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Hilary Swank Sets Out to Save Stray Romanian Dogs

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Hilary Swank loves animals, and she’s not above taking a trip across the pond to spread her love of those creatures who cannot speak for themselves. Recently, the “Million Dollar Baby” actress embarked on a mission to Bucharest, Romania in an attempt to save the stray dog population that’s quickly becoming a problem in the city. According to reports, there are approximately 35,000 canine running free, and their fate is still up in the air.

What to do with these animals has become a hot-button issue in Romania; some feel that the dogs should be put down, while others believe they should be rounded up and placed into shelters. Additionally, quite a few folks think the canines should be sterilized, which would prevent them from producing even more strays. Swank, who feels that sterilization is the way to go, also feels that these dogs can help improve the lives of the disadvantaged.

Here in the States, Swank created the organization Hilaroo, which helps unite animals with needy children and those whose lives have taken a turn for the worse.

“I believe that is so healing to these kids who don’t trust people anymore,” she explained. “The unconditional love of an animal is very healing and teaches them about not just unconditional love but about a relationship, about responsibility, about anger management.”

She feels that such an organization could help improve the stray canine population in Bucharest, as well. Instead of simply killing the dogs and being done with it, Swank urges officials to sterilize these homeless dogs and cats and allow them to interact with children who could benefit greatly from the companionship they provide.

“I’ve seen firsthand how it changes the path of the soul,” she said. “For the animal and for the child.”

Hilary Swank Sets Out to Save Stray Romanian Dogs


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  • mary

    im glad shes helping but honestly people in romania dont have money to feed then selves or their loved ones, so if there are stray’s thats the reason… so for her to come and say it would help needy children, yes it would be families in ROMANIA can not provide for them selves…. she should help the orpahns there, trust me there are thousands of children that need her help… not only in china or africa like a lot of the celeberties go to… Romania needs help too

    • Hana

      Humans have a voice – animals do not. We must speak for them!

      • Amy Zink

        If people have voices why does someone have to speak for them? I think Hilary is doing great things for creatures who can’t speak for themselves, and I have several feral cats (about 16) that I feed 2 times daily because my neighbors took them as kittens and grew tired of them. I have been fortunate to find a low cost vet to have them spayed after having trapped them, it cost a lot of money, but the cats are healthy, happy and what Hilary is doing is very noble. Why does an animals life mean less than a human life?

        • Davan

          Oh Amy, you’re absolutely right. An animal’s life is worth just as much as a human. That’s why animals have been responsible for all the greatest inventions of the last hundred years. Animals provide you with a bank to keep your money in, electricity for your house and, of course, I’m sure you use the local animal internet provider to post your messages. If there’s a fire, please make sure the fire department knows to rescue the cats and not you. There are 16 of them and only one of you. Since you’re equal, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or in your case, the one, right?

      • anna

        Thank you.

  • http://www.askthebugman.com Richard “Bugman” Fagerlund

    Good for Hillary. I always loved her acting. Now I really think she is an angel. God Bless her and the dogs in Romania.

  • Shea Littlemeyer

    Great! Forget the starving abused kids, lets save the dogs! Romania has been known to have some of the worst orphanages in the world! I’m glad that dogs have become more important than our kids, that is awesome… please look up the gruesome stories of the treatment of children in Romania it will make you much sicker than seeing those poor stray dogs! This seems to be a common story, dogs before kids, when there are no more homeless and starving kids in our world then we will start saving the stray animals. Right?

    • Hana

      There is loads of help for the orphanages – nothing done to help other populations, like animals. Look, the way you judge a society is looking at how it deals with the weaker parts of society, such as the children, the elderly and animals. If any part of that society is treated poorly, the society is garbage. Hilary is doing her part to help a weak part of the Romanian society. Now go do yours.

      • Debra

        Well said, Hana!

        • Shea

          I actually donate time and money,I have donated more than some make annually over the course of the last 4 years and much of my time for a variety of organazations helping homeless families. If I had more I would donate that too. I as a child came from orphanges here in the us, which are not that great themselves so imagine Romania. I have first hand knowledge of these workings more than most. So you go do yours, go save all the dogs and go tell all the kids such as I was that it’s ok your being abused in a foster home, as long as the dogs are ok! And I am one of very few that have made a successful life for myself coming from places like that. Read the other comments from the people who have actually been to Romania or lived there. Ignorance is bliss.

          • Shea

            Unfortunatley the fact that the orphanges get loads of help is a huge misconception, and because of this I can understand peoples view points thinking that there are all of these great programs for people and so to give to the animals. There are definatley worst things to do with your money than donate it to animals. Yes the animals need it too, and I wish that we all had enough to give it to every one and thing. I was angry at first reading these comments, but it made me think that every person is on here commenting with good intention. So please lets stop bickering over kids or animals, both deserve love, respect and any help needed. We may never stop fighting over who is right or wrong on this or ever be able to save the entire world, but as long as there are people like us that care, and more importantly DO, then at least this world has a glimmer of hope. We are all right in our own respects, and all have the right to pour our love, time and money into whatever is close to our hearts. Anyone looking to help no matter the form is on the right path. Love to all, seriously, help on!

    • TK

      Seriously? Instead of worrying what Hillary Swank is doing in Romania, you should ask what yourself: What am I doing to help those Romanian kids?

      Oh, yeah. Right. NOTHING.

      • anna

        RIGHT! Tho ones who complain the most do nothing themselves. Thank you for telling the truth, TK.

      • Shea

        It’s so funny that people ASSume that someone who would make such a passionate comment would not do anything to help. No you are correct in the fact that I will not donate my money to Romania because I belive in starting at home first. I have donated much more than the average here in my country, how about you… Ignorance is bliss.

    • Susan

      Helping the stray dogs. Maybe they should also save the wild rats. I’ve been here in Bucharest for 3 years now and have seen what these strays will do. Most would kill you if they think you have any food. Last year in Feb 2011 I saw a pack go after a little girl and it took 3 people to get the dogs off her and this happened in a city park in sector 5 across from Kaufland, a grocery store. Just last week they killed a man’s dog when he was walking it on a leash. Thousands of stray dogs in Romania’s streets and parks are increasingly attacking people, sometimes with fatal consequences. Help the Romanian kids or the older people not the vicious strays

    • anna

      Shea, are you doiny anything for starving or abused people in Ro, in Africa or somewhere in the world? Do you volounteer or donnate? Are you at least vegetarian? If you are clever you will find the link. Please start doing something, ANYTHING for at least one starving person, before you give stupid comments. Most stupid comments come from ignorant ppl sitting on their asses doing NOTHING.

      • Davan

        Kind of like that one

        • Shea

          What makes you think that I don’t again every person on here has assumed that I am talking out of my rear here. Read my other comments, yes I absolutley have helped hungry and homeless families in my own community, as as I had stated earlier I belive in starting at home. I am limited and can only do so much I cannot save the world. The point is that I do put in, when unfortunatley so many do not. I am passionate on the subject because I have invested hard earned money and time, and what I have gotten back is greater than any pay check could ever buy me. And you are right most ignorant comments are made by ignorant people sitting on their asses doing nothing. Who knew that I would get eaten alive on here for saying that our own children should come before stray dogs? As I said I came from foster care I was there until I turned 18, I would have appreciated it if people stuck up for kids like us that are vulnerable and abused by the system and not treated with even the dignity of a sray dog. But you sound like a saint sticking up for the dogs! Ignorance is bliss…

    • anna

      Shea, are you doing anything for starving or abused people in Ro, in Africa or somewhere in the world? Do you volounteer or donnate? Are you at least vegetarian? If you are clever you will find the link. Please start doing something, ANYTHING for at least one starving person, before you give stupid comments. Most stupid comments come from ignorant ppl sitting on their asses doing NOTHING.

  • Nik

    She definitely loves animals, sometimes those of the most ferocious variety, like Ramzan Kadyrov, the president of Chechnya.

  • Davan

    Have any of you people ever been to Romania? I have. The people in Bucharest want the dogs removed, they don’t want them sterilized. They go around biting people. Oh by the way Hana, “There’s loads of help for orphanages” Really? Where exactly is that help? I didn’t see it. Where’s the help for people who need health care? Did you know that people need to bribe the hospital staff to get cared for? That’s right, you want to deliver your baby in a bed instead of on the hallway floor? You better come with cash in hand. But hey, let’s make sure we get those poor dogs taken care of. Why don’t you go live there for a while. Maybe after you’re bitten by one of the packs that roam the city, you’ll change your tune.

    • Susan

      Yes, I have been in Romania for 3 years. These are just vicious killer dogs. My God, there are so many better ways to help Romania. I Love dogs but I hate the strays here in Romania

  • steve ehrlich

    Hillary Swank seems to be one of the genuinely warm and loving Hollywood types. She comes across as very humble and chipper. She seems very engaging.

  • c

    Let her help the dogs, people. Everybody has to help in the best way they know how. Hillary thinks she is best suited in the dog department. Gosh she could do nothing and stay in her own world but she wants to help and all people can do is complain. Besides if she helps the dogs maybe all of you who complain about the vicious stray dogs and getting bitten won’t have to complain so much about them since they’ll be off the streets. Just a thought. I bet Cesar Millan could whip those dogs into shape, lol! :-)

  • anna

    Dear Miss Swank!
    Thank you so much for your support. More celebrity people should follow your example. Together we can change so much.
    Please feel free to come over to Brasov, too. Animals Need Us ( ANU ) from Brasov is a great, small animal welfare organisation taking care of strays with all their heart, time and money! Day and night saving cats and dogs, even though they have no own shelter and no support from the gouvernment! They neuter as many strays as they can and find them loving homes. They need our support.
    Thank you again in the name of all poor souls from the streets.
    Anna

  • Tonya

    I think all the people on here who condemn her for doing some good in the world need to chill out. Atleast she is doing something to help. It doesn’t matter if you approve of it or not. It’s her money, not yours. Until you start spending YOUR OWN money to help others (animal or human) you need to shut your mouth and swallow your negativity. Nobody wants to read it.

    • anna

      My speaking. Most ppl just sit there and DO absolutely nothing and critisize other ppl who act and care. Everyone should so something. No matter if for humans or for animals. They just all want to live. Not more, not less. All are in need. Who‘s fault is it, that there are so many starving and abused children? So many homeless and unwanted animals suffering?? It‘s the humans fault. Don‘t close your eyes. WE ALL ARE RESPONSIBLE.

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