WORK

ROLDA is a charity with a mission: to humanely and responsibly reduce the number of stray dogs in Romania and to provide the very best possible care for those already here.

We are ambitious but realistic. We are faced with daunting figures with approximately 2.5 million stray dogs, nationally. Every journey starts with the first step and we are making a difference in every small way we can. We are growing, and so do the numbers of animals we reach and help.

We hope to see one day that every dog has a happy and healthy home, though until that day and beyond, ROLDA will be there for every dog that needs us: providing rescue, rehabilitation, shelter, sterilisation, community programmes and education. We take a holistic approach to the vast problem we face and believe that by improving the whole community the result will be a happier and healthier population, canine and human alike.

Reduce Net Stray Population

ROLDA’s chief long-term objective is to reduce the overall net stray dog population in Romania, which is currently over 2.5 million, nationally. To keep more dogs being born into the streets and a life of hardship and suffering, ROLDA operates a comprehensive sterilisation programme. All dogs are sterilised humanely and under anaesthetic in the appropriate clinical conditions.

Sterilisation is a great way of affecting change beyond our shelters and operational scope. ROLDA’s ultimate mission is to see every dog in Romania in a happy home. This goal can only be achieved by reducing the numbers of dogs born into the wild.

To put this into context, this is the impact of leaving one single dog unsterilised over a 5 year period:

1 st YEAR          2 nd  YEAR          3 rd  YEAR          4 th  YEAR          5 th  YEAR

   16 strays            128 strays            512 strays             5 048 strays         12 228 strays

Animal Rescue

ROLDA don’t just serve as a shelter, we are an active force within the region responding to callouts from the public whereby an animal may be injured or in distress; we never ignore an animal in need.

All animals we take into our care receive whatever medical treatment they require, a broad-spectrum vaccine and unless it endangers the health of the animal, sterilized. All animals are kept in care to recuperate and are either released back into the wild or go on to stay with us in our shelters.

Emergency Medical Treatment

At ROLDA we pride ourselves on our strict no-kill and pro-intervention policies. Whatever the medical needs of an animal brought to us and however slim the chance of survival, we always chose to intervene where a hope of a reasonable quality of life exists. ROLDA only ever euthanises or elects not to treat an animal when it would be cruel to do so, when survival would mean a life in constant pain or with no quality of life.

All medical decisions are taken, and procedures performed, by our expert and highly experienced vet in a sterile clinical setting supported by a team of veterinary nurses and trained volunteers. ROLDA has treated thousands of sick and injured and animals who go on to live long and happy lives.

ROLDA also comprehensively vaccinates all dogs we encounter, helping to preserve the good health of the both the animal and the broader canine and human populations.

Two Sanctuaries for Dogs in Need

ROLDA operates two privately run shelters built to internationally recognised standards and are kept healthy, fed, happy and warm.

The small sanctuary was built to act as a highly adaptable and welcoming environment in which comfort and accessibility was prioritised over the numbers we could accommodate.

Both are shelters are clean safe and comfortable places for all the dogs we house, though many dogs which take up residence with us may have highly specialised needs – medical or psychological – or may be puppies, pregnant mothers, elderly or disabled, meaning they are less suited to a large, mixed population and require a more sedate and intimate environment in which in to live or convalesce.

For many dogs, our shelters are the only home they’ve known, and we strive to make every dog feel safe, included and receives the attention and affection they deserve. ROLDA is one large family of amazing staff, volunteers, supporters and of course our furry friends!

Once in residence with us, no dog is ever turned out or euthanised for as long as their natural life and quality of life continues. They grow old with us and we’ll never let them down.

Our largest shelter can be found in the outskirts of Galati, Romania’s fifth largest city, it’s outskirts home to sprawling industrial complexes in stark contrast to unforgiving wilderness beyond. Our 15,000msq site was paid for in the summer of 2006, with the money donated to us by one of our most generous British donors. The shelter consists of two rows of kennels in parallel formation. In total, 12 paddocks (120 kennel boxes). Every box is 18 square meters (3 x 6m) and can accommodate up to 6 dogs (dependant on size). The sanctuary was authorized by the National Veterinary Authority (ANSVSA) in 2012.

The first paddock welcomed dogs in the fall, 2007. In 2012, our veterinary clinic was completed and in the same year, we completed multiple running and play spaces for our dogs to exercise and socialise. More such spaces are in our construction pipeline and will be erected when funding becomes available.

Rehabilitation

Once dogs are in our care and have received all relevant medical care from our highly experienced vet, there begins an altogether different process of healing. The psychological wounds they carry can sometimes outlast physical injuries and require a loving and gentle hand to heal.

Many of the dogs we take in are victims of cruelty and violence at the hands of humans and other dogs in the wild, desperate to survive. Traumatic experiences such as these destroy their trust in humans and can only be gradually rebuilt over time, in a safe environment with plenty of affection.

The change in many of our dogs is heart-warming to witness. From fearful and defensive to happy and enjoying socialising and play with us and their new furry family. It is one of the most challenging parts of our work, but one of the most rewarding.

A New Home!

ROLDA operates an international adoption program, whereby dogs in robust mental and physical health are rehomed from our shelter to a happy home in Europe. ROLDA only rehomes we and our vet are certain are psychologically and physically capable of travel and adapting well to a new environment.

The ultimate objective for every dog we bring into our care is to see them go on to a loving home and new family or owner and brighten lives with the infectious joy and unconditional love only a happy canine companion can offer.

So far, we have found happy homes for over 1700 dogs and these are the success stories which inspire and motivate us to never give up and continue in our mission.

We would like to share with you the wonderful photos many of our supporters who’ve adopted have shared with us.

We want to continue creating stories like these and want you to be part of them. If you are capable, please consider adopting a ROLDA dog and creating a friendship that will live with you forever.

ROLDA’s Role in the Community

The community ROLDA serves is home to much poverty, with many families struggling to feed themselves let alone their pets. Due to low and unstable incomes and the threat of heavy fines posed by the government upon any owner with an unsterilized or microchipped pet, many dogs wind up homeless.

Likewise, for dogs belonging to loving but poor families, ROLDA provides financial assistance with veterinary bills and donates food and play items whenever possible.

ROLDA offers hope to both families and abandoned dogs by offering a home to homeless dog and by offering sterilisation and microchipping free of charge to try and keep dogs in loving homes.

ROLDA Dogs for Older Folks!

The world faces an ageing population and Romania is no different, with social exclusion, loneliness and depression far too common amongst the elderly who either live alone or in residential care, many with no or distant family.

We believe it is our mission to improve the lives of those in the community we belong to in whatever way we can and ROLDA is perfectly equipped to bring joy into lives of those who would otherwise live in isolation. The happiness a dog can bring someone is unique. The unconditional love, affection and their childlike and infectious lust for life is enough to brighten anyone’s world.

ROLDA takes a selection of our more sociable dogs to local retirement homes and supervise them whilst they interact and play with the residents. The mutual joy it brings all involved is wonderful to witness and we make the trip as often as we can.

A Roof for Every Pooch!

Romania experiences extreme winters, with temperatures plummeting to well below freezing in the winter, with blizzards and snowstorms not an uncommon occurrence.

ROLDA has begun a campaign to provide dog houses to both families and to villages as communal places for local dogs to shelter during the harsh winter. Precious few dogs living in the wild have a safe and dry place to shelter, with many turning to the unsafe abandoned industrial complexes that flank our nearest city.

Education

A key part of our mission to protect animals is the education of the local and regional community. ROLDA offers free advice and training in animal care, pet first aid and the importance of sterilisation.

ROLDA hopes to one day have the resources to fund a central medical and education hub to provide care and training to local volunteers to expand our network of rescue and improve local standards of welfare.

SOCIAL PROGRAMME

We run programmes that offer people from disadvantaged areas free microchips, sterilisation and food for their pets. This helps to ensure pets stay with their families and avoids the need to abandon their furry friends making the stray situation worse.

KIDS EDUCATION
We organise creative competitions for children at local schools, where they can submit drawings or
stories with a chance of winning a prize.

ORGANIC GARDEN
Started in 2016, the organic garden is a small collection of medical plants, trees, aromatic plants
looked after with minimal environment impact.

Learn more about ROLDA programs in Romania