15 years Anniversary

There are big and small charities who do great work, but some are lucky to last longer than others.

When ROLDA started, I never imagined how we would be 15 years later, or how fast the years would pass. Together with my team, we were always busy with what happens TODAY, with rescuing and other struggles. We got used to authorities not helping us (sometimes contrarily), and we also got used to our community’s indifference about our work. We trained ourselves to ignore gossip and slander that once hurt like a knife in the heart. By leaving behind all the negativity, we were able to keep going even stronger.

ROLDA is my baby, everything I think of or dream about. I’ve been doing this since my twenties, when sending emails to people was something new in Romania and when internet connections were prohibited, and most dial-ups were awfully slow and disconnecting all the time. People like me couldn’t afford internet at home and spent hours (usually at night because it was cheaper) in internet cafes to learn how to use a computer and how to write in English to transmit to the World out there the misery of Romanian animals.

For big charities, 15 years is a fraction of their long existence, which in some cases dates back 100 years. Considering I am involved with ROLDA since the beginning and over half my life, for me, these 15 years represent everything: the inception, the hard everyday struggles and the dreams to make ROLDA more amazing. Once I finished high school, my whole life can be resumed like this: a hand lent to frighten animals who needed someone to hold on to, a mind always trying to understand their behavior, fulfill their needs, a mind challenged to be resourceful and creative and, why not admit it, a bit of luck!

During these 15 years, little has been changed in public shelters managed by local authorities. It is a sad fact and worse, the EU (which Romania joined in 2007) ignored and continues to ignore this problem which represents a public health danger. On the bright side, ROLDA set an example for other Romanians who started to use the internet to request support for their own rescue missions. When I have a moment to think about this, I feel proud that ROLDA is a pioneer for Romanian animal activists. (To be on the safe side, I must advise all international supporters to ALWAYS request the registration number and bookkeeping records of charities to which they intend to donate because transparency is important to keep correct donor-charity relation).

15 reasons to consider supporting ROLDA, or to continue to be one of our supporters

ROLDA is an amazing mixture of international leaders, volunteers, adopters, and donors, who have joined the small, young but amazing Romanian team which has grown considerably over the last year. They are young talents who put their skills at work to help animals in need. And of course, my friends and mentors Lolita and Hege who stand by me in the worst moments of my life, who vouched for their trust and offer me the confidence to lead, to take important decisions which they sustain without blinking. And most important of all, the wonderful team of caretakers, who might not be the highest educated, but who is there, day by day, 7 days a week, in the torrid sun or extreme cold helping our dogs live safer and giving them the hope for a better future in a real home.

ROLDA’s mission is no different than other worthy organizations. ROLDA’s mission is to rescue, shelter, rehabilitate and rehome the abused, neglected homeless animals in Romania. But with me being involved since the beginning, I know what’s behind these words: tears, restless nights, worries, disappointments, sacrifices. And yet, I get goosebumps whenever I think of tiny details like a pair of eyes saying goodbye to me for the last time, my fingers letting go of a grateful paw going to a forever home (who I know I will not see again), the transformation of a dog from a traumatized stray into a great companion. I have lived countless moments like these, too many to count. And every time, it’s different and special. I feel blessed to enjoy doing my work, transforming a bit into an obsession. ROLDA shaped me into the person I am today, I have a reason to believe, to fight and hope. And I wonder if, in fact, the whole mission can’t be said simpler: ROLDA gives hope – because hope is what gives our lives a purpose. Thank you for being part of the ROLDA dream.

So, what does this mean for ROLDA these past 15 years?

Built the first modern, no-kill dog sanctuary in Romania

Rescues and provides shelter to abused, homeless animals

Rehabilitates dogs who have suffered emotional trauma

Protests inhumane and unnecessary dog killing, especially mass dogs killing using poison

Registered in the US, Australia and several other countries in Europe including Romania

Protests against the horrible conditions from the public shelters

Helps poor community pets

Sterilizes and microchips dogs

Built the second large shelter for 600 dogs on death row

International rehoming

Fundraising Galas

Therapy with dogs for seniors from local center

Education activities

Dog houses campaign for dogs chained and exposed to extreme weather conditions

PawzUp Center