Northampton's students to volunteer at Romanian animal shelter after adopting ‘blossoming’ Bernie
Two 17-year-old dog lovers Aimee and Nathaniel are getting ready to pack their bags for a week in Romania to volunteer with some of the countries most unloved dogs.
Northampton Academy students Aimee Chamberlain and her boyfriend Nathaniel Clark are volunteering with Paws2Rescue next week to relieve the plight of Romanian dogs as part of their student volunteer scheme in Baia Mare.
Paws2Rescue is a UK charity which supports private shelters with food and bedding, raises donations for veterinary treatments and runs education and neutering programmes.
As part of their volunteer work they will take some of the 157 private kennel dogs out for five hours every day to give them some exercise.
Aimee said: "I'm really excited.
"I love dogs. I feel like it will be good to help."
Romania has one of the biggest street-dog problems in Europe and Aimee's adopted dog, four-year-old Bernie, knows this all too well. Although she was born in a kennel she lived with some 900 dogs brought in from the roadside, with only a green tag in her ear to identify her.
One month ago she was brought over to Abington to live with Aimee on a foster care basis before the Chamberlain family fell in love with her.
“She was traumatised when she arrived after waiting in a kennel for four years,” Julie Chamberlain, Aimee’s mum and Paws2Rescue volunteer, said.
“She was terrified of men. Slowly, like a flower, she is blossoming and she’s beginning to come over for fuss and attention.
"She is gentle, calm and sadly almost grateful to have been a chosen one."
Paws2Rescue help to bring 40 dogs over to the UK each month.
Dogs are fully vaccinated, neutered and spayed in Romania before travelling.
The dogs are then kept in kennels for two days for a full check up to adhere to UK Government regulations.
"A lot of the big shelters in Romania need volunteers," Julie added.
"The dogs don't go out for a walk or socialise.
"Some of them show behaviour like lions, they pace up and down. In Romania if you drive along a motorway there's dogs everywhere, that's normal."