By Meredith Ayan, Executive Director
Oana and Alexandra, mother and daughter, run an animal shelter in Romania along with their family members and a few volunteers. They are no strangers to the realities of life for a stray dog in their country. They have committed their entire lives and a majority of their resources to saving animals.
Oana was walking through the village one day and heard a dog screaming in pain. When she went to see what was happening, she found a small brown and white dog being beaten by a man with a belt and a bat. When she ran toward him, ordering him to stop, he told her the dog had attacked his ducks and it was his dog anyway so he could do what he wanted. This poor girl had been starving. Her survival instincts had kicked in; she was just looking for a meal to stay alive.
It was easy to see that this little dog was suffering greatly and bleeding profusely from her injuries, so Oana called the police to report his actions and the suffering animal. When the police arrived the situation was clear, the dog was confiscated from her owner and surrendered to Oana’s care. Thanks to her clear thinking, she was able to save this dog, now known as Olivia.
However, the story does not end there. The man received a fine for animal abuse, but in retribution he filed a criminal complaint against Oana for entering his yard. Now, this good Samaritan who saved a life will have to pay a lawyer to defend her actions. As the case makes its way through the system, we are left to reflect on what could have been done differently to avoid this situation. The answer? Nothing.
Oana made the right decision, albeit a tough one at the time, to call the police and report this man for cruelty. Because of her quick thinking, she was able to legally take Olivia into safety and see justice in the form of a fine (not a steep enough punishment in our eyes). We hope that the authorities will see that Oana did what was necessary to save a life in these extenuating circumstances and rule in her favor. While this is a frustrating lesson, it is a great reminder that we have a long way to go in increasing animal abuse penalties around the world.
We are so proud to support Sava’s Safe Haven and their incredible work for all animals, including Olivia who has made a full recovery and will soon be available for adoption. Visit Sava Safe Haven’s to read more about their work and adoptable animals: http://www.savasafehaven.com