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AROUND THE WORLD

Anca's Plea: Save the Dogs of Bucharest
by Anca Hristescu

Note: I think a message to politicians is important because it emphasizes their responsibility in the face of such disrespect for human values, and a Romanian politician is the author of this atrocity. He is a future candidate for the Romanian presidency, and the politicians of the world (the European Union) go on ignoring his primitive attitude and its consequences. This cynical and ignorant product of Romanian so-called politics (well-rooted in fifty years of communism) was an official guest of the British government two months ago, in spite of many protests.

Message to Politicians, Journalists, and
Animal Protection Groups

With all my respect and hope, I, an ordinary citizen from Romania, am asking you to be, once more, a responsible voice for the values of humanity.

I simply request that you take into account in your future contacts and relations with Romania and its representatives the senseless slaughtering of its helpless stray dogs (about 200,000 souls) which takes place in Bucharest these days. This atrocity is not happening in the Third World but in your vicinity, in the year 2001, in the capitol of a European country that wants to join the E.U and N.A.T.O!

I strongly hope that education, civilization, and modern, reasonable behaviour consistent with the Third Millennium are not negotiable issues when the future great European family with its well-rooted values is at stake. You and people like you made your present-day world possible, which includes a respectful and caring attitude toward Nature, the environment and our relatives--the animals--an attitude that Iíve learned to admire so much watching Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel.

These days in Bucharest, dogs are poisoned with rat poison, hung with a rope, beaten to death, or simply crushed on the streets while people watch. Many times, pets are caught for rewards, and dogs kept in chains in people's courtyards are poisoned. People who try to help or hide the dogs are treated with brutality. Children are psychically abused through the savage killing of their beloved animals, and are often corrupted into violence. European help has been offered from many organisations for animal protection for some years, in order to solve this problem in a humane and civilized manner, and a governmental programme was created with the same goal.

Unfortunately, the dogsí right to life and decent treatment was placed at the mercy of the cold-blooded Mayor of Bucharest, Traian Basescu, who decided that all the funds allocated for sterilizations, vaccinations and euthanasia would be saved and re-directed, and all the dogs would be eliminated immediately in any manner possible. This empty-minded politician became the President of the Democratic Party, taking one step more on his way to the Romanian presidency. He follows the orders of the Prime Minister, a great hunter who was upset by some articles about our stray dogs in the Western press.

I know this is not a war against terrorism, this is not Bosnia, and you might not even care about animals. But I bother you with this problem hoping that the rules of diplomacy wonít prevent you from exposing this outrageous disrespect for life and barbaric behaviour that is inconsistent with the European way of life. Not only is the dogsí fate the problem, it is also the unbearable humiliation and stress animal lovers are forced to experience, in addition to the frustrations that any honest Romanian must endure.

The fate of 200,000 intelligent and loving animals is not just a Romanian internal political issue, which can therefore be ignored by you. You must lay bare tragedies like this and make them impossible to repeat in the future through humane educational efforts. No politics or diplomacy should get in the way of that goal. After all, this kind of primitive behavior might find its way into your realm. In fact, it has! Our Mayor shakes hands with your representatives every day, as he did in the UK two months ago, when this butcher was invited as an official guest. This example is followed, unfortunately, by the symbol of the fight for animals, the TV channel Animal Planet, which is actually cooperating with Traian Basescu, and whose representatives are not ashamed to appear in public next to this dog killer.

European delegation after delegation comes here, and smiles and empty words are exchanged. Our Prime Minister and our President, accomplices to this useless massacre, spend more time in your capitols than at home. Perhaps you are not aware of whose hands you shake, but if you are, and you donít condemn and sanction, Iím sorry to say that your society cannot be a model for ours. For you are practicing hypocrisy cloaked in the garment of diplomacy, which is just an illusion of real human values.

I truly hope that youíll find a way to raise your voices against this abuse, because the lack of a strong foreign political reaction has made this atrocity continue for seven months now.

As a simple, powerless citizen, tormented to see helpless animals tortured and killed all around me, and who has spent the last months sending messages on this subject all over the world without any significant result, you and people like you are my last hope. To quote Animal Planet, "The power of one is to do something--anything--in your own backyard".

The only thing I can do for these poor dogs is to cry out against their tragic fate to the whole world, hoping that people like you, with power and knowledge, will give meaning to the pain and efforts of a simple human being like me.

With much hope,

Anca Hristescu
Citizen of Bucharest
October 2001


If you want to write to Anca and find out who you can write to and how you can help, contact her at:
his@mediafax.ro

Sadly, the photos of brutalized dogs which Anca sent me to accompany this article were so horrific I could not include them here. Suffice to say that many Romanian dogs are now living (and dying) in a hell on earth created by uncaring humans.


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