|29||EUR 1000||ROLDA Suisse|
|14||USD 20||Energy Balance|
|10||USD 75||Jan A C|
|7||USD 24||La Vaughn|
|6||EUR 530||ROLDA Norge|
|3||EUR 375||ROLDA Norge|
|2||EUR 836||ROLDA Germany|
|1||SEK 4900||ROLDA Sverige|
On October 7, 1998, I celebrated my 20th birthday. And just a few days later, I rescued my very first dog, Printz. I found Printz, a German Shepperd, badly injured in a field as I walked home from school. Based on his injuries I believed that he was a victim of illegal dogfighting and was abandoned to die from his wounds. Because of the trauma he suffered, Printz had a difficult time adjusting to domestic life, but my family and I were able to help him become a happy dog again. It took a lot of time and effort for Printz to feel safe around people, and in the end, he learned to appreciate and love the family that saved him. Printz lived with us for four years until he passed away from old age.
Back then it was hard not to notice the packs of stray dogs roaming around, searching for food, fighting amongst each other, and dying of neglect and indifference. Practices such as spaying and neutering were not common in Galati—the small town where I was born, and which remains my home today.
After Printz’s passing, I decided that I needed to fight for animals in my hometown, and I have been an animal activist ever since. I started rescuing animals in my community and offering them help any way I could. As time passed, my ability to help grew more resourceful, and, eventually, I founded ROLDA in 2003, and a year later the first ROLDA shelter was built.
Twenty years have passed since Printz transformed my life. He taught me a lot about the bond between humans and animals, and about learning to appreciate life in general. ROLDA is my life. It’s the reason I wake up each morning, it’s everything I dream of, it’s the thing I’m always working on to improve because I know that there are many more animals that need our help. Since I founded ROLDA, my life also transformed into a constant challenge to save more animals in need, to raise more funds, to fight against animal cruelty, and to expand, renovate, and re-create our sanctuary.
If I could go back in time and choose what to do with my life, there is no doubt in my heart that I would choose to help animals. ROLDA is my greatest accomplishment, my pride and joy, and it continues to bless my life with happiness.
But the pure joy of saving a scared, malnourished, and injured dog, and witnessing his or her transformation into a confident, healthy, and happy pet — this is the miracle which I find difficult to express in words and which I live for every day of my life.
This October 7, I will turn 40. Not only will I be celebrating another year of life, but also the 20 years I have been helping animals in Romania. That’s 20 years of hard work, of support, of trust, of comradery, of growth, of battles, of victories and defeats, of encouragement and disappointment, of success and failure, and of happiness and sadness. Over the years I’ve learned that being an animal activist and operating a charity demand dedication, commitment, and hard work. It’s not easy and it doesn’t get easier, but the reward of changing the life of an animal in need is just priceless.
For my dogs I did everything you can imagine: I saved and carried them in my arms for miles, when I had no car – I borrowed money, I searched in trash with my hands for refurbished materials to use to build the first shelter, I got humiliated, injured. I saw some dogs dying , feeling their pain …but many hundreds more happy and safe.
ROLDA has grown—and continues to grow-into a reputable charity, not just in Romania, but internationally. Of course, I did not accomplish this on my own. I’ve had tremendous support throughout this journey, from my parents, family and friends, to partners, donors, staff, volunteers, and our amazing supporters. And because of this incredible group of people around me, I know that ROLDA will continue to thrive long after I am gone, and it will continue to uphold the values I believe in with dignity.
This October 7, I am asking anyone who would like to send me a gift that they please send a donation to ROLDA instead. I am celebrating a milestone year by turning 40, but for me, my birthday is always a celebration of another year of life that I am grateful to have, and that means another year that I get to make a difference in the lives of animals in Romania.
Each donation will go directly to cover operational costs of our Rescue Center (Large Shelter) which is currently estimated at €5,000 per month. Normally, I would set a goal to reach for a specific campaign, but the truth is that since we were forced to take legal action against ArcelorMittal Galati—our former partner responsible for a big percentage of the monthly funding—we have been struggling to keep our Rescue Center operational.
Every time I see a badly injured dog, my first thought is, “How fast can we treat him or her, and will we be able to afford it?” I wish to live the day when we can rescue all animals in need without this big financial worry, but for now all I can do is hope and ask for help wherever I can.
I am extremely grateful that my life is blessed with people like you, who are there to listen to my fears and worries, and who offer support whenever it’s possible. In all these 20 years of animal rescue, I have never abandoned or let down an animal because I couldn’t afford their treatment—no matter how big the economic crisis was for me or my charity.
Together we are resourceful, generous, empathic, and humane!
I am proud to have shared 20 years of my life in such noble company!
Thank you for all your support!
Dana Costin, ROLDA Founder