It estimated by local authorities that 18000 strays roam Galati town. Between November 2007 and January 2016, ROLDA successfully decreased the stray population within the steel plant premises by 70%. It was a big challenge for our team considering the size of the steel plant: 1600 hectares, approx. 30x times larger than Vatican state (the smallest independent country in the World).
This is how the story of the sanctuary 2, housing 650 dogs, started. An empty strip of land located just outside Galati, 15,000 square metres big, was donated to ROLDA by an anonymous British donor in 2006. The first steps of shelter construction were completed in the summer of 2007, when the fencing was created. This was followed by two paddock buildings where a minimum of 100 dogs could be housed securely.
The initial agreement between ROLDA and the steel plant included basic investments like connection to water and electricity but the years were passing and delivery of promises were delayed. The much-needed construction of outdoor spaces for dogs’ exercises was also postponed. In 2014, after numerous alerts sent by the ROLDA President to the local steel plant, all unaddressed, we contacted the steel headquarters in London, describing the situation and asking for their help.
Soon after, a new contract was agreed with a plan of investments which included connection to an electricity network. Between 2008-2015, ROLDA saved 6000 dogs from the steelworks, providing
lifesaving food, medical assistance and rehabilitation. Many of these dogs were adopted internationally.
Unfortunately, new management at the steel plant failed to deliver on the promises outlined in the new contract. They even went as far as to use illegal and unethical methods to prevent ROLDA
from calling them to account. In February 2016, they aggressively terminated the written agreement, leaving the promised investments unfulfilled, the large sanctuary with no sewage system to collect the dirty water from septic tanks, and worse: refusing to pay for 200 dogs (from a total of 644) collected by ROLDA from the steel plant.
Since February 2016, thanks to private donations and ROLDA’s international branches, we managed to pay for vaccines, medical care and food for the dogs abandoned by the steel company which is owned by one of richest men in the world. The same company did not hesitate to poison dogs in 2004 and who will probably attempt to reduce the population with violent methods once
again. This company preferred to halt ROLDA’s great results (70% of dogs population was decreased humanely during our collaboration) while they still have 1000 dogs on their premises.
These 1000 dogs are left to starve because even the steel plant employees are forbidden to feed the dogs. They are left to suffer because there is no medical assistance provided. They are starving, full of ticks and unvaccinated, a source of disease for other dogs as well as for the employees and clients of the company.
ROLDA decided to take the steel plant to court, despite the company being a very influential international corporation, with a lot of economic power. We started two legal trials: one against the termination of the contract. The second because the steel plant refused to take responsibility for the 200 dogs left in our care. The trial is currently underway.