23 Sep

Save Bela

If you turn your head away, she will die.
If your eyes can’t bear looking, imagine the pain she feels!

“This is one of the worst I’ve seen” exclaimed our vet, gingerly removing a plastic shopping bag stuck to Bela’s deep and infected facial wound. Bela’s story begins in the village of Cismele, South-East Romania, one of the country’s poorest rural communities. She shares with her owners an improvised home fashioned from scrap material with only the furniture they could salvage. Food is scarce. Bela’s owners cannot often afford to feed themselves, leaving Bela to rely on meagre leftovers and whatever she could find. After almost a week without food, Bela, desperate and starving, strayed into a neighbor’s land in search of scraps. Assuming Bela sought to poach his livestock, the landowner cowardly lured Bela and attacked her with a farm tool and left her badly injured and permanently disfigured.

Bela’s owners, uneducated but with good intentions and aware they cannot afford the medical bills, but desperate to help, attempted to bandage Bela’s wound with adhesive tape. This only compounded Bela’s suffering, allowing infection to spread untreated throughout an uncleaned wound.

“Every time a tragic case like Bela is brought to us, I fall into the trap of thinking I’ve seen the worst a human can do to such wonderful creatures, though there’s always another Bela to remind me how wrong I am. However, it never fails to amaze me what strength and dignity dogs show in unimaginable pain. Thankfully, very few people will ever experience that kind of pain; only those that have can comprehend that degree of suffering. I just cannot understand what complete absence of empathy, kindness or basic human decency it requires to be able to do something like this to any living creature, let alone a dog.

I feel sometimes I understand this world less and less, although the joy of rescuing in dogs like Bela and seeing them through treatment, rehabilitation and finding a happy home makes the heartache worthwhile. Bela’s beauty shines through her facial scars, her adoring and sociable personality undimmed by the awful events which have brought her to us. Dogs usually forget and live “in present” and Bela will don’t care about her face’scars but every time I will look at her, I will remember. “Because if you love them the way I do, you simply can’t forget.” said Dana Costin, founder of ROLDA when meeting Bela for the first time.

Bela is an affectionate, gregarious dog and once her treatment and rehabilitation is complete, she’ll be transferred to our shelter to live in safety and comfort with plenty of human and
canine company. Eventually, once fully recuperated, Bela will make a perfect candidate for
rehoming, where she’ll find a loving family and happy home abroad.

Please, if you are able, make a small donation in support of Bela’s recovery. You can track her progress on ROLDA’s Facebook page, where we post regular updates about Bela and the many other vulnerable dogs we have helped save.

ROLDA is wholly reliant on the generosity and compassion of animal lovers to continue being the only guardian these suffering animals have to turn to, in a world all to eager to turn its back on problems in the hope they’ll disappear; they don’t, and we need your help to save lives.

Bela story responds to many questions posed by ROLDA supporters from abroad:

1. Why do we help the local community’s pets in rural areas?
Obviously, because there is where our help is needed the most, in poor communities where people can’t afford to pay vets bills, where people are uneducated, and their pets are at risk of accidental harm, abuse, malnutrition and abandonment. We never leave an animal in need or in danger, regardless of their or their owner’s circumstances.

2. Why not immediately euthanize dogs like Bela?
After suffering a whole life, Bela’s luck changed the day we were able to save her. ROLDA’s duty is to try to help any dog in need and give them the best possible chance of a happy and comfortable, not to choose the cheapest and easiest way to solve these problems. It’s an expert decision taken by our vet to put a dog to sleep and only ever when it would be cruel to prolong life and suffering. We strive to provide whatever help and funds to try to save each dog in need. Bela, and dogs like her, deserve a chance to heal and have their futures changed for the better.

3. Why does ROLDA prefers international adoptions?
We rehome the vast majority of our dogs within the European Union, whereby their health and fitness to travel are tightly regulated by EU law, ensuring the dog’s health is paramount to all parties. Likewise, levels of public awareness and pet education is much more advanced in the countries where we choose to send our dogs, to loving, permanent homes. We also choose to only to send our dogs to nations with comprehensive animal welfare legislation and infrastructure and of course, an appropriate and loving family. After so much suffering, Bela deserves a safe place to call home.