A dog lover is off to central Europe in an attempt to help prevent the culling of thousands of stray dogs by the government.
Nicola Dixon, 34, is flying to Bucharest, Romania, to build shelters, supply medication and provide food after a child’s death brought about a widespread slaughter of dogs living on the streets.
The crackdown began when 4-year-old boy Lonut Anghel was killed by dogs while playing near a play park. Although initially blamed on strays, his death was later found to have been caused by security dogs owned by a private company.
But it didn’t stop Romanian authorities continuing with the cull of stray dogs and Nicola, from Catterall near Garstang, now wants to travel to the country to help.
“It all started when I joined the Facebook group ‘Barking Mad Dog Rescue’ and saw some of the horrible conditions dogs were being kept in,” Nicola said.
“Dog catchers are paid by the dogs they catch and so they’re taking any dogs they find, even pets. The homes are getting paid money to slaughter them but I don’t think they’re doing it humanely at all and so I want to go out there and help build some shelters for the dogs to save them from being killed.”
Nicola, a photography student at UCLan, has two Romanian dogs of her own, Foxey and Winter, which she saved from the country and says they’re a great example of why the country needs help.
“They’re lovely dogs but like most of them in Romania, they have health problems because they weren’t looked after properly.
“By going over, hopefully we can stop these dogs being killed and give them a home and the care they deserve.”
Travelling with husband Andrew, 44, Nicola will leave at the beginning of June for four days. She says she wishes they could go for longer but with sons Jack, 5, and Luke, 3, she says it just wasn’t possible.
“Being into photography, I want to document what I see out there and raise awareness of the problems they’re facing,” she said.
“Hopefully we can keep doing our bit and go out again after this. The more we learn, the more we can do to help.”