Dog owners share their heart-warming reasons for adopting pets from Romania

Romanian dogs
Caroline Eyles and Steven Roper have both adopted dogs from Romania (Picture: Caroline Eyles/ Steven Roper)
Owners who have adopted dogs from Romania have shared their experiences and advice for anyone thinking of doing the same. Today figures from the Animal and Plant Health Agency revealed that 44,563 dogs were legally brought into the UK from abroad in 2019, with 19,487 coming from Romania. The numbers caused the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to warn about the risk of disease to other animals when dogs are rehomed from overseas.
Caroline Eyles, 37, adopted Lady, a Corgi Chihuahua mix, from Romania nearly three years ago, and fostered Cody, a Labrador mix, Friday last week.

Both dogs had been placed on the country’s ‘kill list’, meaning they would have been put down if not rehomed within 14 days.

Romanian dogs
She has had a positive experience with her dogs (Picture: Caroline Eyles)
Caroline, from Buckinghamshire, told ‘Two weeks ago [Cody] was likely the dog you’d see on holiday eating chicken bones from the polystyrene from people’s takeaways the night before. Yet, he is absolutely adorable.

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‘That dog that you want to go and touch but you’re too scared to is now in my house and living a good life.

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‘When they handed him to me, I was carrying him and he put his head on my shoulder. It might sound romanticised, but he literally let out a sigh.’

Charity Pawprints to Freedom raised money for Cody to be brought to the UK, where he will now live with Caroline until he finds a new owner. He was subjected to random checks while entering the country and has already been examined and given a clean bill of health by Defra.
Romanian dogs
Caroline has urged owners to do their homework – as they would before getting any dog (Picture: Caroline Eyles)
Lady was fostered the same way and Caroline was able to meet her first before deciding to adopt – while with Cody she had only seen a photograph and description before.

Caroline said: ‘Lady is literally the dream dog. But I can’t say go to Romania and you’ll get the dream dog.

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‘There is an element of luck involved and I do think there is a balance to be had. You can’t just go around handing out dogs.

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‘It’s that age old thing; dogs are not just for Christmas. There needs to be an awareness and I do agree that sensible introductions need to apply. I would encourage people to be careful.

‘If you’re not experienced, you should seek guidance and do your homework. It’s a responsibility.’

Romanian dogs
Steven had two dogs, Fanny and Bunny (Picture: Steven Roper)
Owner Steven Roper, 47, was recommended cross-breed Bunny, six, by a friend at the Basset Rescue Network, and describes adopting her as the ‘best decision I ever made’.

A former street dog, she had also been living in a ‘high kill shelter’ and he was warned she would be unlikely to survive the winter.

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Romanian dogs
Bunny came to the UK from Transylvania (Picture: Steven Roper)

‘She had all the correct documents. She was amazing and very friendly and well behaved.

Plan for When You’re Not There. Make sure your pets are provided for during those long hours when you’re away. Dr. Becker suggests technological options. “DOGTV has stimulation and relaxation channels, and there are apps that control contraptions that talk to your pet, or dispense treats. Pheromone sprays can also reduce anxiety, creating that kumbaya atmosphere.” And, of course, daycare and dog walkers are a great way to enrich your pet’s day. “Know someone who wants exercise? Maybe they’ll walk your dog.”

‘We’ve had no behavioural issues. I have only heard her growl twice since I got her and she has never bitten anything.

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‘She is fully house-trained and has excellent recall skills off the leash – although she does hunt rabbits and squirrels!’

Steve, who also has dog Fanny, also notes that there can be ‘concerns’ with bringing dogs over from Romania, with three Daschund puppies becoming ill during the transit to the UK. He said: ‘They looked very young. These puppies were housed together and unfortunately caught Parvovirus.

‘One died and the other two went through costly treatment to save them.

Bunny’s vaccinations were all fully up-to-date and checked by Defra, but I think these puppies were either not vaccinated or were vaccinated too young.’

For more information about rehoming dogs from abroad, click here.