An animal lover from Bury St Edmunds has rescued two dogs from Romania in protest at legislation permitting the cull of thousands of strays.
In April, Manuela Lambert fell in love with a litter of puppies living on a beach near her Romanian vacation home.
When she returned later last year with her husband, Stephen, she found that one had been taken to a dog pound.
A law passed in September - following the high-profile story of a young boy mauled to death in the capital of Bucharest - allowed stray dogs to be put to death after 14 days in detention, so the couple knew they had to act quickly.
On finding the dog now called Tyrone, Manuela said: “He was there for four days and four nights. When I picked him up, he was terrified.”
Charity Action Aid For Animals helped Stephen make arrangements to get Tyrone to Bury while Manuela stayed in Romania to arrange emergency treatment for another dog she had found ‘abandoned, terrified and seriously ill’.
Stephen said: “Initially I was thinking ‘no I can’t believe this,’ but when I looked at this dog’s eyes, my heart melted. She was terrified and just looked so helpless.”
The dog, now named Lucky, received medication for an enlarged heart and underwent surgery two weeks later to remove several tumours, infected teeth and ingrowing nails.
Not wanting to be parted, the journey to Bury was not a simple one for the pair who travelled to Belgium by plane, then to France by car and on to Dover by ferry, where they were met by Stephen.
Manuela said rescuing the dogs had helped her to finally disconnect from her birth country, Romania, and feel at home in Bury.
“It’s a strange thing because she helped them, but they helped her, too,” said Stephen.
To find out more about Action Aid For Animals, go to www.actionaidforanimals.com