Stray dog in Moldova

Stray Animal Care in Moldova

Bringing hope to Moldova’s strays


Moldova is considered the poorest country in Europe, with more than 25% of the total population living below the national poverty line. Many adult Moldavians have left the country to seek work in Western European countries, leaving behind a dysfunctional society of mostly elderly people and small children. The country is torn between pro-Russian and pro-European political leaders and mismanagement of public funds is an ongoing issue.

So it is no surprise, that Moldova also has a very high density of stray dogs with an estimated 20,000 dogs living in the capital city, Chisinau, and surrounding areas alone. While there are thousands of dogs born on the streets or abandoned each year, many will die at a young age due to the hardships they must face. In addition, there is a large number of public and private shelters, where dogs are housed in poor conditions and kept in large groups resulting in terrible, deadly fights and death. And while dog ownership is popular, abandonment is high and there are almost no local shelter adoptions.

The overall welfare of the dogs on the streets as well as in shelters is extremely poor. Shooting, poisoning, starving to death and even skinning dogs for their fur is a regular occurrence in some communities.

Hope for strays since 2020

In 2020, the authorities of Moldova contacted FOUR PAWS and confirmed the huge need for a sustainable and humane stray animal management programme. The country itself does not only lack money and resources to implement such a programme, but also the skill sets necessary. FOUR PAWS is helping the authorities to set up spay and neuter clinics to implement high-volume, high-quality sterilisations, starting from basic veterinary training, veterinary licenses for appropriate anaesthesia drugs and equipment, training in humane methods of catching and transporting animals, and sharing best practise monitoring and evaluation processes.

Since 2021, we have collaborated with our local partner Doctor Vet in Moldova to help with this project.

What FOUR PAWS has done so far

When FOUR PAWS became aware of the dire situation for strays in Moldova in 2020, we knew we had to act. And so we did. But with so many dogs in the country everywhere, there was only one way forward: to set up, together with the community, a systematic, sustainable, and humane dog population management programme to avoid further dogs being born onto the streets in the years to come and to, over time, reduce the number of strays.

2023: Continuing our specialised veterinary project

After establishing first initial contacts in the country, delivering emergency relief and conducting our first veterinary support projects in 2020 and 2021, FOUR PAWS returned to Moldova in January 2023 to carry out a long-term specialised veterinary project with our local partner Doctor Vet Moldova, with the aim of sterilising stray dogs in the greater area of Chisinau, including the surrounding municipalities Bubuechi, Durleshty, Anenii Noi and Ialoveni.

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2021: A first specialised veterinary action in Chisinau

In November 2021, a team of FOUR PAWS veterinary specialists and other experts travelled to Moldova to support our partner Doctor Vet with the recently launched CNVR programme by the city administration as the best method for stray dog management. The conditions and vast numbers of stray dogs were even worse than anticipated. In just under ten days, our team managed to sterilise and vaccinate 231 animals, thus preventing thousands of dogs (and some cats) from being born on the streets in the future. Additionally, we conducted the first street dog surveys to get an initial impression of the number of stray dogs in the area.

Note: Any advertisements that may appear during the viewing of this video are unrelated to FOUR PAWS. We assume no liability for this content.

2020: Emergency aid for Moldova’s strays

When FOUR PAWS became aware of the terrible situation for stray animals in Moldova in  2020, a FOUR PAWS emergency relief project was launched to help stray animals and shelter dogs in the greater Chisinau area. FOUR PAWS managed to deliver over six tons of food, fed thousands of dogs and ensured that they survived the harshest winter months. But sadly, with Covid-19 restrictions complicating international travel, our team was prevented from visiting Moldova and conducting further projects for almost a year.

Map of Moldova
Doctor Vet Moldova
Map of Moldova
Stray dog in Moldova

OUr work in the field – Monitoring, Evaluation and Impact

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