The logo Footprints of Joy explains in a nutshell the spirit of this new and ambitious Save the Dogs project: the human tracks and those of the animals, who our association cares for, meet on this imaginary line and walk into a space dedicated entirely on their wellbeing. That space is not only a metaphor for the earth which we share with many other creatures but something more solid: a property spanning five hectares which Save the Dogs purchased in 2008 a few km from Cernavoda, in a hilly panoramic area not far from the Danubio River.
The land initially held donkeys and horses which were abandoned, but from the beginning we planned to transfer all Save the Dogs’ activities started in Cernavoda in 2002 to this peaceful haven far from the populated center – creating a new refuge in a low impact environment and a modern veterinary clinic of European standard.
This island of joy will differ, for a while, from all that surrounds it: degradation, suffering humanity and abused animals in a context which unfortunately still reflects a lack of basic values like those of respecting life and our environment. For this reason Footprints of Joy is an extraordinary and unique project with the aim of improving the lives of all the community through welcoming events, care of animals in difficulty, through educational programs and pet therapy aimed at children and their families. Not only that: among the Save the Dogs projects, there is also a center for the promotion of voluntary work and one for training of young medical veterinarians, a sector which will be developed in the coming years for the benefit of the animals and the whole community.
Save the Dogs, in fact, is deeply convinced that in order to recognize a series of inalienable rights of animals, it is necessary to bring out feelings of empathy and compassion in Romanian society, which have been swept away through this country’s tormented past. Without this change in mentality, there will be no future for dogs, cats and horses in Romania.
Our association has the difficult task of spreading these values across our own honest and ardent work despite the daily suffering which surrounds us and the atrocities which we fight against. However even in the Romanian context, our work can become a mark of living together in harmony between man and animal and we hope to achieve this by keeping feelings of joy and hope. Feelings which a project like Footprints of Joy will certainly help spread.