Note: This is the first part in our Activist Spotlight series, where we shine a light on Care2 members who are making a difference in their communities.
Cristina Zuba of Judetul Arad, Romania has always had an eye for small creatures who need help. When she was a child growing up in Arad, her mother Victoria taught her to feed her sandwiches to the starving animals Cristina saw in the street on her way to school. “I can always make you another sandwich,” her mother said. “But this may be the only food this dog or cat has for days.”
Today, Cristina is vice president of APAM, a nonprofit animal rescue organization based in Minis, near Arad. Her mother, Victoria Muscan, is APAM’s president. Both women are passionate about helping abandoned animals, “mute creatures whose eyes are asking for mercy and help.” Since 1995, APAM’s goal has been to rescue and treat as many stray animals as possible, ultimately finding them new homes with adoptive families. In the past 17 years, Cristina has seen hundreds of animals adopted.
Cristina is also passionate about helping abandoned children. “I just could never understand how a mother could abandon her baby in a hospital after giving birth,” she says. “A dog or cat would never do this!” Cristina volunteers at several local orphanages, where she reads stories and plays with the children, even changing the diapers of the littlest ones. She also brings some of the orphans to her home for a few hours on weekends.
Being an activist is never easy, and sometimes Cristina has low moments. The hardest part of her job is the fact that no matter how hard her organization works, Romanian streets are still full of stray animals. What gives her hope are the happy endings she sees every day when she connects needy creatures with eager families.
Cristina says she keeps coming back to Care2 for the community. She knows how important it is to have a community from all over the world fighting for the things that really matter. APAM’s animal welfare petition on Care2 has collected more than 20,000 signatures and has raised awareness of Romania’s animal problem. More people than ever are getting involved and providing a helping hand by donating food or medical care.
“Thank you so much to all of APAM’s friends!” exclaims Cristina. “Without you, we could never do so much for our animals.”
For more information on how you can help Romania’s abandoned animals, please click here.