13-year-old Ana-Maria Ciulcu has braces, a fluent understanding of German and a plan to save the estimated 60,000 stray dogs roaming homeless around Bucharest. Spurred to action by the specter of several hundreds of dogs being put down across Romania each month, Ciulcu launched a Facebook campaign last year to adopt strays she rescues from the street to other European countries.
"I like to know that my dogs will be spoiled... so one of my first questions would be: 'Are you going to chain him?'," Ciulcu told Reuters. "Dogs can't live packed together... They need affection."
Since Ciulcu began her international adoption drive in September, she's sent approximately 150 dogs to loving homes in Germany, Austria and Belgium. But before the dogs meet their new families -- after they're vetted by the teen via Facebook -- Ciulcu takes them to a private shelter or to her backyard, where they stay while they recover from veterinary treatments like microchip insertions and vaccinations. Her family covers the cost of everything, including passports to get the pets out of Romania. Ciulcu said one day she hopes to become a doctor; until then, she's going to save as many dogs as she can.