With Romania's huge stray dog population, sadly severe traffic accidents are not uncommon. But when our partner shelter Speranta received a distressing call from a local resident about a badly injured dog laying along the train track in Voluntari, nearby Bucharest, their expectation of a good outcome for the poor dog seemed slim. The team rushed to the site to find the dog. With no knowledge of how he ended up on the tracks, it was clear he had been hit by a train. The large golden dog was laying along the tracks, very weak and suffering immensely, but one thing was immediately clear: This dog had an incredibly sweet character and, although very scared, he showed affection towards his rescuers right away. The team named him Stafida, meaning 'raisin' in Romanian.
“When I found Stafida, so many questions came into my head. “How did you manage not to die? How did the train hit you? Did you fall asleep on the railway? Come here, I’m not going to hurt you. You don’t need be afraid anymore, you won’t get hit again.”
Anca Tomescu, Animal Society team member and volunteer at Speranta shelter
Despite barely being able to move and still very afraid of what was happening to him, he was cooporative with his rescuers, he understood that they meant him no harm and were there to save him. When they brought him back to the clinic at Speranta, it was clear that he needed immediate stabilisation to prevent his condition deteriorating and risk permanent paralysis. As soon as he was stable, he underwent urgent spinal surgery.
Stafida is only young, the veterinarians estimate he is about two years old. It is a miracle that he survived the accident. Although he is now in good hands at the shelter, chances are he might never walk again on his own, but a dedicated team at the shelter will do everything possible to avoid this scenario. He now also has his own tailor-made dog wheelchair. Speranta is now home to five paraplegic dogs, who all need wheelchairs to freely move around. However, it seems that Stafida is adapting well to his new life, surrounded by caring staff and other dogs at the shelter.