A COUPLE have dedicated themselves to finding forever homes for dogs saved the cruelty and death of the "killing pens" in Romania.

Under the guidance of Ted Kewley, at Lancashire German Shepherd Rescue, Alison Dygnas and her husband Maciek, 70, have been taking care of dogs with a view of finding suitable homes for them.

The couple, who already have six rescued dogs and a pony of their own, have welcomed dogs who into their home that were rescued from Romania where they were kept in horrific conditions in killing pens.

Alison, 57, says the dogs have been brought to the UK as they faced a certain and painful death.

She said: "People ask why is there a need to bring dogs from Romania here when there are already dogs here that need homes. But here, with organisations like Blue Cross and the RSPCA, rescued dogs are fed, watered, exercised, played with, and have somewhere dry to sleep. In Romania it is a completely different kettle of fish.

"To kill them the dogs are given caustic soda, which burns them from the inside out."

She added: "There are a lot of stray dogs in Romania. People cannot afford to feed themselves so they cannot look after a dog.

"They are not vaccinated or neutered so you can imagine what problems they have with dogs over there."

After TLC at the couple's home in Penley following a five hour voyage from Romania to the UK, three of the four dogs are now ready to be rehomed; a five-year-old German Shepherd who has already been trained and two mongrel dogs.

Describing the dogs, Alison said: "Lucky is a drop dead gorgeous five-year-old German Shepherd, who walks beautifully on a lead and is good with people and dogs. He is already trained, knowing the words sit and down.

"There are two cross-breeds, Ronnie and Cody. Ronnie is still shy, but Cody is very friendly and sociable. He also walks nicely on a lead. He is quick to learn, already knowing the command sit. He would make a gorgeous dog for a family."

The fourth dog, Marko, a Yugoslavian Shepherd, has had no positive human experience in his life and is not yet ready to be placed in his forever home.

Alison said of anyone interested in taking one of the dogs, "they would have to come here and meet the dog and take it for a walk, ideally more than once, to make sure that it is the right dog for them before they take it."

The cost of bringing dogs from Romania to the UK, they are also taken to Germany, France and the Netherlands, is expensive. They must be vaccinated, neutered and fed and watered during transport.

For more information on the rescue of stray animals in Romania visit http://www.everylifecountsuk.co.uk/

Anyone interested in adopting any of the dogs can contact Alison and Maciek on 01978 710059 or email dygnas@hotmail.co.uk