FAQ

FAQ

Les chiens de Roumanie et l’association Remember Me

Street dogs are omnipresent in Romania. In the capital city of Bucarest alone, the number of street dogs is estimated at 60,000 (source : 30 Millions d'Amis). This phenomenon is due to Ceausescu's regime: in the 80s, he forbade the possession of canines by families living in an apartment, and thereby forced them to leave their animals out on the streets.

Since then, these dogs have reproduced, multiplied, and are now considered as a nuisance by the majority of the population. While chased and regularly beaten by the local population, they have caused damage and injuries, which in turn has increased the hate towards them. (source : One Voice).

However, instead of resolving the problem at the source, and putting in place sterilization campaigns, the Romanian authorities have preferred the expedited and ineffective "solution" of euthanasia. Officially, this is performed 14 days after the dogs have been captured and have not been reclaimed by anyone. But in reality, the majority of the dogs are executed right after they've been captured. (The capturing is done in a brutal and violent way and explains the dogs' subsequent aversion against collars and sticks...)

This euthanasia method is more profitable for the public pounds... Why bother to feed the animals for two weeks when you can just cash in on their capture right away? Why pay for expensive lethal injections when there are less cumbersome methods to get rid of these unwanted beings...?

Even most dogs that are adopted in Romania do not live under great conditions... Many among them are kept on a chain or in dirty cages, without receiving any veterinary care or attention. Association Remember Me France (and many other French and European associations) fight on a daily basis to save, care and sterilize Romanian dogs, so that their situation in the country will improve in the long run.

Adopting a Romanian dog means giving a second chance to an animal that hasn't been lucky enough to be born in a great environment. It means proving him that humans do not always equal violence and scorn, by offering him the love and security that he has always dreamed of. It means watching him increasingly lower his guard to become an extraordinary companion, who will return your investment a hundredfold.
Association Remember Me France (and very other small associations in France and Europe) are fighting to save Romanian dogs. Our association is unique in the sense that we have our own private shelter in Pascani, which is officially recognized by the Romanian state. Very few shelters throughout Romania are legalized. Our shelter permanently hosts around 240 dogs and puppies found on the streets or brought to us by the dogcatchers, and we try to save a maximum number of dogs from the public pounds in Roman and Golesti. Our dogs are in good hands, are fed and given water on a daily basis, and are continuously cared for. To date, we have rehomed more than 3000 animals, and we have sterilized 500 females each year since 2015.
We are a non-profit association and our team is comprised entire of volunteers. Every penny that we receive is used to save, defend and protect animals in every way possible. We rely on our members' contributions, sponsorships, donations, support from our partners and adoption fees. A little more than 55% of our resources comes from adoptions, the remaining part consists of different types of donations (sponsorships, donations, etc.).
For example, see below an overview of our expenses for May 2021:

Personnel fees (including for transport and rehoming) : € 4135
Anti-parasite medications: € 1156
Maintenance fees for the shelter: € 1027
Veterinary fees for the dogs at foster homes in France: € 1211
Veterinary fees in Romania: € 2422
Pension fees at the clinic in Bucharest: € 375
ICAD*: € 720
Purchase of kibbles for the shelter: € 500
DSV control fees (Veterinary services Romania): € 209
Leasing of a van: € 480
Rehoming fees: fuel, toll roads, etc. € 3727
Postal and telephone expenses: € 18
TOTAL: € 15980

* National identification register of domestic carnivores in France
You can help our shelter by offering a monetary donation or supplies; see below a list of what we need:

  • medical and veterinary supplies: inox boxes, pads, sterile towels, gloves, desinfectant, anti-parasite, deworming, other medicines for animals...
  • transport crates and cages, all types, and kennels
  • cushions, dog beds, pillows, plastic baskets
  • bowls, specifically inox bowls and the "wheel" type ones for puppies
  • puppy pads
  • harnesses, collars, leashes
  • food: kibbles and canned food for dogs, puppies or cats
  • professional disinfectant products like saniterpen

You can bring your donations to us at different collection points in Livry Gargan, Orbey and Robion, or any of the stops that our van passes by during rehoming trips . Do not hesitate to contact us to give us a heads up. Thanks so much!
Gamelle en inox de type “roue”
Tous nos animaux sont adoptables en France et en Belgique. En France, l'importation des chiens catégorisés est interdite, de fait les chiens typés staff ne pourront y être adoptés. Nos animaux sont également adoptables en Suisse mais sous conditions (au regard de la loi Suisse) : uniquement les animaux à queue longue et oreilles non coupées et de tempérament sociable. Nos animaux peuvent ponctuellement être adoptés dans d'autres pays européens, n'hésitez pas à nous contacter pour nous présenter votre projet d'adoption.

Bringing them home

We ask you to come to the van with the following materials:

- a harness in the size of the dog (to the extent possible)
- a collar with a medal with your phone number engraved on it
- two leashes
a travel crate
It is critical that your dog will wear both a harness and a collar. If one the two does not properly fit the animal and he manages to take it off, then you have an another option to keep him secured. That's why it is important to attach one leash to the harness, and another to the collar. We ask that the collar has a medal with your phone number engraved on it. In case the dog escaped, this will help you to find your dog back as quickly as possible. We have a partnership with le Coin des Animaux for that: For every purchased medal, 1 euro is transferred to our association.

The harness you choose should not be a Julius, Animalin or similar one. These models are not secure, and a dog can easily escape from it when he is panicking. For safety purposes, retractable leashes are also not recommended.

Finally, the transport crate is mandatory because it guarantees a safe trip home for everyone. Whether the dog is timid, fearful or friendly, don't forget that you do not know him yet, and he doesn't know you yet either. Nobody can foresee his reaction towards you or in a car. We therefore ask that you keep the dog in his transport crate until you arrive home, and do not let him out at any point during the trip. When a dog is particularly scared or terrified, we will transfer the dog directly from his cage in the van to your transport crate. Crates made of textile are not accepted, as a dog can easily rip it and get out of it when he is panicking.
The harness should be secure, which means that it is forbidden to come with a Julius, Animalin or similar type harness. These harnesses have a horizon strap (also sometimes called a Norwegian harness) and are not suitable for dogs that may be scared, because it is very easy for them to get out of it. Verify that the closing mechanism is solid, and avoid velcro type closures for example. 'X' and 'Y' shaped harnesses are recommended by animal osteopaths because they have the advantage of redistributing the pressure across the thorax. While a harness with a horizontal strap compresses the trachea and blocks the shoulders.
Used on a daily basis, these harnesses can cause problems with the front locomotor, muscle pain or even early arthrosis. (Sources : Loreline Thooris on toutoupourlechien.com and Charlotte Bouchoux)  
Chaque chien possède un tempérament qui lui est propre, mais tous les canidés rapatriés sont épuisés et stressés le jour de leur arrivée. Après avoir voyagé pendant plusieurs jours, ils se retrouvent en terrain inconnu, sans aucun repère. Surpris par l'agitation, apeurés par tous ces gens qui les regardent, ils sont susceptibles de réagir de façon étonnante et imprévisible.

Nous vous demandons donc de laisser de l'espace aux vétérinaires et aux membres de l'équipe Remember Me, qui sortent les animaux du camion, prodiguent des conseils à chaque adoptant, etc.

Nous ne fournissons aucun harnais, collier, laisse ou caisse de transport sur place ; vous devez venir équipés d'accessoires adaptés à votre nouveau compagnon. Certains sont obligatoires, la liste complète figure juste au-dessus.
Dans le contexte sanitaire exceptionnel lié à la pandémie, nous vous prions d’éviter tout attroupement et de bien vouloir respecter la distanciation d’un mètre. Les chiens seront sortis un par un du camion, merci de patienter et de rester calme. Veuillez également apporter avec vous vos masque de protection et gel hydro-alcoolique. L’ensemble de l’équipe reste vigilante quant au respect des gestes barrière pour limiter au maximum les risques.
We ask you to come with a transport cage, that should be made of plastic or metal, and not of fabric (as it is too fragile and easy for a panicked dog to get out of). The transport cage will allow you to keep your dog secure as he is taken out of the van, as well as during the rest of the trip home.

During your trip home, nothing is safer than a transport cage, for your animal's safety as well as your own. This way, he will be protected and kept safe in case you have to brake abruptly. In addition, a scared dog that has a tendency to escape could disturb the driver and even provoke an accident.

Once you've arrived at home, leave him be, don't force him, even if he anxiously stays in the back of his cage: let him observe you. Patience and kindness are the key to a successful adaptation.

Vous ne devez en aucun cas lâcher votre chien sans laisse pendant les premiers jours qui suivent son arrivée chez vous, même dans votre jardin. Les roumains peuvent se révéler surprenants quand il s’agit de trouver une faille dans le grillage ou sauter 2 mètres de haut. N’oubliez pas qu’un temps d’adaptation plus ou moins long, qui peut aller de plusieurs jours à plusieurs semaines, voire plusieurs mois, est nécessaire avant de pouvoir affirmer que vous connaissez votre chien. Le chien a aussi besoin d’apprendre à vous connaître pour s’attacher à vous et revenir naturellement vers vous.

Une fois votre chien en confiance, vous pourrez remplacer la laisse par une longe, sorte de longue laisse que vous pouvez tenir ou laisser traîner à terre. Laissez lui toujours une médaille avec vos coordonnées ; vous pouvez également l’équiper d’un petit boîtier GPS (type Weenect ou Tractive).

Nous déplorons encore beaucoup trop de fugues, à l’issue parfois dramatique, c’est pourquoi nous insistons tant sur ces points. Même si votre chien se sent vite à l’aise avec vous, même si vous le sentez rassuré, ne brûlez pas les étapes ! Un chien peut vite paniquer, surtout dans la rue où certains ont connu des expériences traumatisantes.

L’arrivée du chien

Remember: your new companion has just been on a long, extremely stressful and exhausting trip that lasted several days. When he comes home with you, his life has been turned completely upside down, and this change can have a considerable impact on him, the extent to which depends on the character and past of your animal.

Keep in mind that he has no idea where he is, nor who your are, and that he has completely lost any point of reference. Until now, he has known nothing but life roaming on the streets, hunger, violence, and probably does not even know what a cuddle is...

First of all, let him recover. Place him directly in the part of the house where you have installed his bed, his transport cage, his bowls, etc. Ensure that your kids or other pets do not bother him during his first days: your dog is exhausted, and he will surely be on the defensive.
Organize a meeting between your new arrival and your other animals once he is recovered, on a neutral and closed terrain; with your last arrival kept on a (long) leash.

Some dogs immediately feel right at home, while others need several weeks to observe you, while hiding in a corner. Do not force contact, let him progress at his own pace.

Your dog will not be familiar with the principle of walking on a leash. You will need to arm yourself with patience and kindness to make him understand that this is not a restriction. Using a harness is preferred for two reasons: it is much more secure (Romanian dogs are very resourceful and will have no problem getting rid of their collar when they feel threatened!) and less violent for your companion. Do not take your dog for walks outside until he accepts his harness.

During the first months, do not leave your animals unattended. Make sure they have properly gotten used to each other to ensure harmonious cohabiting. If you have a garden, always keep an eye on him while he is out there, and regularly verify that your fencing isn't damaged and does not have any holes.

Finally, use a long leash for your walks during the first month. As long as the recall and natural following have not yet been acquired, never leave your dog off leash. This is very important when adopting a Romanian dog that does know our rules and environment, and can get scared in any kind of situation... Get him a name tag with your contact details engraved, so that in case he does manage to escape, you can be reached as soon as possible.
The first nights can be a scary for your dog, especially if it is a puppy. Until now he has been used to sleeping together with his companions in his box, his mother or brother and sisters, and now he's all alone in a house that he doesn't know yet, with as his only companion a deafening silence. It is important to show compassion, especially in the beginning, so that your dog understands quickly that the nocturnal separations are synonymous to rest and reassurance.

You could choose to sleep in the same room as he during the first few days. When he is crying or panicking, just speak softly to him or pet him in order to calm him down. At the beginning, you will have trouble trying to understand the reason for his whining: does he need to go out? Is he stressed in his new environment? Does he need to be close to me? Don't forget that he will need several weeks to get used to his new home. Once he feels more confident, you can let him sleep in the room that you want him to sleep in, which could be your bedroom or not.

Training

Whether you are in an apartment or whether you have a house with a big garden, you have to walk your dog at least once per day. On the one hand because a terrain does not replace the social and sensorial stimulation of a walk in the forest, the city or a park. On the other hand, because walks are essential to familiarize your dog with his new environment and the new social rules that he will have to learn. In a closed-off space at home you will not be able to desensitize him and get him used to cars, markets, people, and other dogs... To life, simply!

The advantage of having a garden is that you only have to take him on one big walk per day, while in an apartment, you will have to take him for several 'pee breaks'. The number of pee breaks will depend on each dog and his capacity to hold it. In general, you should count on at least two or three (morning, afternoon, evening) per day.
From the moment your dog comes home, develop the habit of occasionally leaving him alone in one room of the house for several seconds or minutes. For example, keep him in your office while you're getting a glass of water in the kitchen, close the door to the bathroom while you're having a shower... That will familiarize your animal not to be able to follow you around the house all the time, and it is his first step to learning how to be alone.

Next, regularly leave the house during the day while leaving your dog alone for 30 seconds, then 1 minute, 3 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes... By making your absence something trivial, you will be able to integrate this habit more rapidly as a part of his life. Do not go back inside while your dog is barking or whining. Wait for a few seconds of silence (or a short interruption in between the barking in case of louder dogs) before joining him back inside, so that he does not start to associate your return with his calls. Do not rush the different steps: if your dog has trouble being alone for just 5 minutes, stick to this level until he has perfectly mastered this.

For dogs that particularly anxious when they are alone, buy a toy that keeps him busy or a bone/horn/ears for him to chew on. Not only does this stimulate him, his attention will also be more focused on something else than your absence. Avoid making a big deal out of you departing and coming home, so that your companion does not get overly excited. Leave your home calmly, and stay calm when you come home as well.

When you come back home and realize that he has destroyed or damaged something, do not lecture him and hide your discontent. Your dog has no way of associating your anger with something he has done several minutes or hours ago... You will just cause him to be even more anxious when you leave in the future, and will see you coming home as a source of hostility towards him.

Finally, keep in mind that depending on each individual, learning to be alone can take a while. A dog is a social animal; being alone without anything to do for several hours is not something pleasant or natural for him. But with time and some work, it is completely feasible to get there!
If a puppy wasn't separated to early from his mother, he will have profited from her education on this matter; he will know not to do his business in the place where he sleeps. It is up to you to make him understand that the entire house is now a place where this is not appropriate!
An adult dog may have lost the notion of being clean while having stayed at the shelter, as he does not have the possibility of doing his business outside of his enclosure...

To make your companion understand the principle of being clean, let him go outside a bit after meals (in those cases, keep him in a short leash to avoid the risks of stomach twisting), when you wake up and before you go to bed to take him to do his business. When your dog defecates where you want him to, be sure to congratulate him.

When on your arrival back home you realize that your dog has not managed to hold it in, do not punish him. He has no way to linking your fury with these events that took place several minutes or hours earlier... When you catch him in the middle of the act, you can tell him a firm 'No' and immediately take him to the place where you want him defecate instead. If he finishes there, make sure you congratulate him.

Over time, introduce pee breaks at fixed times so that your companion learns the habit of holding it up until these different time slots. You will equally start to recognize his own signals he gives of when he really needs to go: whining, scratching the door,...
A dog is not a toy. It is a living being that should be respected as such. Your child, like any other person in the house, should respect the sleeping and resting time of your companion, and should not disturb him while he is eating. If your dog does not feel like playing or interacting with your child, do not force him, and wait for him to come on his own initiative.

At the beginning, you will have to take additional precautions. For example, make sure that your child does not play too loudly or roughly next to the animal so that he does not scare him. On the other hand, do not hesitate to involve your child in the dog's walks.

We repeat this over and over: never leave your child alone with a dog. Even when super well-integrated in the family, an animal can always respond in an unexpected manner when a child shows unexpected behavior.