The following is from http://www.romaniaanimalrescue.com
The economy continued to lag under the 1990 presidential election of Ion Iliescu, a former Communist party official. Price increases and food shortages led to civil unrest, and the closing of mines set off large-scale strikes and demonstrations by miners. In the 2000 elections, Iliescu again won the presidency. It was during his presidency that stray dogs and cats of Romania began to multiply in great numbers.
Before Communism, Romanians enjoyed a good relationship with their animals. Seen more as workers than pets, they shared their lives with many families in rural villages and were well cared for and never hungry. Dogs herded sheep and cattle, and cats hunted their food.
During the Communist era, family planning was not allowed. Romanians took desperate measures to prevent the births of more children. Some had to abandon their newborn babies who ended up in government run orphanages. Most families from rural villages were forced to move to cities, housed in crowded Communist bloc apartments, some with other families. Ordered by Ceausescu to leave their dogs and cats on the city streets, no animals were allowed in the small apartments.