Footprints of Joy

Save the Dogs has bought 5 hectars of land surrounding an old vineyard at the hills of Cernavoda. It already serves as a rescue center for the horses and donkeys saved by Save the Dogs, and next in line are the dogs. In the new shelter the dogs will have more space in the kennels and the environment is calmer and greener than in the current shelter. In the new shelter even more focus can be put on enrichement, something that is extremely important for shelter dogs.

The new shelter will become a modern, ecological, hygienical and enjoyable animal welfare centre for badly treated Romanian animals and in addition it will be an important supporting point for local citizens. It will become the turning point for hundreds of animals and therefore Save the Dogs decided to name this animal welfare centre "Footprints of Joy". Energy will be partly produced by solar panels and rain water will be collected an reused for cleaning the kennels.

Footprints of Joy will consist of the following functions:

A modern vet clinic with quarantine facilities
Save the Dogs' wide scale neutering programme will of course continue on the new premises and the locals are just as welcome as before to get free help for their animals.

A safe haven for 300-400 dogs
The new shelter will not be a storage facility for dogs, but a transit place where they stay during their wait for a new home abroad.

Save the Dogs also care for a number of cats, which are adopted to Italy. The new cattery will be built later in connection with the guest house.

Donkey rescue centre
Save the Dogs has maintained the only official donkey rescue centre in Romania with the help of The Donkey Sanctuary since 2008. The stables and enclosures accomodate 60 donkeys and will hopefully be extended in the future. You can read more about the rescue center for horses and donkeys here.

Horse rescue centre
Nearby the donkey facilities are stables for 12 horses, all of them rescued from terrible conditions. Because Save the Dogs has no other major sponsor for the horses besides FHD, and because building stables is rather expensive, there are no current plans to enlarge the facilities. You can read more about the rescue center for horses and donkeys here.

Space for education
Save the Dogs already do a lot of educational work but this will be emphasized even more on when Footprints of Joy is ready. An educational officer will be hired and school groups will be welcome to visit the shelter. Also vet students from all over Romania will be invited to stay as possible. And of course, media and authorities will be invited to witness a well functioning and efficient animal welfare project in process.

Animal therapy
Save the Dogs and FHD has started a pilot project with riding therapy in Romania. The project called It's Donkey Time! uses four trained donkeys for therapeutic activities in Bucharest. The therapy project will extend to Footprints of Joy as well.

Facilities for volunteers and workers
There will naturally also be some social and office spaces in the new animal welfare centre. There is an existing house that will be accomodating volunteers from all around the world.