Release Romanian dogs stolen in Germany to their heartbroken families

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In March 2019, four dogs were stolen from a transport of Romanian dogs travelling to loving British families. Corruption at the German border and a series of Polizei blunders have left four UK families waiting in heartache as they now reveal they do not know the dogs' location and have declared them missing. 

Over 15,000 dogs travel from Romania to Britain each year, changing the lives of street dogs destined for death in the Balkan state. For four of these dogs, the journey went terribly wrong- and through no fault of their own they were removed from the humans they knew, and hidden from the Polizei despite warrants for their onward journey to go ahead.

The Passau four started their journey in Constanta, Romania on the 14th of March this year, travelling 1,600km and through multiple checkpoints in Hungary and Austria. At the southeast German border of Passau, the van was halted and German authorities removed all 69 animals on board the transport vehicle, placing them into temporary quarantine at a local shelter ‘Passau Tierheim’ run by Bettina Mittler.

The Romanian driver of the transport, a qualified vet, claims he was escorted by armed Polizei officers to an ATM machine and forced to withdraw €1200 as a fine for the incorrect passports, although the Polizei officers refused to provide a receipt.

Four days after the stop, Ms. Mittler released three of the seven dogs she had been asked to house back on the transport when it was signed off for onward travel. No reason was given for Ms. Mittler’s holding of the last four dogs. The animal couriers made the choice to continue onwards for the sake of the distressed dogs back on board. When German police obtained a warrant to retrieve the missing dogs from the shelter in May 2019, they had disappeared.

Ms. Mittler has refused to comment or engage with the dogs UK families, adoption organisations or Romanian shelters, and local authorities in Passau now refuse to answer enquiries into the dogs’ location.

We are asking the German authorities to intervene at Passau and track down the four missing dogs, Ashley, Max, Hobnob and puppy Polar. They deserve to be at home with the families who love them, please please sign and share this petition to help make that happen.