Animal welfare is paramount

Animal welfare is paramount but relocating strays from another Country is far from ideal.

Bringing rescue dogs into the United Kingdom from Eastern Europe is not without its challenges and there are many instances where things go badly wrong.

As an example, a dog coming from countries like Romania could spread diseases that we do not have in the UK and result in unforeseen veterinary bills. There is also a risk of bringing in diseases which could transfer to humans.

I am aware that the plight of some dogs pulls at the heartstrings of well-meaning people and there many successful rehoming stories. But too often the outcome is heartache for the owner and euthanasia for the dog.

I have recently been asked to assist with a problem dog from Romania (and this is one of many) that has bitten as shown in the image below.

Dog bite

The dog in question is a Romanian Shepherd dog. They are bred to be guardian dogs for farmers and herders to protect livestock from predators, wolves, bears and thieves. They live with the flock that they are raised to protect and have little interaction with the owner other than at feeding times.

There are a number of breeds that are livestock guardians, Turkish Kangal, Anatolian Shepherds, Tibetan Mastiff’s etc.

The breed traits for these livestock guardians are along the lines of:

• Mostly large, strong dogs

• Typically comfortable living outdoors

• They are not bred to live in a domestic environment

• Bond strongly with livestock from an early age

• Most love to work and need a job to stay occupied

• Usually vocal dogs who won’t hesitate to bark and attack

Bringing any dog back to an environment that is not familiar, e.g. smells, language, foods is not without its challenges and is not always a kindness. Even experienced dog owners can find that an adopted dog is a handful and difficult to rehabilitate. The re-homing prospect is limited; you could have innocently adopted a severe accident waiting to happen.

Sadly, the end-result is often euthanasia.

Mike Grantham.

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