 6 yr old dog - and someone has brought a particular dog to our attention on a Romanion rescue site who looks to be a good match.

The site is called Save and Hope. Has anyone heard of it or had dealings with it? Does anyone know how to find out if it's legit or not?

This wasn't an adoption route that had crossed my mind up to now and the last thing I want to do is support any illegal trading in animals, although costs only appear to cover vaccination, worming, transport etc and not profit ifysim.

Any guidance/advice out there please?

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Staringcoat Sat 10-Nov-18 18:02:07

Meant to say, the form you have to fill in is very detailed and similar to the sort of info that UK rescue sites require. (I don't live in the UK btw.) Info such as name & address, Facebook address, size of family, size of garden, height of garden wall, can you afford vets bills, constitution of family etc. This is reassuring in the sense in that it seems legitimate. On the other hand, it's a lot of info to give out to potential scammers!

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BiteyShark Sat 10-Nov-18 18:07:49

What after support do you have this route?

My concern with any rescue would be whether you are left with a dog that might not work out that you would need to rehome back to them.

Staringcoat Sat 10-Nov-18 18:10:36

Yes that is one of my concerns too.

Forms require that you keep in touch with rescue centre and if you sign, you are contractually obliged to let them know if you pass the dog on to other owners and you have to give three weeks notice.

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Wolfiefan Sat 10-Nov-18 18:13:40

Is the dog in the U.K.? If not how can you see if it gets on with your dog?

Bunnybigears Sat 10-Nov-18 18:17:17

I rescued a dog who was from Romania but from a rescue who brings the dogs over here then adopts them out from here which I think is a lot better. We went to their centre looked at all the dogs before deciding on our dog. I wouldnt adopt a dog and pay for its transport from Romania as at worst its a con or you end up with a dog which is not right for you.

Didyeeaye Sat 10-Nov-18 18:22:42

I adopted a dog from Croatia with the help of a breed specific group in the UK. It was fairly straightforward and cost £220 all in for her passport and travel. I received great communication throughout and aftercare. I still get the odd message from the Croatian rescue (3 years on) Just ask plenty of questions and ve sure you are receiving a well rounded support also collars and leads have probably not been introduced in foriegn rescues as they are often 'free range' so be prepared to work intensively to introduce these.

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Sat 10-Nov-18 18:30:28

Sometimes it goes well, but there seems to be a disproportionate number of foreign rescue dogs that really struggle and ultimately cannot function happily as household pets.

Some of those owners are struggling on when they have a severely reactive dog they didn't sign up for. Some rehome and someone else has to manage the problem. Others end up PTS, but few will talk because there's a danger of being vilified for PTS a dog with severe behavioural issues.

This is the worst case scenario; this isn't here to scare you, merely to note that things can go very wrong with foreign rescues

Iltavilli Sat 10-Nov-18 19:35:59

We have a Serbian rescue dog from (what seems to be) a similar charity. He was a street dog, so we expected the worst, but he’s been an absolute delight.
He entered the EU via Romania, his pet passport is Romanian, and travelled with Romanian dogs via Europet. We’ve had loads of support before, during and after transport. The charity we used had a thorough check on us, and we have a contract where they provide support, but we also have to meet conditions (no breeding, evidence of vet checks and if we plan to not keep him they have first refusal).
It has been a great experience, he’s a brilliant dog and perfectly house trained (the rest of the training less so, and I speak Serbian so it isn’t the language barrier!).

nellieellie Sat 10-Nov-18 19:59:59

We have a Romanian rescue - adopted her through a rescue from Romania. She is lovely, calm, gentle, friendly, eager to please and a joy. She is dog reactive with dogs she doesn’t know which is a pain. If I was doing it again, Id go through a rescue that bring dogs to UK for fostering. That way, you can visit, find out what they are like out and about, Ive come into contact with many people with foreign rescues. A few are dog reactive, but often they make lovely family dogs.

Ngaio2 Sat 10-Nov-18 22:08:30

We adopted a Romanian dog via a local rescue centre which imports the dogs, gives them health checks and checks their temperament before matching with adopters. The first dog we expressed an interest in was found by the centre when checking was completed to be unsuitable for rehoming as there were safety issues ( would not be pts we were told). Then our dear wee boy was recommended and we could not be happier . Was a Street dog but must’ve been a pet at some time as house trained and very eager to please and gentle. Did not take long to train to walk on a lead. Was very scared of other dogs, especially large dogs but once her settled in and trusted us he has become much more confident and we don’t have a problem with known dogs. After one day no probs with fireworks when inside. If out he turns round and hurries home again, which is ok with us. Is fixated with food and was rather overweight but with Vets’s guidance re diet is now fine. Loves to be petted but has no desire to get up on furniture and snuggle up.
I’d recommend you tried to find a rescue centre near you that has a relationship with a Romanian Rescue Centre.

Staringcoat Sat 10-Nov-18 23:36:10

Thank you very much for all these very informative responses everyone. I was already very cautious about this and I will be pursuing this even more cautiously, if indeed we do decide to go ahead.

We have already adopted a very scared reactive (previously neglected) dog, and my DH and I have owned dogs for the majority of our lives so we're not complete beginners, and that doesn't put us off, but a completely feral animal would I agree be a different sort of challenge on another level. However, I should state that this is not the way this particular dog has been described to us, rather the reverse. Whether we trust that description is another matter.

Wolfie obviously compatibility is a major consideration. Unless we adopt a dog within the radius of an hour's radius drive though, this is always going to be an issue, first because our dog cannot travel further than that (he loves travelling in the car with us but but can't cope with the stress of new destinations) and second because where we live in mainland Europe the dog rescue centres tend to house a lot of dogs unsuitable for rehoming and many are kept (with the help of donations) in the shelters for life and not necessarily adopted out. Our existing dog absolutely loves the company of 99% of other dogs, is very docile with others (very happily stays with a pet sitter/trainer who owns three dogs when we are away and loves playing with them!) and we think he would benefit enormously from a permanent companion. We've tried for two years to adopt a dog locally without success, so we're at a bit of an impasse. Not sure how to proceed further tbh!

Lovely to hear the stories of foreign adoptions working out too smile but we will be thinking and researching very very hard before going any further with this!

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AvocadosBeforeMortgages Sun 11-Nov-18 04:57:39

We've tried for two years to adopt a dog locally without success

What's been the cause of your lack of success? Eg no suitable dogs available (what are you looking for?), turned down by mainstream rescues (why?)

Have you considered an ex puppy farm rescue dog? Due to Lucy's Law they're starting to see an increase in the many coming in, and they tend to look for homes with another stable dog already there. Many Tears Animal Rescue are a well known rescue that specialises.

lljkk Sun 11-Nov-18 05:33:46

OP lives in EU so I guess the rescue vetting procedures or the available dogs might be quite different from animal-loving UK.

Friend* (has been on MN sometimes!) was involved with a UK rescue, SafeRescue4Dogs, so from Friend's FBk I seem to have learnt a lot about how SR4D work. I suggest contact SR4D and ask them if they can help verify if Save&Hope are reputable. SR4D seem to go to a lot of trouble to import to Uk dogs with best chances of settling well & finding forever homes. The dogs are fostered in for (sometimes long) spells to get to know their characters and needs, get them used to family homes, give them maximum chance of a successful adoption.

If you adopt a dog straight out of a Romanian shelter, it may have never lived in a family home. Even if it seems healthy & friendly & house-trained, You know very little about how well it will transition.

Greyhorses Sun 11-Nov-18 06:38:29

Personally I am not convinced about the disease risks involved with importing dogs and also feel there are enough dogs here for everyone.

Also the vast majority I have met have been unsuitable or struggle living in pet homes (I work in dog behaviour)

Obviously there are exceptions however it’s not something I would take on.

Plenty of rescues with every sort of dog possible allover the UK. What sort of dog is it that you want?

Bunnybigears Sun 11-Nov-18 07:01:34

Plenty of rescues with every sort of dog possible allover the UK. What sort of dog is it that you want?

Firstly OP doesnt live in the UK but also there really isnt every possible sort of dog in UK rescues. The majority of the dogs in UK rescues are Staffies, lurchers, huskies, german shepherds when a smaller dog is in rescue they are usually older and not used to living with children. We looked for the perfect UK dog for our family from a rescue for years (because I also thought there must be a dog in the UK for us) before we adopted our Romanian dog because there just wasnt.

Greyhorses Sun 11-Nov-18 07:12:21

I’m sorry Bunny but I don’t agree. I work in rescue and there really are every time of dog available. Lots of them have puppies in.
My friend has just gotten a purebred 12 week old visla, they are there.

Looking at the first page of the dogtrust in my area and there are a number of types, shih tzu, a couple of labs and lab crosses, a beagle, pom, yorkie, a few lurcher types and a little cocker.

I work alongside a rescue in a behavioural capacity and there’s only one staffie there at the moment. The rest are all sorts of types and sizes.

Bunnybigears Sun 11-Nov-18 07:30:10

Thr same experiment in my area brings up a Weimaramer (ive probably spelled that wrong) a staffy cross, a GSD, the rest are lurchers apart from 1 Shih Tzu who can only live in a quiet adult only household. I appreciate I may be incorrect on a UK wide basis but certainly on a local basis this was my experience. Big dogs or elderly small dogs.

Squirrel26 Sun 11-Nov-18 07:52:34

I adopted my dog from Spain via Facebook which sounds like a recipe for disaster...but I had a home check (in U.K.), have a contract similar to charities here saying dog must go back to them in the event of needing rehomed, have access to advice from them, keep in touch with his shelter and foster it is possible to do it successfully. He is not the easiest dog in the world, but I knew that before he arrived (and some of it is ace and breed, not specific to his history.)

headinhands Sun 11-Nov-18 07:52:37

My friend did. He's bloody gorgeous and knowing his history makes you want to just feed him the whole pack of treats!

Marley45 Sun 11-Nov-18 08:11:52

We adopted a dog from Spain through a UK rescue. We didn’t meet her before she came over but we were in contact with the Spanish rescue and knew her background (one of a litter from a street dog who had been rescued shortly before giving birth)
She is the sweetest dog you will ever meet. Very timid at first but he confidence has grown so much since we’ve had her.
The charity here is called Dogwatch UK.

JazzAnnNonMouse Sun 11-Nov-18 08:16:55

we did and it unfortunately didn't end nicely.
we were assured she was cat tested child tested and had been phsycologicaly tested and great to live in a family environment.
well ok she was alright with my children (after the first week of trying to herd them) but she was petrified of strangers and it was very very difficult and unpredictable behaviour that ultimately made us make the decision to hand her back to the rescue (this took 6 months though as they had "no available spaces") they didn't want her back as she now had a bite history so left her with us (3 young children) we went through 3 behaviourists, training classes and a rehabilitation course because we loved her and wanted to be able to undo the damage done.
unfortunately I now believe that those dogs aren't fit for rehoming in family environment and can be extremely dangerous especially due to their unpredictability. I had nothing but issues with the rescue after we began to notice problems and it was one long drawn out heartache from start to finish.
rescuing is so so important but there is a part of me that believes it would've been kinder to have had her pts (contractually not allowed) than for her to continue to struggle with her fears.
she was loving to me but fiercely protective
, couldn't be off lead and we struggled having visitors. my children stopped being able to have friends round and it took over our family life rather than enhancing it.

I don't want to be a downer but I wouldn't recommend Romanian dogs to anyone. since that experience I would say the encounters I've had have been 50/50 great v terrible.

Bunnybigears Sun 11-Nov-18 09:23:04

JazzAnnNonMouse did you meet the dog first or just adopt based on the rescues description of temperament?

Xiaoxiong Sun 11-Nov-18 09:46:10

We did 5 years ago and we have had exactly the same experience as nellie above - wonderful dog, perfectly house trained, walks beautifully on lead, adores all people, super calm, never licks/jumps/barks, doesn't mind fireworks or thunder, but incredibly prey driven and dog reactive to dogs larger than her that she doesn't know, particularly if they are black (dobies, rotties and black labs seem worst for her, I suspect her eyes are not great now).

We keep her on-lead and harness except in secure enclosed fields/gardens, try and get her as much slow introduction socialisation as we can, and accept her for who she is and give her the best life we can after a very tough start on the streets of Brasov.

She has made the biggest positive difference to my DC's socialisation as well, and her calm demeanour has won round a lot of friends and neighbours who were fearful of dogs.

Staringcoat Sun 11-Nov-18 10:03:38

Thank you very much for all these responses. Seems like there is a mixed bag of experiences out there but when it goes wrong, it does so really badly. And interesting that no one seems to have heard of Save and Hope specifically, although I suspect there are lots of these organisations.

Headinhands grin

Greyhorses is there something specific worrying you about disease risk (obviously it's a major concern for us too) the shelter's dogs are all vaccinated and neuteured before they leave Romania and all certificates are available. However, again we are back to whether we can trust this specific organisation or not. I agree it's a huge risk to take.

Having said that, when we took on our adopted dog here, he appeared outwardly to have been raised in a loving and responsible home. In reality though, his ears and teeth both required operations, he had been underfed on cheap food, he had a skin condition, had not received the correct vaccinations as a puppy and those he had received, the vet said she'd stopped using that brand over 10 years ago. And his eyes don't react properly to light as he was kept in a dark shed for much of his puppyhood, then in a fenced garden with no stimulation or training. And this is a Europe zone one country!

Avocados I explained the reasons why we haven't been successful in previous post. No we haven't been turned down as unsuitable! It's down to lack of suitable dogs and a slightly different shelter procedures/ethos. We haven't given up looking though!

Again, thanks again for everyone's experiences and I'm sorry to hear it's been a heart-breaking experience for some.

My current thinking is that we will not be going ahead.

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