24 Sep

President Message October 2016

What ‘s your religion?

Obviously, it’s a too personal question to ask.

And regardless of how you name it, one thing is for sure: faith transforms people minds and spirits. When we stop and look back, the good things that we did to change us and sometimes, change other’s future for better are the only really important ones that remain as legacy of our existence.
It stays in our own power to influence and change others’ lives, to create opportunities or build safer future for others in need. Sometimes we do that spontaneously and often, without asking anything in return. That’s philanthropy.
But life is surprising, spectacular and often is giving us back a smile in return of our good actions, a friendly hug, a gesture of loyalty or gratitude …or simple emotions that make us feel alive. That’s humanity.

Meet Cubone. Not long ago, he was homeless, alone, hungry, full of parasites. Nameless. We named him (and his sister) with Pokémon names. It is sad to notice that some people dedicate so much time (and some lost their lives in accidents) for virtual animals while million of real animals are “abandoned” in overcrowded shelters.

photo: Cubone

Cubone will grow in our shelter; will be sterilized, look after with affection, trained by our team to go in leash. He is one of our 700 furry friends which are totally dependent on us until someone responsible will adopt him.

Will you help us feed Cubone?

For just 10 EUR, Cubone will have a full belly for a whole month. Please be as generous as you can to help us provide food for this little guy (and for new rescued voiceless friends who wait to be saved).

We wish that all our healthy, beautiful, sociable dogs to get the chance for a real home as soon as possible. Our team works tireless to take picture and promote them on www.sponsoradog.ro website, the international volunteers from UK, Germany, Benelux, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden advertise the dogs individually, stay in touch with potential adopters and get regular updates from already rehomed dogs.

Observed from outside, this team work is really fantastic and has a solid base: the love for these animals, the commitment to ROLDA’s goals: to reunite every homeless dog with the right person, in a perfect home. From inside, I know the amount of passion, frustrations and tears, smiles and amusing moments that this incredible (international) team put in, day after day, 7 days a week, to give a better life to some of our rescue dogs.

Thanks to our Swedish branch, the adoptions number grew while in Australia, Switzerland and Norway the donations increased. Our branches from USA, UK and Germany reported also a nice and steady progress. In a World more and more unsecure, we are lucky to benefit of animal lovers’ trust and support which gives us confidence that ROLDA is making the correct, right steps ahead.

The 2015 Annual Report is ready online on the Financial Report webpage.

With great pride, I announce our supporters that we became the first Romanian charity rated on Guidestar platform at highest, Platinum level.

Past months were incredible difficult for me and the Romanian team. I believe this 2016 is one of the hardest years we are passing through. Our charity budget has been reduced with -40%: With a budget reduced with -40% , while same amount of dogs (700) to look after every single day, new emergencies to deal, two Court trials against a former partner, the stress and worries added up to reach the maximum level a few days ago, when our clinic building was robbed by yet unidentified persons. Police received a written complain and they promised to help us recover the goods stolen (equipment including a tranquilizing gun, security cameras not installed, infrared lights for kennels heating purchased from donations received last winter etc) in total of approx. 20.000 RON.

Helping neglected animals in Romania is not always rewarding, and most of the ugly side of this is related to people who steal, hurt animals, insult, commit abuses, ignore, are corrupt, backstab etc

I never worry for the personal decisions that I make. I know I couldn’t live with myself, with the thought I made “wrong compromises”. But, when the lives of hundreds of souls depend on my decisions, I am far more tensed. Luckily, I have a secret weapon – ROLDA amazing supporters. I am lucky to have the full support of ROLDA Romania’s Board of Directors for the Court trials, lucky to have the most amazing donors and friends for our 700 dogs.

In February, a simple math showed that we are short of 120,000 EUR for dog food. A huge amount to raise from small donations, almost discouraging but we couldn’t and didn’t want to give up. These dogs have only us to rely on. 138,000 NOK (15,000 EUR) have been raised by Norwegian supporters , 19,000 CHF (17,400 EUR) fundraised from Swiss branch and Swiss Animal Protection grant, approx. 6000 EUR collected online from other private donations while Australians donated close to 35,000 EUR since the beginning of the year. We are still short of approx. 45000 EUR to cover the food cost …but with 3 full months until year ends, we are closer than ever and together, I simply know we can do it.

I also consider this a good moment to apologize to all ROLDA supporters for delayed and postponed projects, I remind you that this is one of the toughest years since ROLDA was founded and it was decided that any other expense for new projects, for improvements, repairs, extensions to be reduced/eliminated. The main goal is (and will remain, until the Court trials end, unless any miracle happens) the welfare of the dogs we currently house in our 2 private shelters, for which we all make huge efforts to provide quality food, sheltering, best medical care.

I hope you will stand by me and these dogs, I hope you will actively join our branches from USA, UK, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Norway or Benelux if you live in any of these countries or contact the Romanian branch directly to show your support because we pass indeed through some extremely tensed and difficult moments.

Past years show that I never asked for support unnecessary, I never claimed any fake emergencies. I knew that when such an emergency moment comes for real, I will openly tell ROLDA supporters and they will be there, with a smaller or bigger gift to help us to not let down these voiceless souls.

One of the most painful things in my mind is the attitude of the steel plant top management. Mr. Mittal is one of the richest men on Earth and for him, for his company, the amount necessary to cover the food for the 200 dogs they let down, was and still is an insignificant amount. Probably they thought we will never find the resources to bring them to Court or probably they are too confident that they will win. In my mind remains inexplicable how you can have a full pocket and still, let lives dependent on you, to simply die?!

This is a petition we created to protest against the Mittal’s company abuses: http://help.rolda.org/causes/mittal/ Please share it with your friends. Help us reach 20000 names – when goal fulfilled the petition with all signatures will be delivered to Mittal’s door.
Maybe I live in a different World than Mr. Mittal. The day I would tolerate or accept this behavior, I should worry …or that would be a very sad day.

Cubone and Pikachu
photo: Dogs like Cubone and Pikachu were let down to starve by one of the richest men, Mittal.

For the next months, probably I will stop making new projects, but not stop entirely dreaming for these animals future. Supported by generous people like you, we can still rescue a dog suffering at the edge of the road, we can still provide warm meals for the coming Christmas to a number of street dogs, we can give hope and put a smile on some people’ faces and make some dogs’ tails to wag.
I personally dream that we can slightly increase the number of donors that contribute on a monthly basis because that would be a steady income which ROLDA can rely on for current activity and to project the expenses for new rescue missions.

Will you become a regular/monthly donors?

Click here to see some monthly donations levels to choose from.

Beginning of this article, I mentioned the word “humanity” which describes what makes us, humans, feel that we are alive, humble, united, generous ….make us feel, in general. Humanity has something (or maybe everything) to do with the religion, because it transforms our minds and it also transforms ours and others lives. Regardless of all the evil from around in which we live.

Thank you for standing by ROLDA’s side and thank you for believe in our dreams and make these dream grow beautifully, together!

With respect and hope,
Dana Costin
on behalf of Romanian’s team and 700 ROLDA’s dogs.