Romanian animal shelter: Draconian dungeon for dogs

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Recently, thanks to cell phone cameras and social media, many American animal shelters have come under scrutiny for their inhumane practices and cruelty to the animals in their care.  Disturbing images and testimonials from eyewitnesses have surfaced on Facebook regarding a Romanian animal shelter that could best be described as a Draconian dungeon.

The shelter is located in Cluj, a city in Transylvania and has been run by Radu Termure for over ten years. During his tenure operating the shelter, he has been soliciting donations from people in foreign countries.  He’s been successful at this because they cannot see firsthand the horror and filth in which the animals are kept.  Those who know him personally, however and have seen the condition of the facility and the animals, describe Radu Termure as nothing more than a scammer who uses animals to make money.

According to volunteers, who have seen the facility firsthand, the animals are kept in small, dark cages in barns or in a basement. They are rarely let outside, are fed the minimum, given water occasionally and have to live in their own excrement and urine. Mr.  Termure has a group of staunch supporters who say all allegations are a smear campaign and that he is a true dog rescuer and dog lover.

Multiple photos and a Youtube video from the Romanian shelter seem to show otherwise.  Watch the video here.

What makes this story even more tragic for the animals is; people have been sending money there for years with hoping to make the shelter more livable, but he does not allegedly cooperate. nor does he allocate the money for what it was intended.

One person posted on a Facebook forum and claims  she personally donated 10,000 euros and collected another 41,000 euros in donations from all over the world, but none of it was used to alleviate the suffering of the animals. According to a Facebook posting written on November 6, many financial sponsors have discontinued their assistance because Termure does not cooperate and rarely lets any of the dogs get adopted.  A Czech group that goes regularly to Romania to help the shelters there allegedly stopped supporting Mr. Termure contending he was only interested in cash and declined offers to help build a new shelter, declined offers for building supplies, food and blankets for the dogs.

A group known as Starroromania gave Radu Termure 30,000 euros but then stopped their donations because there was no improvement for the dogs.

A Canadian woman named Mariana Iftinca wrote about her negative experiences raising money for the shelter via a “gofundme”  in June 2017. Not one penny went to the shelter. When she asked Radu Termure for copies of receipts of what the money was being used for, he could not furnish any such documents.  Read her story here.

Considering the number of animals on the property, (900-1,000) there are very few adoptions from this shelter.  Some of the few dogs adopted have died within a year as a result from disease brought on by years of living in a shelter without light and covered in feces and urine. Many of the dogs coming out of this shelter have not seen the light of day in years. Their eyesight has been lost after years of living in darkness. Some have lost the power to walk after years of being confined to a cage. These afflictions render them un-adoptable.

How many dogs over the years have entered this facility in good health, hopeful and relieved they have entered a safe haven? Years later, these same dogs are broken physically and mentally from years of abuse.

How is it possible that in a civilized city of approximately 300,000 residents, animals are trapped and forced to live in such miserable conditions? Why haven’t the authorities done anything about this and let it go on for years?  A petition was launched in August 2017 and gained 8,500 signatures, yet nothing was done.

Things will not change in this shelter until an outside source for animal advocacy comes and forces change; a group like PETA  or Humane Society International

Other organizations that may be able to help would be The International Fund for Animal Welfare ,  The Animal Welfare Institute

or World Animal Protection.

This situation also needs qualified veterinarians to launch an investigation into the health and welfare of the dogs. Any group that can push for reform at this shelter. Please write to these advocacy groups and urge them to investigate Radu Termure and his shelter.

To keep up with what is going on at the shelter and those who are pushing for change follow the Facebook pages dedicated to exposing the Radu Termure shelter:

If you close your eyes to it and wait for someone else to do something, nothing will ever change. The suffering will continue and only get worse.

Yesterday: Animal shelter reaches out for help after finding dog with chain pierced through her neck – more here.


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