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What is Stray Animal Care?

© FOUR PAWS | Mihai Vasile

The life and suffering of stray animals: Abandoned animals

Animals often become “strays“ either being born on the street or being abandoned by people. They congregate in populated areas such as cities and towns where trash and food scraps are readily available. Stray populations can grow exponentially and often times overpopulation in urban areas are dealt with through harsh culling techniques such as indiscriminate poisoning or lethal roundups. Strays also can pose a risks to humans and animals alike through aggressive conflicts and can spread diseases such as rabies. Additionally, strays often times become victims themselves and can suffer from abuse by humans, hunger, disease and other health problems.


FOUR PAWS International envisions a world without animal suffering, where humans treat animals with respect, empathy, and understanding. Human beings must take responsibility for animal welfare. Birth control programs such as spaying and neutering (and trap-neuter-release programs) are the only humane way to decrease stray animal populations; the same goes for owned animals too. 

The FOUR PAWS Method: The sustainable, animal-friendly solution

FOUR PAWS Stray Care has a demonstrated, an animal-friendly strategy that helps stray animals: Neutering programs. In just one location, a FOUR PAWS team can neuter and vaccinate hundreds of stray animals within a week, costing less than it would to kill and dispose of the animals. For the animals this means their lives are saved and they receive treatment for disease and injuries.


When implementing local neutering projects FOUR PAWS teams attract the animals with food – only rarely are very shy animals captured by trained animal handlers. Animals are brought by a transporter to the mobile FOUR PAWS animal clinic. Well-trained and dedicated veterinarians vaccinate and deworm the animals and neuter them under general anaesthesia. Every handled animal is registered and receives a marking near the ear, making it identifiable from a distance. After the treatment, the four-legged patients remain in the clinic for at least another day. Sick and injured animals are cared for. Then we release the animals again. Our detailed records on every animal make sure they are brought back to the exact location they were captured. For dogs this can be very important, so that they can reassume their position within the pack. 

Ever since the first event in Bucharest, some 15 years ago, the number of stray dogs was reduced from 40,000 to 25,000 –humane and in the best interest of humans and animals!  

Interview with the SAC veterinarian: Three questions for Dr. Anca Tomescu


Abandoned animals