With us, a dog stops
We are grateful to our supporters for giving us the means, and the trust, to live such an amazing experience, and to give so many homeless animals a second chance at life. We want to share our stories and our mission around the World, with other animal lovers that embrace our vision.
We are always happy to hear your thoughts, your suggestions, and your ideas. Constructive criticism and engaging people from communities both locally, and internationally, always makes us stronger; makes us think harder, and makes us more effective in our rescue efforts. We have been successfully saving and rehabilitating animals in need for over a decade. But we never stop learning, and never stop striving to better serve our community, including the millions of strays on our streets.
Contact us anytime by email, phone or….Surprise us with a visit!
We have had hundreds of volunteers come work with ROLDA and our dogs for weeks, or even months, at a time. Would you consider becoming a ROLDA Ambassador in your own country? We’d welcome the offer!
Frequently asked questions
What is ROLDAs position regarding euthanasia?
Are street dogs dangerous or friendly with kids?
Our staff members carefully assess each dog that comes into our care to the best of our abilities. We have over a decade of experience working with abused and stray animals, and have successfully rehabilitated and rehomed many hundreds of dogs. We believe that giving an honest and professional evaluation of a dog’s behavior before promoting them for adoption greatly increases their chances of finding a suitable home.
We don’t use children in “experiments” to see how a dog behaves in the company of kids. The parent/adopter must keep children and their new furry friend under strict observation to avoid unpleasant incidents. These can sadly occur with any dog, or other pet, regardless of the animal's background or breeding.
Rescued dogs often make the most loyal and loving pets. So many former street dogs are forever grateful for receiving simply a cozy bed, healthy meals, and a safe place to call home. You alone can give hope to these deserving souls.
Why is there an age limit (23 years) to adopt from ROLDA?
ROLDA is unfortunately short on foster options, despite the fact that our ROLDA team works tirelessly to make sure that all adoptions are 100% successful. Common reasons some adoptions may not go through are a lack of money, and/or personal income, and occupying a rented property where animals are not allowed. Young people (under 23 years old) are exposed to these circumstances the most. This policy is just one of ROLDA’s precautions to safeguard the wellbeing of our animals, and to ensure that both the adopted animal and the adoptive individual have a 100% positive experience. We do encourage young people (under 23 years old) to adopt, but this important decision must be supported and sustained, (including financially) by a parent. They act as a guarantor to ensure the animal in question is provided for.
How much is the adoption fee?
100 EUR plus 20 EUR for a mandatory snap test to eliminate the risk of devastating diseases and parasites (for example, Heartworms). Click here to visit the Contact page to get you in touch with the closest ROLDA branch for more info about the adoption costs and procedure. Or feel free to contact us directly at ROLDA’s Head Office in Romania at email@example.com or by phone 004 0748 903 612.
Why doesn't the local community offer financial help to the shelters in Romania?
30% of Romanians live on the very edge of extreme poverty. The average monthly income of a family in rural areas is less than 200 EUR per month. Usually, the family consists of at least 3 members, often more. Housing options are very limited, and essential services like electricity, gas etc. can be unreliable. People living in the countryside/villages fare the worst. They are 3 times poorer than people living in towns. 1 of 3 children is living in poverty in Romania. The poorest regions in Romania are the north-east of the country and the south-east; this is where ROLDA is operating and where we believe we can do the most good.
There are, of course, many animal lovers in Romania. However, the costs involved in simply registering a dog with the authorities, providing vaccinations, microchips (as required by law) and sterilization are far beyond the financial means of most people, especially in rural areas. With so many children and families in need, the general public and the government turn a blind eye to the suffering of millions of strays.
Why does ROLDA promote dog adoptions abroad?
Stray dog adoptions in Romania are rare, and often provide an unreliable, uncertain future for the animal involved. Dogs roam everywhere in Romania. They wander the streets, and gather at trash collection points desperate for a few scraps of food. They are unwanted guests in residential and industrial areas. They even form packs inside some hospitals’ courtyards. Romanian shelters (both private and public) are filled with unwanted dogs living in often filthy conditions. Very, very few dogs ever leave these “shelters” alive.
The number of street dogs is huge, estimated at well over 2.5 million. ROLDA shelters do not only accommodate dogs collected from the streets, but also dogs abandoned by their owners. Since 2013, the trap/neuter/release approach to population control sadly remains outside our current laws. An international adoption is the only real chance that a dog from a Romanian street has. It’s the only opportunity we can give to guarantee a stray a new life where s/he will be safe and loved.
As soon as one dog has been successfully adopted abroad, a little shelter space is freed up, and we are able save another life, and bring in a dog suffering on the streets. So, when you adopt or sponsor a ROLDA dog, you are saving two lives, not just one.
But we cannot save them all. Our financial and other resources are already extremely limited. Our shelters would quickly become overpopulated with dogs, forcing them to live in cramped and dirty conditions. This is not only against ROLDA policy, but it is done to keep our dogs healthy, both physically and psychologically. These animals have been through so much trauma, and we do everything in our power to avoid causing them additional stress, which only delays their recovery and rehabilitation.
Why are there so many strays in Romania?
Primarily due to poverty, the number of homeless animals here has skyrocketed. Population numbers are neither efficiently, nor effectively controlled in many countries in Asia, South America, Southern and Eastern Europe. Due to a lack of education, homeless animal populations are not humanely controlled. No thought, nor consideration, is given to the suffering these creatures have endured on the street.
Romania has by far the worst stray overpopulation issue when compared to all the Eastern and South Eastern countries in Europe. Tragically, the situation receives far less attention and media coverage when compared to countries like Greece, Turkey, and Spain. Primarily because Romania is not a major tourist destination. There are no outsiders to see the pain endured by our abandoned and abused animals. They sadly remain out of sight, out of mind, and of little interest to the international media.
In the Romanian situation, the first large groups of strays appeared in the 80s during the communist regime (under dictator Ceausescu). During the cities’ industrialization, thousands of families were forced to move from their native villages to small apartments. These people left behind their properties, their houses (with a small, but subsistence level garden) and at least one family dog that served as companion and guardian.
During the forced relocation of Romanian rural people, thousands of dogs were abandoned as they were not permitted in the tiny urban apartments. During the 80s, attempts to control the dogs’ population were poorly managed using barbaric, brutal methods. Gas chambers, and primitive electrocution procedures sentenced tens of thousands of dogs to slow, agonizing deaths. Dogs were boiled (sometimes still alive) to be skinned for industrial purposes. Starting in the 90s, after the fall of the communist regime, the increased number of strays represented no priority for a new breed of politicians who predictably were content to turn a blind eye to the dogs’ suffering. Until the election campaign.
What is ROLDAs relationship with the authorities?
Periodically, ROLDA shelters fall under the supervision of the Romanian National Veterinary Authority’ inspectors. Unbelievably, but in this moment, Romanian laws are currently directed against the humane methods of homeless animal control advocated and implemented by ROLDA. We hope that some Government authority will decide to start a serious, constructive, and open dialogue regarding the management of the monumental problems of strays. And of rampant animal abandonment and abuse in Romania. ROLDA is always open to sharing our vision, our humane policies (and the reasons why they work, where mass slaughters never have) and our extensive experience managing local stray populations.
ROLDA actively encourages input from local communities, and those individuals concerned with animal welfare here and around the world. Sustainable, meaningful change to create a more compassionate and peaceful future depends on the involvement of people from all walks of life, and any interested or affected organizations.
Does ROLDA work in other countries except Romania?
Yes. We run a successful education program in Canada and the USA addressed to seniors. We have a dedicated group of volunteers working in several European countries, the UK, and Australia. They act as ambassadors for ROLDA, fundraise, and help to raise awareness of the horrific conditions Romanian stray animals face. Here in Galati, we are actively involved with young people to help them understand animal abandonment and cruelty issues, and to inform them of the compassionate, humane ways we have of dealing with overpopulation.
When was ROLDA set up and why?
In Romania, ROLDA was legally incorporated as a Foundation in February 2006 after ROLDA’s founder, Dana Costin, was ‘adopted’ by a street dog living rough in her town, Galati, in the south of Romania. Nursing him back to health, and giving him a loving home changed Dana’s life. She instantly decided to start ROLDA, a charity dedicated to helping the dogs scavenging on Galati’s streets and wasteland. Since then, Dana has dedicated her entire life, and all of her resources to rescuing, and rehabilitating, as many abandoned and uncared for animals as is realistically possible. Luckily, soon she was able to bring together like minded volunteers from around the World to join her. As a team, ROLDA and our supporters refuse to accept the continuation of the current situation.
We work to demand justice for the forgotten, for those who have no voice to speak up with. This dream is possible with your support.
Is ROLDA a registered nonprofit organization?
Yes. ROLDA is registered in Romania at Galati Court of Law (Registry of Foundations and Associations), authorization no. 5/PJ/2005;30-1/1679, CUI (code unique identification) 18416340. ROLDA is also an incorporated charity in the USA (EIN: 32-0176929), Norway (Reg. No 998398495), Australia (ABN 38420396060), Sweden (802490-7050), Germany (VR 3910 HL) and the UK (1162690).
What happens when my sponsored dog is adopted?
Many thanks for being one of our dogs’ sponsors! If you sponsored a dog listed on this website and during the sponsoring time (one year) “your” dog was adopted or if, unfortunately, he/she passed away, you can choose another dog to benefit from your generosity. There are always plenty of dogs to choose from, dogs who need you! Have a look on this website. You can narrow your search based on dog gender, age, color, size. Still unsure what dog to choose? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I don't have much money. How else can I help ROLDA?
There are a variety of ways to help us! If you can’t support us financially, you can still be an important member of our rescue team. You can become an active volunteer for any of ROLDA’s branches spread across 3 continents, in the following countries: the USA, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and the UK please see contact page.Or you can come to Romania to volunteer in our shelters. Many people have chosen to be “virtual volunteers” and help us from behind a computer, sharing our articles on social networks and personal blogs. You can also help our dogs while you shop. Click here to see a list of websites/platforms that offers a donation to ROLDA based on a percentage of your purchases. Doing your shopping online can do the dogs a lot of good!
How do I know my donation is used for its purpose?
Our charity asks for funds for specific goals like winter food supplies, repairs, veterinary costs to treat a specific dog with special needs, aid supplies for poor community’ s pets and so on. When you donate towards a specific goal, your donation is marked accordingly. When you choose to make a donation for general purposes, you give us the freedom to put your donation to use where it’s the most needed. Existing ROLDA donors know that they are often informed of where their money can be used for the most significant impact. Other people prefer to sponsor specific dogs that catch their eye (and their hearts!)
Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes, for US donors, gifts are deductible to the full extent allowable under IRS regulations. If you live outside USA, please check the applicable local laws or contact us at email@example.com for more details.
Does ROLDA have political affiliations in Romania?
No. It is ROLDA’s steadfast belief that non-profit organizations remain entirely independent in the real sense of the word. ROLDA does not create, nor accept political affiliations of any kind.
Is ROLDA an international charity?
Yes. ROLDA became an incorporated charity in Romania in 2006. In the same year, the Romanian League in Defense of Animals, Inc. became a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible organization in America. In the years that followed, volunteers from around the World who believe in our values, mission and share our dreams, set up the following branches:
|Year of Incorporation||Legal Name of Charity||Type of Incorporation||Country of Incorporation||Charity Number|
|2006||Romanian League in Defense of Animals, Inc||501-c-3 tax exempt||USA||32-0176929|
|2012||Gatehunder fra Romania||Brønnøysundregistrene||Norway||998398495|
|2014||ROLDA Sverige Association||Registered charity||Sweden||802490-7050|
|2014||ROLDA, Inc||Not-for-Profit Charity||Australia||38420396060|
|2015||Save Romanian Strays – ROLDA Germany e.V.||Registered organization||Germany||VR 3910 HL|
|2015||ROLDA UK||CIO||England and Wales||1162690|
In addition, ROLDA has ANBI status in Holland and representatives and volunteers in Belgium and Canada. A very active group of supporters is well established in Switzerland under the name of Association ROLDA Suisse; this branch is led by renowned celebrity activist Lolita Morena. She is also a member on ROLDA’s Board in Romania, and an active member of the Swiss Animal Protection Board.
Does ROLDA offer volunteer opportunities?
Yes! Volunteers are the heart of our charity and rescue work. Words cannot express our gratitude to the hundreds of caring people, in dozens of countries, that enable us to save hundreds of animals’ lives every year. Without their ongoing support, we would be nowhere. In giving their time, they give hope. Hope to a dog that would otherwise be doomed to a violent death on the streets, or at the hands of the authorities.
Why not join us?
Some options include:
- On-site Volunteers: Visit our shelters and you will receive proof that dogs do smile, even after the worst start in life. Please read more here and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss what opportunities suit your interests, talents, and time constraints the best.
- Skilled Volunteers: There are so many ways in which you can help us with your professional abilities. A few examples: photographer, graphic designer, fundraiser, marketing advisor for online and offline markets. Click here to read more
- Virtual Volunteers: If you can’t travel to Romania, if you don’t know if you have any special skills to help our charity, don’t worry. You clearly have a big heart, a clever mind, both coupled with the motivation and compassion required to contribute to ROLDA and our hundreds of dogs. We believe everyone has a role to play, and can contribute in their own special way.
Spare time? Share it with us! Don’t waste a moment –let’s discuss how you can be a part of the important initiatives started by Team ROLDA. Contact us now at email@example.com
What does ROLDA stand for?
ROLDA stands for the Romanian League in Defense of Animals.
Are street dogs dangerous or friendly with cats and other small pets?
Our staff assess in the best possible way a dog behavior before being promoted for adoption. We use our knowledge, experience and available resources to do this. Because we respect each living creature, we can’t be asked to make experiments and see if a dog attacks a cat or not. This will be a very stressful situation for everyone, especially for the cat. We can only observe if the dog has killing instincts, or hunting instincts more intense than “normal”. Please remember that many strays remain alive on the streets because they were hunting their meals. Most of the dogs chase smaller animals – it is important to distinguish if they chase to kill or chase for fun. It is the adopter responsibility to supervise how the dog will interact with the cat (or any other smaller pet from inside the house).
How do you know that adopted animals end up in good hands?
ROLDA promote only sociable, healthy dogs via this website We assess the best possible each dog’ behavior and we make sure the adopters are experienced with former street dogs. After completing a pre-adoption application, all adopters accept a mandatory home check. They all sign an adoption contract. After receiving the dog, adopters remain in good communication with our trustworthy representatives from ROLDA international branches. These representatives often meet our dogs and their new families during various events that we organize.
How are animals transported?
By special equipped van (authorized by the national veterinary authority in Romania) from Galati to Bucharest airport (3-4 hours driving). By airplane to the adopter’ destination (except UK). Why airplane? To reduce the length of travel and therefore, the animal’ stress during travelling. Dogs adopted in UK travel from Bucharest meeting point to England with a special equipped van, used by an authorized British pet transport company.
I want to adopt a dog from ROLDA. What is the procedure?
The adoption procedure is slightly different, from country to country.
Please complete the pre-adoption form and send it by email to the closest ROLDA branch along with your questions about the adoption procedure. You can also contact ROLDA office in Romania at firstname.lastname@example.org or 004 0748 903 612
Why should I adopt from Romania when our country shelters are full?
Statistics show that people, who adopt dogs from abroad, actively help the local organizations and have adopted at least once from their local shelter.
What is the current strays'situation in Romania?
Since 2001, little has changed. The public shelters administrated by the local authorities continue to be filthy, overpopulated and most don’t respect the minimal standards clearly specified by the European applicable laws. Dogs from public shelters “disappear” mysteriously, are killed with methods which the animal activists can’t verify. Legally, in public shelters, a dog can be euthanized after 14 days. Often, the dogs die of starvation, or eat each other, or die because untreated diseases, wounds, poor hygiene before the 14th day.
The only positive change is the law approved in 2013, which declared mandatory, for dogs with human companion, the followings: sterilization, identification by microchip, registration of the microchip in the national database called RECS.
The number of street dogs in Romania is extreme high, estimated to 2.5 millions. The poorest areas (north, south-east of the country) have the highest number of strays.
After ROLDA created the first modern private shelter in Romania, it is encouraging to see that others, mostly foreign citizens helping Romanian animals, followed us and built, in different communities across the country, a few quality facilities for rescued animals.
While the poverty, lack of education and corruption exist, it is difficult to control efficiently, humanely and responsibly the strays’ overpopulation at national level.
Does ROLDA criticize other charities work?
No. However, it is hard not to notice the animosity amongst Romanian animal activists. We focus on our mission and create strategies to reach our programs’ goals. We have strong values that we consider to be a minimal form of respect that each charity should show to its supporters, values like: transparency, responsible attitude toward the animals and people, morality. We protest against hoarders, against organizations that request money but are not legally established (while pretend to be), against charities that do not publish for the public latest financial statement (which is also against the law).We protest against charities that keep animals saved from streets in improvised, unauthorized facilities. We can’t agree with some organization’s representatives that build the public trust and donors’ database by backstabbing other charities.
I would like to build a shelter for animals. Can you help me?
ROLDA works in Galati area, one of the poorest regions of Romania where the strays’ population is officially estimated to 18000. While we focus exclusively, to maintain the current facilities and start new projects in this area, we applaud others initiatives. For sure, Romania needs more open minded, educated, responsible leader activists to create additional animal facilities. Please be aware that you need an efficient business plan. The beginning enthusiasm must be replaced with a determined attitude. A well designed animal facility costs lot of money, you need to find investors and reliable partners, build up a community that will offer constant support because, after the initial building costs, you need money to sustain the shelter/project. You can find useful tips on RSPCA International website But remember: the wellbeing of your animals should come first, not your personal emotions. And your first quality should be endurance. Good luck!
Why not helping people instead?
Helping people in need is a noble cause. There are plenty people in Romania and across the World that need help. Our charity focus is animals in need while many other worthy charities focus exclusively to help the people. However, our charity also helps people. We have an educational program addressed to seniors in USA and Canada, we provide free spay/neuter, free microchiping and emergency food aid for the pets owned by people with low income. We also provide emergency relief during disasters (e.g. floods) for pets and donate clothing and food supplies for people from the affected areas or for seniors from the retirement homes. People who adopt dogs from our shelters have also a positive experience that reflects on the wellbeing of their whole family.
Who is the Board of Directors?
The Board is formed by three Romanians members (Elena Daniela Costin, Ciprian Tudor and Gabriela Costin) and two foreign members (Lolita Morena, from Switzerland and Hege Jurs, from Norway)
What is ROLDA mission?
ROLDA exists to control efficiently, humanely and responsibly the homeless animals population in Romania, estimated to 2.5 millions. Our keys focuses are: rescue, rehabilitation, sheltering, spay/neuter, social programs, education. ROLDA has a strict no- kill policy. Since it was officially founded (2006), ROLDA helped over 10,000 pets and homeless animals. Read more ROLDA Mission Statement
What if the donation you received is above the goal's limit?
Each project has an estimated goal. In case the goal is reached, the supporters are announced and any further donation is redirected, with donor’s permission, for a similar goal or for “general purpose”.
How can I support ROLDA?
Like all other charities, ROLDA survives because of its generous supporters. You can make one-time donation for a specific project, goal or for general purposes. Or you can choose to make a monthly gift. You can sponsor one of our dogs. Or you can Sponsor Them All. You can help us plan ROLDA future carefully and join our Legacy Society. Or you can shop here (Amazon, Good Shop, etc) to donate a percentage to ROLDA. Or you can volunteer your skills to our charity. Or you can visit us and meet all our dogs. And the best gift of all, you can adopt a dog. Click here to visit the Dogs Website where you can sponsor or adopt our best dogs!
How do I access ROLDA Financial Report?
Transparency is important for us because this is, in our view, the minimal form of respect that a charity should show to its supporters. Please visit this page to get instant access to ROLDA financial report.
Our financial statements are public on the Romanian Ministry of Finances website: mfinante.ro
What is ROLDA doing in Romania?
ROLDA goal is to provide aid to each animal in need: homeless, abused, malnourished, and abandoned. Using our extremely limited resources responsibly, efficiently and transparently, we transform each year, expand and put our gained experience at work for animals’ best interest. We built, improved and maintained two private dog shelters. We provide assistance to poor community offering free sterilization, identification with microchip and emergency food aid for their pets. We rehabilitate scared and shy dogs and give them the chance to be adopted. We want to build an adoption center for cats and dogs to increase the number of adoptions done locally and in the same time, educate the community to treat the animals responsibly and with respect. As we grow, our attention goes to farm animals, especially donkeys and horses abused in Romania. We also wish to create organic garden, transform our shelters in “green” facilities and launch a program against illegal forest cut and to protect the wildlife species affected by these illegal trees cut. We are just 10 years old …and this is just a small part of the ideas and plans which we have for the coming years.
Does ROLDA work with other charities?
ROLDA is financially sustained by Swiss Animal Protection. Our shelters receive donated food from Tierschutz Shop from Germany. We receive donations and smaller grants from different US and European grant makers.
Is ROLDA a legitimate organization?
Transparency is one of our top guiding principles. For the activity conducted in Romania, you can find the last Financial Report (as well as previous years reports) on the official website of Ministry of Finances searching ROLDA under the registration number: 18416340. Alternatively, click here for Financial Report where we posted also the latest Annual Report.
The bookkeeping service in Romania is externalized, meaning that we work with independent institutions or experts that keep accurate financial records, each year.
A number of people from around the World (including representatives of corporations, media or diplomatic missions) wrote testimonials after visiting our shelters.
Why should we help animals in Romania?
Romanian streets are a living hell for abandoned animals. This is likely the worst place in all of Europe for a dog. Every day is a struggle to survive on scraps of garbage and filthy water. Tens of thousands of dogs don’t survive, and die every day. Animal abuse and even torture is rampant. If you want your donation to help the homeless animals that suffer the most, please consider a gift to the dogs through ROLDA.Thank you.