Do you want to volunteer in Sibiu? If so, I have a great recommendation.
As Daniel and I move into year two of life on the road, we’re trying to change some bad habits we’ve fallen into. One of those is working on being more social, and another is making time to volunteer. In Sibiu, we found the perfect place: Animal Life Sibiu.
This dog shelter in Sibiu is run by the awesome Andrea, who started it as a dream 12 years ago. We signed up on the Animal Life Sibiu website and soon got a call back to schedule our time. Then, Andrea picked us up for a half day of volunteering at the Sibiu dog shelter.
It’s only 15 minutes driving from Sibiu, and along the way Andrea shared a lot of the struggles and joys that come with running one of the only no-kill animal shelters in Romania. As with most non-profits, finances are always the biggest concern.
Right now, Animal Life Sibiu:
- Spays or neuters any animal that needs it.
- Covers the vet bills for families who can’t afford them.
- Is home to over 50 dogs in the shelter.
- Organizes adoptions in Romania and Germany.
- Supports a second farm in the countryside with overflow dogs, cats, donkeys, and horses.
- Finances surgeries to nurse sick dogs back to health.
And so much more… all of it done with only ONE full-time employee!
One of our first tasks at the shelter was unloading liter upon liter of water from Andrea’s car, because the shelter had to build a new well months ago and still can’t afford the final pieces to connect it. Until then, they have to do without running water.
Andrea explained that although we could help with the usual daily tasks, she thinks the best use of volunteers is to play and socialize with the dogs to give them something that’s unfortunately always lacking in a shelter: attention.
She definitely didn’t need to ask us twice!
First, we met Tom, a stray who was found with a serious head injury. He might be a little slower than most dogs but his ultra-calm and cuddly personality made him my absolute favorite of the bunch. It took all the willpower in the world not to adopt him on the spot!
We went outside and played with the dogs as they took turns being let out of their cages to run around. Here we met Blue, a high-energy husky with a missing tail, Sam, a super fluffy golden-mix recovering from a hit and run, and many other amazing personalities.
Andrea told us the small dogs get snapped up quickly, and that’s why the shelter was mostly full of large breeds still waiting for adoption. Unfortunately, some have been there for years, and there’s nothing more they can do except wait for their forever home.
It’s sad to think about, but the dogs are lucky to be in a place where they’re so well cared for.
Finally, Daniel and I rounded out our experience volunteering in Sibiu with a few long walks in the woods behind the shelter, and then said our final goodbyes to the dogs. We only spent a couple hours with them, but it was still harder than I expected!
I’m so glad Daniel and I were able to volunteer at the Sibiu dog shelter, and if you’re traveling in the area I recommend that you do too.
The team at Animal Life Sibiu works hard to make a difference in the lives of these dogs, and it feels amazing to be a small piece of that. Andrea works almost full-time at the shelter while also supporting her family with projects on the side. Her passion and love for the dogs were evident, and her ability to turn the shelter into a reality despite many setbacks was seriously inspiring.
If you want to volunteer in Sibiu consider spending a few hours helping out (and hanging out) at Animal Life Sibiu!