Romania is one of the poorest nations in Europe, with much of the economy remaining unindustrialised and reliant on the manual labour of work horses. Tragically, after a life of – sometimes literally – backbreaking work, these beautiful animals are discarded once they live beyond their usefulness. ROLDA is desperate to create a sanctuary for abandoned horses that will allow them to know rest, joy and comfort in their last years.
Help us build a Heaven on Earth for donkeys retired from heavy work, at the edge of becoming abandoned or donkeys who are confiscated after being abused by their owners. Sociable donkeys will be used for social programs.
Whilst Romania’s homeless dog crisis is far more visible and of public concern, there exists a more subtle crisis of homeless cats left to fend for themselves after abandonment or the death of an owner. ROLDA is working to build a shelter for cats in need of help complementary to the small facility opened in 2023 for senior and disabled cats.
Perhaps ROLDA’s most ambitious project (for now!) is the construction of the PawzUp centre. ROLDA envisions clean, modern and attractive buildings that will function both as adoption centre for rescued animals but also as a community hub. PawzUp will be a place where the public can adopt as well as socialise, learn important information regarding the care of their pets and one day offer free veterinary care to the community.
Romanian culture of dog ownership may seem harsh compared to Western Europe where dogs are often lucky enough to sleep in their master’s bed! In the countryside, usually, dogs ‘live’ outside, in gardens, and are rarely allowed indoors. This is often because many Romanians fear thieves or wild animals entering their property and dogs act as a deterrent. By supporting ROLDA’s doghouse project today, you are giving dogs in Romania the instant relief they seek and the refuge they need to survive.
Parasites – such as fleas and ticks – may be tiny but the risk they pose to our dogs’ health can be huge. Ticks – a danger to humans and dog alike – carry Lyme disease, can cause severe anaemia, even seizures in case of weak puppies. Fleas – whilst more of a nuisance – can cause severe infections, especially from repeated scratching and breaking of the skin. Prevention is better than cure in all cases. ‘Spot-On’ treatments are effective in the case of fleas and ticks.
A much deadlier condition we must protect our dogs from is the lethal heartworm, a parasite found in mosquitoes which can be passed on to dogs from bites. Heartworms – as the name suggests – find a home in the cardiovascular systems of dogs and eventually cause fatal heart disease. What makes heartworms such deadly killers is the early stages of infection are very subtle and difficult to spot.
In a shelter with hundreds of dogs, highly contagious diseases – such as distemper – could be devastating. This is why ROLDA imposes a strict quarantine period for all new rescued dogs, during which they receive broad-spectrum vaccines before they are let socialize with current residents of our shelter. However, vaccinations must be ‘topped-up’ annually with booster shots.