Two stray dogs at Doctor Vet Shelter in Moldova

World Stray Animals Day 2023 

FOUR PAWS' Stray Animal Care project in Moldova


Vienna, 4 April 2023 – FOUR PAWS, the global animal welfare organisation, today highlights animal World Stray Animals Day by showcasing its work over the past three months in Moldova which delivered a high-quality sterilisation project and veterinary care for stray dogs. FOUR PAWS sterilised close to 500 stray dogs in our partnership with local organisation Doctor Vet, who are a non-profit organisation who specialise in working with stray animals.

While over the past few years the number of stray dogs in the country has spiralled out of control and become a huge issue, with over 20,000 stray dogs living in the Greater Chisinau area alone.

On the ground FOUR PAWS had award winning photographer, Sophie Gamand, documenting the project. Gamand´s most known collections “Wet Dog” and “Pit Bull Flower Power” garnered global acclaim, which centered around stray and rescue dogs.

Manuela Rowlings, Head of FOUR PAWS Stray Animal Care Programme in Europe, said, “There are over 600 million stray animals all over the world and FOUR PAWS works globally to tackle this inherent problem for over twenty years, from Bucharest to Bangkok.

“FOUR PAWS drive to sterilise these many dogs since the start of 2023 in Moldova could not have been possible without the dedication and expertise of Doctor Vet, their work locally has been extraordinary. FOUR PAWS have been working in Moldova for over two years now, but this drive has been one of our most successful in ensuring stray dogs getting the medical attention they so desperately need.”

Manuela Rowlings, Head of FOUR PAWS Stray Animal Care Programme in Europe

FOUR PAWS has also called up on the new Moldovan government to tackle the “systemic” problem of stray dogs that has seen a significant rise over the past years. In February of this year, Moldova saw Dorin Recean sworn in as the Moldovan Prime Minister taking over from Natalia Gavrilița.

Rowlings added, “With a new administration in Moldova we need to see urgent action taken to address the situation, which is getting desperate. FOUR PAWS wishes to see a functional, sustainable and humane dog population management programme that includes CNVR (Catch-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return) for stray animals. Every day that we have been in Moldova we are seeing new dogs, who are either born onto the streets or have been abandoned on the doorsteps of the shelters, which are already struggling to meet capacity. We can't afford to see more years of inaction.”

Sophie Gamand, spoke of her pride in working with the animal welfare organisation. “Working with FOUR PAWS is a dream come true. They do such great work. As an artist and advocate, I document and highlight the stories of stray and at-risk dogs around the world. FOUR PAWS’ commitment to the dogs and people of Moldova is very inspiring. This was my first time witnessing the CNVR process, and it’s so important that people learn about it.”


December 2020

A first emergency relief action was in Greater Chisinau area with FOUR PAWS providing 60,000 meals for dogs.

November 2021

A team of veterinary specialists from FOUR PAWS teamed up with our local partner Doctor Vet and within ten days, 231 dogs and cats were sterilised and vaccinated.

About Sophie Gamand

She is a French award-winning photographer, artist and animal advocate living and working in Los Angeles, USA.

Gamand has won several prestigious photography awards for her work (including a Sony World Photography Award in 2014), as well as advocacy awards for her dedication to animal rescue and adoption.

Gamand's work has been published in the press worldwide, online and in print, from National Geographic to Oprah Magazine.  Her first book, Wet Dog, came out in October 2015 and her second, Pit Bull Flower Power.

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FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions.

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