January 2015
Voluntary Work in Suceava (08.01.-29.01.15)

On 8 January Susanne und Ralf set off for another working week in Suceava.

After a long journey including squalls, rainstorms and snowstorms, they finally arrived in Suceava on 10 January.

Impressions of Suceava

Work in the warehouse

Unloading and storage of donations from Germany:

„Thank you“ presents for the employees in the shelter

Every individual received a parcel – put together by our dear donors.

In addition to the personal parcels we brought various donated clothes. Everyone can take whatever he needs and the rest of the clothes were passed on to people in need of help in Suceava.

Current situation in the shelter

The dog catchers bring 10-15 stray dogs every day to the shelter. The city hall has decided, that all stray dogs have to be put in the shelter, they are not allowed to live on the streets anymore! This caused a lot of problems – at peak times there lived around 1.500 dogs in a shelter meant for max. 1.000 dogs…

The everyday care for the dogs (providing water und food) is very hard – the kennels are overcrowded. Again and again there happen to be dog fights, and some dogs die as a result of the injuries. Especially for the puppies it is very difficult to survive. Very often they die of infections, because they cannot be vaccinated in time.

Every day new dogs also means a lot of additional work for our vets: They have to neuter all day.

Appointment with Mayor and Vice-Mayor

During our stay in Suceava we had several meetings with the Mayor and the Vice-Mayor. We refused to accept new strays from the dog catchers to drew attention to the difficult situation here.

Claudiu Dimitriu (Romanian animal rights activist) supported our discussions. One day there came a TV team of a Romanian channel (TVR) to report on the situation in the public shelter.

Delivery of firewood

Unloading and chopping of firewood. The wood is used to provide warm water for the dogs in winter and to cook food donations from the local supermarket. One day a week the dogs get cooked food instead of dry food.

Presentation of our project at the local supermarket in Suceava

Visit at the local supermarket in Suceava who donates expired food for the dogs at the public shelter. We introduced our project to the management and thanked them for their support.

Work at the kennels

  • The maintenance of the kennels is an ongoing process. During our stay in Suceava we did the following work:
  • Labelling and installing of plates to number the kennels in the new part of the shelter and the kennels of the „sponsored dogs“.
  • Putting up of canvas to protect the dogs from the sun and also give them the opportunity to retreat from social contact and find a little quiet.
  • General maintenance at several kennels:

Because of heavy snowfalls we had to hire 3 additional workers for 2 days to remove the snow from the roofs and kennels.

Renovation of a big kennel including gravel

Work in the kitchen

Replacement of a broken wooden door with a new metal door

  • Installation of a new radiator
  • Repairing of several sockets

Work in the operating room area

  • Preparation and installation of several shelves in the post-operative room to store medical materials like superabsorbents, paper towels etc.
  • Cleaning of the operating room with a high-pressure cleaner
  • Installation of an additional radiator in the operating room
  • Opening of a wall to provide the operating room with new water pipes and new power supply lines
  • Installation of a new spotlight and a new paper towel dispenser

Work in the postoperative room

To improve the care for sick or operated dogs we started to build stonewalled and tiled boxes:

Further work done in the shelter during the working week

  • Purchase of materials at the construction store for several repair works
  • Repair of the washing machine
  • Relocation of little dogs from the kennels into the new building to protect them against the cold and moisture
  • Securing of a window with grids to get some fresh air inside for the little dogs
  • Replacement of the power lines in the old building
  • Installation of a new door and an new window in the postoperative room
  • Installation of a holder for water hoses (they need to be stored frost-free; they used to be put on the floor)

Power failure in the shelter

Additional and unplanned work was caused by a power failure in the shelter.

While Dr. Catalin was operating to neuter a dog, the electricity was suddenly being cut off.

No problem for him, he just grabbed a headlight and continued his work!

One of the consequences of this power failure was that we had to move all the medication to the hotel to cool them. As another result we had to buy 1.000 liter of fresh water at the local sewage plant for the dogs.

March 2015
Voluntary work in Suceava (14.03.-24.03.15)

A team consisting of 8 volunteers set off on a long journey to Romania to work in the shelter.

The main task of this working week was to build as many roofs as possible. The kennels in in the new part of the shelter were built on behalf of the city hall a couple of years ago. Unfortunately they were built without roofs. This means that the poor dogs are exposed to all weathers with hardly any protection.

The first thing after arriving in Suceava was, as always, to unload and storage the donations brought from Germany.

Construction of roofs in the new part of he shelter

Our team did a very good job and finally managed to build 50 roofs! It also required a lot of preparation for this construction work as:

  • Purchase of materials at the construction store
  • Unloading and storage of the material

Here you can follow the individual contruction phases:

Working in bright sunshine

Working in rain and snow and icy cold

The construction work is making progress

Kennels completed with roofs

We would like to take the opportunity to thank the whole team for doing such a good job! They all took some days off their work to give many dogs a roof and protection.

Besides the work with the roofs several cleaning work has been done as always when we come to Suceava. We also did some new plates for the kennels. To improve the working conditions of the employees we set up a locker room. We also had a meeting with the mayor of Suceava.

August 2015
Voluntary work in Suceava (01.08.-08.08.15)

This time a team consisting of 6 volunteers set off for the long journey to Suceava to pay a short visit. The main task for this trip was again to build as many roofs as possible.

And as always the first thing was to unload and storage the donations brought from Germany:

At the same time as our team started, a truck with 20 tons of dog food set off from Erfurt to Suceava. To prepare the storage room for this weight, 3 rooms were equipped with wood to strengthen the floor.

Arrival of food donations in Suceava

On 4 August the truck from Germany arrived with amazing 20 tons of dog food in Suceava! This amount of food will fill the bellies for almost 2 months. It took the team from 9 am to 2 pm to unload and store all the food – that was really hard work. Luckily the city hall provided us a wheel loader and some employees to help.

„Teeth brushing day“

We received a big amount of dog chewing sticks as a donation. This was a welcome change in the everyday routine of the dogs – they enjoyed it very much!

A black day

5 August was a very bad day for our team! After spending the previous day with unloading and storing 20 tons of dog food, today they wanted to start with the roofs.

But the veterinary office of Suceava carried out an unannounced inspection and requested a proof of origin for the donations from Germany. Since we never had to present such a proof before, we didn’t have according documents. When the inspector found some expired food, he really got angry. The end of the story was, that we had to carry all the 20 tons of food out of the warehouse and find a safe place outside the shelter to store it! Can you imagine how disappointed we were?

„Thank you“ presents for the employees

Everytime we come to Suceava we bring presents for the employees. Our dear donors in Germany love to pack boxes with small gifts for them. Thank you very much for this – look, how excited they were:

Construction of roofs continues

The main purpose of this trip was to build as many roofs for kennels as possible in the new part of the shelter. In the past the dogs were exposed to all weathers with hardly any protection against sun, rain and snow. Before we could start to work, we first had to buy some materials:

Despite all difficulties and challenges our team managed to construct roofs and side panels for 15 kennels! We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who helped us on the project, especially Firma Egger which sponsored the chipboard panels.

The side panels give the dogs the opportunity to retreat from social contact and find a little quiet and protects them against wind, rain and snow.

Meeting with the Vice-Mayor of Suceava

Another purpose of this trip was to continue the contract negotiations with the city hall. Ralf Trautmann presented a draft which includes the reduction in the number of dogs from now 1.000 down to 500 within 6 months.

The situation in the shelter with so many dogs is more a prison than an animal shelter. Everyday dogs die because they are not vaccinated and get infected with all kinds of diseases. Especially the puppies have hardly any chance to survive. The overcrowed kennels make the dogs aggressive and very often there happen to be bitings which are often fatal.

In the coming months we will make every effort to reduce the number of dogs by adoptions – even if this is not the main purpose of our association. This will require additional resources because the primary care for the dogs must be ensured. This is an emergency situation and we need to make use of all possibilities. This includes that our vets euthanize dogs that are terminally ill.

September 2015 (20.09.-24.09.)

The purpose of this short trip was to continue the contract negotiations with the city hall of Suceava. Susanne and Ralf Trautmann and Claudiu Dimitriu (Romanian animal rights activist) went through complex and tough negotiations.

Finally they were successful and on 24 September 2015 the city council signed the contract.

November 2015
Voluntary work in Suceava (23.11.-30.11.15)

Susanne and Ralf Trautmann set off for another working week in Suceava. They didn’t know exactly what was waiting there for them. The situation in the shelter was very serious.

As every time they brought donations from Germany and after 23 hours driving they finally arrived in Suceava on the 23 November.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

As it turned out, some difficulties were waiting in Suceava. The city hall had hired a vet and another employee to check the work of our vets and employees. We were also told that at the end of the year the city hall had spent their budget and that there was no more money for dog food!

Today we handed over the Christmas parcels to the employees – put together by our dear donators in Germany. Look, how pleased they were:

They all send lovely greetings and a big „Thank You“ to all donators.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

As reported in August we had to clean out the storage room and put all the stuff to the attic of our building. This time we took the opportunity to clean the mess. The clothes, which our employees didn’t need were given to the employees of the city hall – nothing is wasted!

Rice and wet food for the thin dogs

In November we had a lot of emaciated dogs in the shelter. We bought rice and wet food for them to feed them up a bit.

Cleaning of dog bowls

The employees don’t have the time to clean all the dog bowls for 900 dogs very often, so Susanne did it. Now they are all nice and clean.

Thursday, 27 November 2015

In the weeks before this trip to Suceava we had a lot of discussions in our facebook group “Tierheim Dialog” concerning the housing of the puppies. They used to be housed in a draughty wooden shed with hardly any shelter. So the main task for this working week was to make the puppy room winterproof. The sides of the shed were covered with side panels; plexiglas window and door were installed.

An isolated dog house was build and a feeding station for the puppies. It is easier to clean now.

Puppy milk for the babies and emaciated dogs

Thanks to some spontaneous donations from Germany we could buy the material for the puppy house and puppy milk. The milk is very important for the little babies without mother but also for the very thin dogs.

Puppies in Suceava

Puppies – a very difficult subject in a dog shelter like Suceava. In a number of 1.000 dogs the little ones suffer the most! There is hardly any chance to take care of them the way they need it. Worst effected are the babies who are brought to the shelter at the age of 4 weeks – very often without their mums – dumped on the streets. Most of them are already seriously ill when they arrive here and die very soon even if they get vaccinated. Susanne Trautmann accompanied many of this little poor souls on their last hours. The only thing she could do for them was to give them some warmth and love. This is also a part of animal welfare. To avoid this suffering of little puppies it is very important to offer castration programmes! It is the only way to reduce this misery.

This candle is to remind all the poor souls who didn’t have a chance to survive.

Friday, 28 November till Monday, 30 November 2015

Meeting with the city hall

On 28 November Ralf Trautmann and Claudiu Dimitriu (Romanian animal rights activist) had a meeting with the city hall. Subjects were the supply with dog food and the covering of medical costs by the city hall. The issues were that the city hall did not deliver dog food and did not want to take over the cost of castration programmes or the preparation of dogs for adoption. All parts who were agreed upon in the contract signed in September.

Purchase of straw to isolate the dog houses

To protect the dogs against the cold winter, straw was put in the dog houses. This is the most hygienic way to help them to survive the winter. We bought straw and the employees put it in the kennels – a lot of work to do…

Cutting of blankets to cover the entrances of the dog houses

To provide the dogs a bit more protection against the cold, the entrances of the dog houses were covered with blankets. Therefore we had to cut piles of blankets:

Purchase of rubber boots for the employees

To support the everyday work of the employees we bought new rubber boots for all of them.

They are outside all day in all weathers and so they need functional clothes.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Today we had to say “Goodbye!” to the animal shelter in Suceava. We look back on a week full of work – a lot of things could be sorted out. But you always drive home with the thought how much more work needs to be done…

December 2015 / January 2016
Voluntary work in Suceava (28.12.15-20.01.16)

This trip to Suceava lasted 3,5 weeks. As the most part of it took place in 2016, this trip will be listed in the activity report 2016.

General acquisition of donations:

  • Flea markets
  • Donation boxes in stores
  • Virtual adoptions of dogs in the shelter
  • Food sponsorships
  • „Save a life“ pass
  • Participation in lotteries and similar actions
  • Information desks at exhibitions, festivals, etc.
  • Collection of food and material donations
  • Donations via online shops:
  • https://www.gooding.de/ und https://www.boost-project.com/de
  • Fundraising at the donation portal www.betterplace.org

Events on Facebook:

  • Flea market group
  • Sale of handicrafts
  • Book selling group „Lesen für Suceava“
  • Donation campaign for food „Futter-Not-Groschen“
  • Donation campaign „Puna’s Traumbaum“
  • Easter event „Ei, Ei, Ei…Verkauft“
  • Easter event „Osterpaten“
  • Auction for Suceava (Auktionsteam Tierschutz)
  • Tombola „Halloween-Glücks-Kürbisse“
  • Christmas event „Weihnachtspatenaktion“
  • Advent calendar „Suceava Adventskalender“
  • Fundraising to finance a transport to Romania „LKW-Transport für das Tierheim Suceava“
  • Tombola „Silvesterknaller / Glücksklee – Spenden statt Knallen
  • Donation campaign „Stroh“- straw for the dog houses
  • Monthly fundraising for salaries of the shelter employees

Dear donors,

All of you together have contributed to ensure the supply of the 900 dogs in the animal shelter Suceava in Romania. Thanks to kind and generous people like you we were able to manage the basic care of the animals. In 2015 our animal welfare association “Suceava – Memory of Tina e.V.” transferred 114.800 € to the Romanian partner association “Proanimals Tina”.

You all made this possible: all the faithful donors and helping hands. We are very grateful for your active and physical support – every kind of help is more than welcome.

With the help of your donations we were able to bear the costs for:

Salaries for 10 employees, building rental, primary health care, castration of stray dogs, partial payment of dog food, vaccination and preparation of dogs for adoption, straw for isolation of dog houses, gravel for the kennel grounds, so that the dogs don’t have to stand in the mud.

An absolute highlight in 2015 was the construction of roofs for 68 kennels in the new part of the shelter. In the past the dogs were exposed to all weathers – now they have at least a bit of protection against sun, rain and snow. Another highlight in 2015 was the “Auction for Suceava” in September. It was carried out by the facebook group “AUTSCH-Auktionsteam Tierschutz” and enabled us the realisation of a castration programme for private animals with owners. More than 100 cats and dogs were neutered. To avoid the uncontrolled increase of population is the only sustainable way to reduce the suffering of stray animals.

The living conditions for the animals in the public shelter Suceava remain difficult. It is still much work ahead – but that requires money. For example in the new part of the shelter: there are still 30 kennels without a roof. There is an urgent need for a permanent vaccination programme for the dogs in the shelter and we need to provide more castration programmes for pets.

We hope that you will continue to accompany us on the path that we have chosen, so that we can reap the benefits of this work together. Please help us to take care of all this poor souls and give them a chance to live a better life.

I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart on behalf of the animals for your support, confidence and loyalty over the years! Don’t stop, we need your help to continue – for the sake of the strays in Suceava.

Best regards

Susanne Trautmann-Grübl


Many little people, in many little places, taking many little steps, can change the face of the world..“

(African saying)