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ROLDA’S 15-year anniversary

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 happened 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 to our work.

ROLDA’S 15-year anniversary

There are big and small charities that 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 happened 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 to 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 the 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, and 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 relations).

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 to work to help animals in need. And of course, my friends and mentors Lolita and Hege who stood by me in the worst moments of my life vouched for their trust and offer me the confidence to lead, and to take important decisions that 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, and 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, 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?

  1. 1. Built the first modern, no-kill dog sanctuary in Romania
  2. 2. Rescues and provides shelter to abused, homeless animals
  3. 3. Rehabilitates dogs who have suffered emotional trauma
  4. 4. Protests against inhumane and unnecessary dog killing, especially mass dog killing using poison
  5. 5. Registered in the US, Australia and several other countries in Europe including Romania
  6. 6. Protests against the horrible conditions of the public shelters
  7. 7. Helps poor community pets
  8. 8. Sterilizes and microchips dogs
  9. 9. Built the second large shelter for 600 dogs on death row
  10. 10. International rehoming
  11. 11. Fundraising Galas
  12. 12. Therapy with dogs for seniors from the local center
  13. 13. Education activities
  14. 14. Dog houses campaign for dogs chained and exposed to extreme weather conditions
  15. 15. PawzUp Center

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