If you are here, it means that you have found your perfect dog and that the home checking went smoothly. Congratulations! We will take you through the adoption process step by step, so you don’t feel confused, irritated or overwhelmed.

Depending on their age and health status, dogs who are traveling abroad need to be fully vaccinated, micro-chipped, spayed (female) or neutered (male), treated against intestinal and external parasites and have an international passport.

Depending on your country it may be necessary for your dog to take different tests. The most commonly requested test is the SNAP 4DX Plus test screens for 4 vector-borne diseases. These are: Heartworm, Lyme disease, Ehrlichia and Anaplasma.

We highly recommend you ask for this test, even if it’s not mandatory for bringing a dog into your country, because it is always a good idea to know your dog’s health status.

Although we wish we could test all our dogs as soon as they come in our shelter, the extra costs prevent us from doing so. Our dogs have the basic vaccination and are periodically treated against intestinal worms, fleas and ticks. They are also spayed or neutered. We take pride in the fact that we are extra careful with spreading disease inside our shelter.

Aria, a Romanian rescued dog whose best friend, Titan, was rescued by us. They now live in UK
Aria, a Romanian rescued dog whose best friend, Titan, was rescued by us. They now live in UK

Also, spaying and neutering our dogs as soon as they are taken under our wings helps bring the agitation level to a minimum. We are going to extra length to make sure our dogs are healthy and ready for adoption at all times. This way, when a dog is lucky to be chosen for adoption, he/she doesn’t have to wait up to 2-3 months for the preparation procedures to be over.

Frequently Asked Questions During the Adoption Process

What does my dog need to be able to travel abroad?

Your dog needs the entire vaccination scheme (depending on his/her age, there can be 3 vaccines), treatment against intestinal worms, ticks and fleas, a health book and an international pet passport. Your dog has to be spayed or neutered. We recommend you ask for the KC vaccination (Kennel Cough) and the SNAP 4DX Plus test.

How can I be sure my dog isn’t bringing any disease over?

We highly recommend you let us test your dog against the 4 most common diseases in Romania. This way, you are sure your dog is completely safe to bring home. Before they leave, all our dogs are wormed according to the EU requirements. Our dogs’ safety is our number one priority.

What do I need in terms of paperwork?

During the process of adoption, you will receive an adoption contract which needs to be sign by you, in order for us to continue with the adoption process. This contract stipulates your responsibilities as a dog owner and our priority to rehoming the dog, in case anything should happen and you can no longer keep the dog. The dog’s health book and passport will be sorted by us. You can register him/her on your name according to the rules of the international rescue with whom we collaborate. They become responsible for the dog if you decide not to keep him/her.

What sort of transport should I choose for my dog?

No matter what type of transport you choose (by plane or by bus), we will make sure your dog arrives home safe and sound. We have a lot of experience on this matter and we know what to ask for in terms of safety and comfort for your dog. Dogs get stressed either way, because it is a strange situation, so don’t beat yourself up for choosing one type over the other.

Will the transport company bring the dog to my door?

Yes, if you choose a transport company on land. Some pet transport vans may have their routes near your home, so they agree to bring the dog to your door (for an extra fee). If your home is not on their route they will ask you to come to a pickup point where all the adopters in that area will be given their dogs.

Will my dog be spayed/neutered before coming home?

Yes. The sterilization of all dogs, except for the purebred ones, is mandatory by law, so we can’t own a dog (our dogs are registered in the national database under our rescue’s name) and not spay/neuter him/her. Also, we feel it is our responsibility to prevent anymore unwanted puppies in a world where there are too many animals as it is.

Do I need to inform my current veterinarian about my adopting a dog from Romania?

Yes, it is a good idea to have your vet informed about your intention of adopting a dog from Romania. He/she may advise you towards asking for specific tests done to your dog to rule out common contagious diseases. Also, in case you adopt a dog with special needs or pre existing condition, you will need the help of your current veterinarian.

Do I need to take special precautions regarding my other pets’ health?

You should pay a visit to your vet and ask him/her whether you should prepare your pets for receiving a new brother or sister. Our dogs are properly vaccinated, wormed and treated against fleas and ticks when they leave Romania. We also recommend you ask us to do a SNAP 4DX Plus test which helps us discover if your dog suffers from any of the 4 most common diseases: Heartworms, Anaplasma, Lyme disease and Ehrlichia.

Dog vaccination

This is a very serious matter for any rescue organization in Romania. Because the number of stray dogs is still high, there are still deadly contagious diseases, such as Parvovirus and Carre Disease (Distemper) which threaten their lives on the street.

Also, the lack of financial means and education keep many dog owners from properly vaccinating their dogs, putting them at risk and spreading these awful diseases even more.

Our main concern when rescuing a dog - whether from the streets, from an abusive owner or, even worse, from the public shelter - is having them monitored in the quarantine area and vaccinated once we are sure they are healthy.

Sadly, most puppies get infected with Parvovirus and die. The virus is highly contagious and very resilient in the environment where a sick puppy lived; it may take up to a year to get rid of it, no matter how many times or what products are used for disinfection. In Romania, there is no such thing as over vaccination.

We understand that this may be the case for western countries where these diseases were eradicated and pet vaccination may not be recommended each year. But this is not the case in Romania!

Abandoned puppies on the side of the road in a remote area. If taken into town so they can find food, left unvaccinated they would probably be infected with Parvovirus and die.
Abandoned puppies on the side of the road in a remote area. If taken into town so they can find food, left unvaccinated they would probably be infected with Parvovirus and die.

In fact, the viruses are so resilient, that not all brands of vaccines can fight against them; moreover, young adults which were vaccinated once or even twice (1 year-old or 2 year-old dogs) may still be infected with Distemper if they are subjected to a sick individual.

Depending on the dog’s age, there are several vaccination schemes.

All of them have as main purpose the immunization of the dog against common diseases, such as: Parvovirus, Distemper, Canine Hepatitis (Adenovirus), Leptospirosis, Canine Parainfluenza and Rabies.

Step 1: Starting with 6 weeks of age

The puppy needs to have his/her first vaccination against Parvovirus. Previously, the puppy needs to be properly dewormed with a substance suited for puppies. It is not a good idea to use a smaller dosage of a dewormer which is commonly used for adults; it may end up being toxic and killing all the worms at once, blocking the puppy's intestinal tract and killing him/her.

After the puppy was dewormed (in most cases the treatment needs to be repeated), they get their first vaccine. The puppy needs to be kept isolated for the entire vaccination scheme (approximately 3 months). They cannot leave the country prior to that, because the rabies vaccine can’t be administered before puppies turn 3 months of age.

Step 2: Two weeks after the first vaccination

The puppy receives the second vaccine DHPL. The quarantine continues and any sign of feeling sick has to be reported to the vet at once. The vaccination may only be done on a healthy animal.

Step 3: The last vaccination is administered two-three weeks after

DHPPI RL (R stands for Rabies and it can be done only if the puppy turned 3 months of age). They can also be micro-chipped at this time. Legally, 21 days after they can travel across the borders, if everything goes well and the puppy is healthy. When rescuing young adults, we prefer to give them the DHPL vaccination first and repeat the DHPPI RL combo 2 weeks after. At this point, they may be micro-chipped. The second vaccination ( in this case) becomes a mandatory yearly medical procedure which helps prevent their infestation with the diseases mentioned above.

Older dogs get the DHPPI RL vaccination and microchip and can travel 21 days after that. Some countries may request for your dog to have the Kennel Cough vaccine (KC) as well. Similar to what we ourselves call “a cold”, kennel cough is caused by a bacteria which is highly contagious through inhalation into their respiratory tract. Canine numerous populations tend to be favorable environments for this bacteria to spread, that is why dog shelters are very susceptible to it. Depending on our budget, we aim to vaccinate our dogs each year, preventing their suffering and the costs spent on antibiotics.

These vaccines are recognized all over EU, so you don’t need to worry about whether your dog gets the right vaccination or not in terms of what is mandatory for pet travel in your country. The main thing is that your dog gets the entire vaccination scheme, according to his/her age.

Dog ownership recognized (RECS)

All owned dogs have to be micro-chipped and registered with the national database (RECS) not only as a mandatory rule for pet traveling, but also for Romanian dog owners.

This measure fights against those who abandon their dogs on the street, thus contributing to the canine overpopulation issue. It is also recommended for cases in which dogs are separated from their owners, making it easy, once they are presented at a veterinarian clinic, to find their legal owner.

We work with legal international rescue organizations who help with registering the dogs once they arrive in their countries. Your dog will be registered under the local rescue’s name for a trial period of up to 3 months. If all goes well and the dog gets used to your home environment and you are sure you’ve found your canine soul mate, the dog’s microchip will be registered to your name.

You need to contact your local veterinarian clinic and make an appointment for this procedure, once you get the go ahead from the appointed rescue.

Trusting the dog rescue organization is very important

Please read this section very carefully!

This is one of the key issues when adopting a dog (or a cat) from countries such as Romania, where the stray animals’ problem hasn’t been eradicated and where diseases which are no longer present in your country, kill thousands of animals each year.

Be very careful when choosing the rescue organization you will work with for preparing your dog for travel!

Because there are so many stray dogs on the street or kept in shelters (private or public), there is also a large numbers of organizations or private rescuers which are promoting their dogs on social media.

All dogs are equally lovable and deserve the chance to be happy, but not all organizations/ rescuers are genuine, for various reasons. Some see it as a prosperous business and take advantage of people’s vulnerability when dealing with sad situations that go on in Romania. Some may lack education and experience and are only interested in “saving” more and more dogs, in the detriment of those they already have under their care.

Housing dogs with no regard for their health or vaccination status is a crime and should be regarded as such! Depending on their motives, these people may not go through the proper vaccination scheme with their dogs and not inform you of the risks you are taking. Some may even forge the stamps and not vaccinate them at all.

Worst case scenario

This scenario is one of the worst you may deal with and this is what can happen once your unvaccinated dog has departed Romania:

  1. The transport company refuses to take your dog on board, because the passport is not according to international pet travel rules (missing vaccination).

    At this point, you have already paid for the transport of your dog and may end up losing your money.

  2. Your dog shows signs of contagious diseases mentioned above during transport

    You may think about why would transporters agree to have a sick animal on board. In most cases, the incubation period may be up to 14-21 days, so the dog may look healthy, when in fact, he/she are already infected, but not showing any symptoms.

    At this point, all the other dogs are at risk and your dog will have to be taken to a vet clinic somewhere on the route. Depending how sick your dog is, he/she may be put to sleep without asking for your permission. You will be asked to pay for the hospitalization of your dog.

  3. If he/she is traveling by plane and looks sick when passing through the checkpoint for pets, he/she may be seized indefinitely

    You may end up paying a huge bill for the quarantine period and having to explain the origin of your dog and why hasn’t he/she been properly vaccinated.

  4. You may bring your new apparently healthy dog at home to meet your other dog and they may both show symptoms of one of the contagious diseases mentioned above

    Please bare in mind that your country may have eradicated these diseases, so your other dog is probably not even vaccinated against it, so he/she is highly susceptible to catching it. You might be facing losing two pets at once, which can be devastating.

Adopting a dog from Romania is a wonderful gesture of compassion and generosity. Be sure that your furry friend will always appreciate the great chance you gave him/her when choosing one of the many Romanian rescue organization. But, please make a responsible choice and, if possible, try to figure out if the dog rescue organization you are working with is genuine.

Pet health issues

Most of our dogs are former strays, so it shouldn’t surprise you when we tell you about various health issues they may still suffer from. Stray dogs’ lives are very harsh; surviving long enough for them to be rescued is a question of luck, really. They have all the odds against them, whether talking about the lack of medical care and vaccination, the starvation and the day-to-day fight for survival or about being the perfect targets for cruelty or random car accidents.

Health issues may refer to simple shortcomings caused by the poor alimentation, vitamin D, calcium deficiencies which may translate in joint problems or skin conditions. There is also the infestation with internal and external parasites which is usually easily treated with the right products.

However, if we are talking about Lyme disease (transmitted by an infected tick) or Heartworms (transmitted by mosquitoes) your dog may need treatment over a longer period of time. They are potentially deadly illnesses, that is why we strongly suggest for you to ask about the SNAP 4DX Plus Test and have it done to your dog.

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Make sure you are informed about your dog’s health status

As we mentioned before, make sure you can trust the organization you work with for getting your dog home. Being fully informed about your dog’s health status is an important step of the adoption process. You have to make the decision of adopting a shelter dog knowing exactly what to expect once he/she is home.

There can be simple issues, such as skin conditions which will go away once the dog has his/ her nutritional needs met, or a few trips to the pet beautician and there are also more serious matters regarding organ insufficiencies (heart, kidney, liver failure in senior dogs’ cases), neurological problems (which sometimes may develop because of the stress of being locked up), such as epilepsy or missing limbs which may need to be addressed by adapting your living environment.

Casper was found roaming the streets looking awful. He is now a very spoiled boy in UK
Casper was found roaming the streets looking awful. He is now a very spoiled boy in UK

Being informed means you are aware of the responsibilities which come along and you can ask your veterinary practice of choice to help you monitor your dog’s health from then on. We will tell you all about our dogs’ health status from the beginning and recommend you take the extra tests which can help us diagnose the 4 most common diseases: Heartworms, Lyme disease, Ehrlichia and Anaplasma. If the test is positive for any of them, the dog will be held back and treated until he/she tests negative.

Sadly, we can’t afford to test our dogs as soon as they come to the shelter and we may not know ourselves if the dogs are infected (some disease doesn’t show any obvious symptoms in the early stage of infestation). So, please understand we don’t mean to deceive you. We care about our dogs, but because of the circumstances, we have to focus on the basic medical care we can provide for them.

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Find more information about your dog’s issues (in case he/she suffers from old injuries, organ failure, vitamin deficiency, immune system dysfunction, skin condition etc)

If your new dog suffers from any health issue that we know of, we will inform you. We work with a veterinary practice, but Moreni is a small town and there are medical services that are not available to us: X Rays, blood work, special investigation which may require the experience of an orthopedist, a cardiologist, an ophthalmologist, a neurologist and so on.

The nearest veterinary clinic that can offer these services is 40 kms away, so it takes a bit of time and planning to go to. However, if there’s a dog in need of any of the investigations mentioned above, we bend head over backwards to help him/her. Once you're informed about this issue, try to find out more about it and ways to help your new dog.

Dobbie was found dumped inside a dumpster and he was too weak to get out of. He was adopted in UK
Dobbie was found dumped inside a dumpster and he was too weak to get out of. He was adopted in UK

You may ask your local vet or do research on your ow from credible medical sources. You can even join support groups and ask about the members’ experience regarding your dogs health issue. They may suggest you go to a specialist that has helped them and their dogs or to try special diets or holistic remedies.

We would like to emphasize on the importance of asking your vet about any product you want to introduce to your dog. They may not believe that Manuka Honey can actually help your dog, but they can certainly prevent you from giving your dog toxic products advertised as miraculous.

You can make a positive change in your dog’s life, we are certain about it. Seeing how we don’t have access to physiotherapy, high quality or diet food for our dogs, we know that there is so much you can do for them that we can’t.

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Talk to your local veterinarian about their experience regarding your new dog’s condition

It’s your vet’s job to tell you how crazy you are for adopting a dog from Romania with all the things that could go wrong and with all the animals being put to sleep in your local shelter. We understand their point of view and we think you should cut them some slack.

They probably know about Romanian dogs in terms of being Parvovirus, Distemper, Lyme disease and Heartworms vectors. It is their job to prevent these deadly diseases spread in their area, knowing how the majority of the pets they help aren’t properly vaccinated against any of them.

We also know that they may not have so much experience with treating this diseases, because they haven’t seen a lot, if any, cases in their practice. So, of course they will try to convince you of the risk you are taking.

You can explain to your vet that your new dog is properly vaccinated and dewormed and that the legal pet passport is a proof of that. A Romanian veterinarian will sign their name on it, so any trouble regarding that dog will come back and haunt him/her.

Jasper, a dog with special need that was rescued from Romania is happy now with his family in the UK
Jasper, a dog with special need that was rescued from Romania is happy now with his family in the UK

After assuring your vet about your dog not being a messenger of hell on Earth, ask him/her about their experience with the concerning condition. For example, your senior dog may suffer from heart failure and needs monitoring every few months, daily treatment and diet food.

Is your vet able to help you with this issue? Do they have an EKG machine and a cardiologist at hand? Have they heard about the support treatment and can they provide it for you? Should your dog eat diet food?

Or if you want to adopt a dog with special needs who has trouble using his/her back legs, but our specialist advised that he/she can gain the use of the legs with the help of physiotherapy. Is there such a center near you and can your vet recommend a specialist?

Should you buy a wheel cart for him/her and what does your vet recommend? How do you keep your dog from having wounds from dragging their feet behind? Do they need neurological support? Are there any other associated health issues (urinary tract infections) that you should know about and monitor?

Being in touch with your local veterinary practice is vital not only for the general checkups, but also as a backup support for your new dogs possible needs regarding their health.

If your dog suffers from a condition they are not familiar with, after convincing themselves that your dog isn’t Satan, they will probably appreciate the experience.

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Adapt your home so it meets your dog’s needs (paraplegic, old, blind, deaf, 3 legged)

We know that adopting a dog with special needs is challenging in terms of time and money, but it can also be very rewarding. Can you imagine how hard it is for a blind dog to be surrounded by dogs who bark all day, not knowing what is happening? Or for a paraplegic dog to live outside dragging their body on a concrete floor all the time?

Sadly, as much as it pains us, we can’t offer them more than that, because there are no available foster homes in Moreni. People here don’t understand the concept of volunteering, especially when it comes to animals. So, if you decided to adopt such a dog, congratulations, you are a superhero! Hopefully you have experience with this type of dogs, but if not, don’t despair!

As mentioned before, you can consult your local vet and special groups on social media where people share their experience with the condition your dog is facing - support groups for dogs in wheelchair, deaf or blind dogs etc. It will take some time for your blind dog to do a map of your home in their brains and adjust their movement to it.

Dogs with special needs being kept away from a cluttered area in their house in UK
Dogs with special needs being kept away from a cluttered area in their house in UK

In time, they will know where everything is and go around it. It helps if you place their food and water bowls in an open area where they’re easy to find. Not moving furniture around also helps; if you place a chair in his/her way by mistake, your blind dog will bump his/her head into it. Your deaf dog won’t come to you when you call him/her, but may react to you signaling to them the common gesture for “come here”. So, make sure they can see you whenever you want to signal something to them.

Of course, they won’t understand your gestures naturally, so you have to be patient. Simple commands, such as: “come here”, “climb up” or “go down” on the couch, for example can be easily taught through positive reinforcement training - give them a treat or a cuddle, but you may skip praising them verbally, because they won’t hear you anyway.

Also, there is the big issue of their safety when taken outside for a walk. Deaf dogs have to walk on a lead at all times, because they can get away and won’t answer when you call them, so it is very easy to lose them. You may read more information about how you can help your deaf dog through training them to pay attention to you, so they can respond to your commands.

If you decided to adopt a paraplegic dog and you’ve talked to your vet and they recommend using a wheelchair, you will need to adjust your home to make it easier for them to go outside, by building a ramp or using a safety baby gate to keep them away from cluttered areas or stairs. Remember, this needs to be done not only for their safety, but also to make sure they can enjoy themselves playing with other pets and moving about the house and the garden. There is no reason why a paraplegic dog can’t have quality of life, but you need to keep in touch with your vet and make small adjustments to your home along the way.

We know you love your dog, but we don’t expect you to be perfect at everything, especially when dealing with a dog with special needs. You will both learn from each other and make your lives easier and happier as time goes by. The most important thing to remember is making sure they are safe at all times.

Paperwork needed to adopt a pet

We dislike paperwork as much as you do, but don’t worry! Our vet has helped hundreds of dogs to travel abroad to their new homes, so she knows exactly what needs to be done legally wise. All our dogs have a health book which is the proof of all the vaccination and other deworming treatments applied to them over time. It also holds proof to the fact that they are spayed or neutered.

Each health book has an unique digit code which is registered in the national database (RECS), as well as all the events in the dog’s life - vaccines, deworming treatments, products used against fleas and ticks and their sterilization. It is impossible for someone to use another dog’s health book and pass it as your proof to get your dog over the border, because they all have an unique microchip which is also registered in RECS.

Based on this health book and all the data from RECS, our vet issues an international pet passport that holds all the information regarding your dog’s health status. This passport will go to the international rescue who did your home check and they will register the dog in their name.

After a trial period (established independently by every organization we work with) they will then give their permission for you to register the dog on your name and become his/her legal owner. Any veterinarian can help you with that.

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The adoption contract

This is a mandatory rule for our international adoption program.

We love our dogs very much and care about their happiness even after they’re no longer with us. We are also fierce when it comes to their safety, there is nothing that interests us as much as knowing they will be properly cared for and respected. So, what do we mean when we say that you need to sign an adoption contract?

This contract stipulates that you become the dog’s legal owner and as such you need to provide him/her with proper food, shelter, affection, medical care and quality time spend together. Our dogs, as all dogs, are not tools, toys or pieces of furniture, they are sentient beings who will be treated as such. Thereby you become responsible of his/her happiness and well-being.

If and when you feel, for various reasons, you can no longer provide him/her with the proper care, the dog will be returned to the international rescue organization who mediates the adoption. Under no circumstances will our dogs be sold or given away to strangers without the knowing of the local organization.

We care a lot for our dogs, that`s why we need you to sign a dog adoption contract
We care a lot for our dogs, that`s why we need you to sign a dog adoption contract

If things don’t go as planned, we are here to offer o ur support, as well as ask for the international rescue’s support for offering a backup plan. They often have foster families ready for exactly this type of situations waiting to take the dog into safety. Once you choose to give up the dog, you are no longer responsible for him/her and what happens next doesn't concern or involve you in anyway.

All that we do, we do for our dogs’ safety. We know that things can go wrong and being so far away means we have to rely on the judgement of the international rescue organization we work with. These people are experienced and have the situation under control. If for any reason, you refuse to sign an adoption contract, we won’t take the adoption process any further.

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The adoption fee

Yes, there is an adoption fee that covers the costs of the medical preparation - vaccination, microchip and passport, deworming and treatment against fleas and ticks, blood tests and sterilization as well as other medical services, if necessary (if your rescued dog suffers from anything in particular). All of the above is mandatory so your dog can leave Romania and come to your country. Although we would do anything for our dogs’ happiness, getting you a discount or finding another vet clinic with lower prices isn’t an option.

It’s your dog’s well-being we are talking about, after all. There is also your dog’s transport that we need to pay for. Depending where you live, there are a few options and the costs vary according to the transport means (plane or special bus) and distance. We will communicate all the information regarding the costs implied by the adoption process as soon as possible, so you can organize your budget.

You can make a donation for our shelter, if you’d like. Our needs grow by the hour, especially since the public shelter in Moreni is active again and we have to rescue more and more dogs weekly, so no dog is put to sleep.

See how you can support us
Preparing a dog for travel implies various medical services for which we charge an adoption fee
Preparing a dog for travel implies various medical services for which we charge an adoption fee
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Make sure you read about the necessary paperwork needed for adopting an animal in your country

There are pretty specific rules and regulation for pet travelling inside or outside EU. Making sure that you are informed about them is a sign you care about your dog’s safety. Also, making it safe for your dog to come home to you is the ultimate proof that you are committed to the responsibility of having a pet.
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The health book or pet passport

The health book is a good way to keep track of any pet’s history regarding vaccination, deworming, treatments against ticks and fleas and medical procedures, if any. It is helpful to have it with you every time you visit your vet, so he/she knows your dog’s health status.

All our dogs have individual health books and every health book has an unique digit code which helps identifying each animal. All the information written down in the health book is registered in the national database (RECS) in association with a specific dog that is identified with a microchip. So, you see, these information are pretty hard to forge.

When one of our dogs is offered a home abroad, we ask our vet to make an international pet travel passport. All the information written in the health book is also registered in the passport. It will be checked at customs and even a small mistake can prevent your dog from leaving Romania. Is it necessary for you to have the health book if you already get your dog’s passport?

In order for the adopted dog to travel abroad, a dog passport is required
In order for the adopted dog to travel abroad, a dog passport is required

Yes, because the health book shows the history of past vaccination, deworming treatments and medical procedures, whereas the passport shows the most recent medical events. When visiting your own vet, you want to take it with you, so he/she knows exactly what has been done for your dog in the past.

Conclusion

Yes, adopting a shelter dog is not just about choosing with your heart, although it does help. There are some practical issues to think about, but fortunately for you, we have a lot of experience in the matter. Our vet has helped prepare more than 500 animals for traveling to their homes, so you are in good hands. We know you hate paperwork, so do we and so does our vet.

But life isn’t about doing only what we want, but about doing the right thing for those we love. And we love our dogs!

Pet Transport

There are several transport options and we will help you choose the right one for you and for your dog, depending on where you live. To countries such as Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, UK or even Finland we can book a ticket for your dog to ride the “happy bus”. This is a special van for pet traveling which has to be approved by the authorities, so you can rest assured that your dog won’t be transported as a bag of potatoes.

We will choose the best one for your dog, you can be sure of that. As with every business, there are companies which are set on transporting a bigger number of animals every time they take a ride abroad and there are those who book less animals and assign a doggy nanny who will sit in the back and comfort them all the way home.

We like doggie nannies, they’re the best! If you book a flight for your dog, it may be necessary for someone to accompany them, so make sure you can take some time off work or find a nice friend who will take the trip for you.

Either way, your dog will arrive home safe and sound! We promise!

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How to choose the proper type of pet transportation for your situation or country

The matter is pretty simple: your dog can be home in a few hours or in a few days, depending on where you live and how much money you want to spend on the transport. The situation is pretty stressful for an animal either way. So, don’t feel guilty for choosing one over the other. It is just a necessary step to take if you want to adopt a dog from Romania.

If you choose for your dog to fly home, you have to know that it is more expensive (every company has its own price, so we will have to ask and compare costs) and you need to buy your own internationally approved pet carrier (transport crate). Also, they require for the dog to be accompanied by someone, even if he/she will travel bellow with the luggage.

So you, or a friend has to book a flight to come to Romania to either stay for a few days or only a few hours, until you can fly back home with your dog. So, this requires a bit of planning from your part. You may find a Romanian rescuer who is transporting more than one animal in your area and plan the trip with him/her, this is also a valid option.

Nena meeting her new family at the Helsinki airport after she was adopted from our shelter
Nena meeting her new family at the Helsinki airport after she was adopted from our shelter

If flying your dog isn’t an option (for UK, for example) or you just don’t want to spend that much money on the transport, there are also a lot of pet travel companies which can help you. There are predefined routes each company has through various European country. You can consult their transport maps and see if any of them go near your area. It may be necessary for you to travel to certain arriving point where everyone from the surrounding area adopting a dog will be asked to meet with the van.

Whatever you choose, know that your dog will be ok. The hardest thing is behind him/her and from now on, you will make sure sadness is not an option. We trust you!

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How to choose the right transport company for your dog

In case you choose to fly your dog home, we have to find an airline that is going your way and accepts animals on board. We then have to make inquiries about their rules and transport fees.

There are usually not so many options when it comes to airlines who accept pets on board, so your job of choosing the right one isn’t that hard. When it comes to pet transport vans, there’s a lot to take under consideration. Because there are so many companies, we are very picky when it comes to our dogs’ safety. We prefer comfort over cheaper transport, because our experience has proved us right.

There are many things that could go wrong with your dog’s transport if you go against our recommendation and choose a shady company. Some of them weren’t complying with the EU pet transport regulations and were stopped at the border. The animals were kept in cages for hours, with no information about their whereabouts or health status.

A dog transport van, leaving Romania with adopted dogs
A dog transport van, leaving Romania with adopted dogs

Some don’t invest in their vans, so they are more susceptible to accidents on the way. Some overcrowd animals during summer months with no regard for their comfort. On the other side, there are those who hire a dog nanny who rides in the back all the way, comforting stressed animals. This is very important, because the driver can’t pay attention to the animals in the back. Something can go wrong and, if no one is in the back taking care of them, accidents can happen.

You will understand exactly what we’re talking about when you go and pick your dog up from the van. Some transporters will make a fuss and drag animals by the neck, calling them “stupid” for not wanting to step out of the crate, into the unknown and scary world outside. Dogs don’t know they should be super happy because they were adopted. A person who loves animals and is not just doing this for the money should understand and respect that.

So, please, take our advice, we’ve been around longer than you have and we know who to call when it comes to getting your dog safe at home.

We are here to help you!

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What to consider when picking up your dog from the transport company

The most important thing is understanding that your dog is stressed, tired and possibly so afraid that he/she may take any chance they have at getting away from you. This doesn’t mean you made the wrong choice, simply that your dog needs time and patience to settle down.

When going to the airport to pick up your dog, things are simpler, because he or she is already in a transport crate that you can put in your car. DON’T take him/her out for a pee, they may get scared because of all the agitation going on in an airport and run away. Put the transport crate in your car and gently replace the puppy pad (inside the crate if necessary). Make sure the car doors are shut when you handle the crate.

Don’t worry about the accidents (they may pee or poop in the crate), the important thing is your dog is safe inside your car. Once home, let the crate door open and give him/her time to come out on his/her terms. Things are much easier if you have a backyard where your dog can have a sniff and pee without the possibility of running away.

One of our adopted dogs as he arrived at her new owner in the UK, at the end of a long journey from Romania
One of our adopted dogs as he arrived at her new owner in the UK, at the end of a long journey from Romania

Some dogs may act natural and be very relaxed once at home. If not, don’t worry, give him/her some time to come around. If you have to pick up your dog from a transport van, things are a bit more complicated, so pay attention, please! You need a slip lead because it is the safest thing there is, especially for this type of situation. Ask the driver to take it inside and place it over your dog’s neck before taking him/her out to you.

DON’T put him/her down for a pee, he/she might try to make a run for it. At best, he/she won’t get away, but will be very agitated and react in a defensive way. It is not their fault, sadly their lives so far made them be afraid of people. Please, be patient and remain calm!

Get the dog safely in your arms, wearing the slip lead, which should be in your hand. Put the dog inside the crate in your car. He/she will travel inside it all the way home, even if they will pee or poop inside. You may change the puppy pad inside the crate, with the car doors shut when you handle the dog.

Keeping calm and talking to the dog in a soft tone of voice will help. Loud outbursts of joy may only scare him/her more than he/she already is. Sudden movements, agitation and breaking the “don’t take your dog out to pee” rule can be fatal. It has happened and the result was tragic for the dogs.

Conclusion

As with everything else so far, we can help you make things considerably easier. Getting your dog home might seem like a complicated step of adopting a dog from Romania, but it’s just like anything else: it just needs a bit of planning, some money and an open heart.

If you’ve make it so far, congratulations! You have your dog home with you and can start enjoying each other’s company.

Pet Adoption Costs

Adopting a shelter dog from our rescue costs just as well as if adopted from anywhere else. We work with our local veterinary practice and ask for specialist’s help, if necessary. We do everything in our power to keep all dogs healthy and fit while waiting for their chance to happiness. We are proud of the fact that we prepare all our dogs for travel as soon as we rescue them. Getting them vaccinated and properly treated against intestinal worms, ticks and fleas is our priority, as well as getting them spayed or neutered.

We do this mostly because we think about their health, but also because we want them to be ready when and if someone is asking for them. Having them wait another few months until all the legal forms are done, after waiting for several years behind bars seems like cruelty to us. We cover the costs mostly from the long distance adoption donations, but have to ask you for the adoption fee, so another shelter dog can be prepared as well.

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Healthcare costs

Keeping our dogs healthy and vaccinated costs a lot. If a dog is offered a home, we give him/her a thorough check up during which we decide if some medical procedures are necessary, like cleaning the teeth, tooth extraction or fixing umbilical hernias. All of this costs, but we are aware that the prices are lower than in your country.

We are more than happy to help and take pride in the fact that our dogs have no hidden health problem, at least not one that our vet clinic is qualified to identify. As already mentioned above, there are medical services that our local vet can’t perform, but we will take the dog to see a specialist in Bucharest, if this is the case. We strongly recommend you ask us to take the SNAP 4DX Plus test and rule out the 4 diseases which, if not found in time, can be deadly for your dog.

A dog being offered medical care at the biggest pet hospital in Eastern Europe, near Bucharest
A dog being offered medical care at the biggest pet hospital in Eastern Europe, near Bucharest

In our opinion, here is what your dog should get before leaving Romania:

  • the complete vaccination plan, according to his/her age;
  • treatment against intestinal worms, ticks and fleas;
  • a spay/neuter procedure;
  • the SNAP 4DX Plus test;
  • vaccination against kennel cough;
  • a microchip and registration in the national database (RECS);
  • a pet health book which attests to all of the above;
  • an international pet passport;
  • any other medical service implied by his/her health status, if necessary.

There are also many other rapid tests which can eliminate other diseases, such as Leishmania, but this is not a very common health issue in Romania, so it is not mandatory.

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Spaying or neutering costs

There is no excuse for sending a dog abroad without spaying/neutering her/him, except if he/she is too young. In this case, it will be specified in the adoption contract that the owner is responsible for sterilizing their dog when he/she reaches the right age for it.

Our vet was trained by a professional medical team who practices the keyhole procedure, meaning the incision is tiny. It is also sutured with absorbable materials, which means that there’s no need for the dog to see the vet to have his/her sutures taken out. Because of it, recovery happens considerably faster than in the case of a classical spay operation and the risks of infection are very small.

For us, this is very important, because the clinic isn’t big enough to keep all our dogs in after they were spayed/neutered, so they have to go back to the shelter the same day. The infection risks are practically ruled out and, because the incision is so small, the pain is easily managed.

A spay procedure using the keyhole method done by our vet on a 6 months old female
A spay procedure using the keyhole method done by our vet on a 6 months old female, the incision is under 2cm long and heals rapidly

Moreover, the surgery won’t even let a scar, so don’t be surprised if all you see on your girl’s belly is a green tattoo. It just means she was spayed by our vet and the tattoo is the only thing left to prove it was done.

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Dog feeding costs

You can make a donation towards your dog’s food while in the process of being prepared for leaving home. Although we would have fed him/her even if there was no adoption offer, your help can make the difference for another dog who might get his/her life saving vaccines.

Our dogs need 70 kilos of dry food every day, so the financial effort is huge, as you may imagine. Because our dogs live outside, in dog houses with straws inside, during the cold season, they need good quality food to produce enough energy and keep warm. We depend on donors’ generosity exclusively, because we get no other support for feeding our over 150 dogs.

Tiny female dog at lunch time. She was adopted in UK
Tiny female dog at lunch time. She was adopted in UK
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Pet transport costs

As mentioned above, there are many options when it comes to transporting your dog to your home and the budget varies whether you choose to fly him/her home or booking a ticket with one of the transport by van companies available.

No matter what you choose it will be an effort from your part, but we think it is all worth it.

Just imagine holding your rescued dog for the first time in your arms.

Can you put a price on that?

Adopted dog from our shelter, now living in the UK with her new family
Adopted dog from our shelter, now living in the UK with her new family

Conclusion

Sure, there’s a price to pay for adopting a shelter dog from Romania, but you may very well end up paying less than you would if you’d buy a so called “purebred” dog from an illegal breeder.

The story behind your decision to rescue an underdog will definitely inspire others to do the same and you may be responsible for saving more than just your dog’s life.

We think that money doesn’t bring happiness, but a shelter dog will definitely be guilty for making you smile more than you were used to.

Just pick a Happy Dog and enjoy your life together!

A word from the author

Marilena is one of the most dedicated person I know. Most of her days are spent taking care of our dogs, making sure they are well fed, healthy and as happy as they can possibly be in a shelter.

She is driven by compassion, determination and the belief that no life is too small to matter.

Seeing so much suffering might destabilize a person, instead, it helped her find her inner strength which allows her to keep fighting for the voiceless.

Marilena is responsible with preparing the dogs for travel. She keeps track of everyone’s vaccination plan and drives them to our local vet’s clinic and back to the shelter. She is very dependable and always happy to help where she is needed.

Transparency is one of our biggest asset. We communicate with the adopters or with the international rescue organization throughout the adoption process, doing everything we can to make more happy endings possible for our dogs.

Anda, Founding member of Happy Dogs Romania
Marilena with one of the dogs at our shelter
Marilena with one of the dogs at our shelter

© 2020 Asociația ”Câinele Meu” Romania | Reg.Num: RO23744697

About this website

About HappyDogsRomania.org

The following companies worked alongside the team at Happy Dogs Romania to create this website and help the stray dogs from Moreni find a home.