Dear ROLDA supporters and friends,
It was just about this time of year in 1859 when Charles Dickens published A Tale of Two Cities. When he penned his now famous first line (quoted in part above) he was, of course, commenting on society in France before and during the French Revolution but his words ring true as I recall the past several months at ROLDA.
photo: Dana(ROLDA Founder) and one of her protegee
This year was one of our best years ever and with your continued support – I hope by adding ROLDA and the animals we help to your holiday gift list – we can achieve even more before the New Year begins. But 2010 was also among our most difficult financially. We tightened our belts though and weathered the economic downturn. But it wasn’t easy…
Let me share just a few of the highlights that your generosity (and ROLDA’s careful financial management) made possible…
And please accept my heartfelt THANK YOU for all you have done!
Our work to spread the word about the homeless animal situation in Romania kicked off early in the year with an event in Monthey, Switzerland. Le Chien magazine and famous model and actress, Lolita Morena, helped make this occasion successful.
In February, Little Dracula, a puppy who had been abandoned in a blizzard, became the first of many to be adopted and have a second chance at life in a loving home in Europe or the United States. Later in the year, Miss Bonny – a disabled older rescue dog – became the first of our disabled rescue dogs to find a forever home. She was soon followed by Blanduta and Dac, all dogs with special needs.
ROLDA’ s adoption center (which in 2004 was rated the best in Eastern Europe) was evaluated again in March. The current report indicates that the modifications we have made have improved the lives of sheltered homeless animals. The changes we still plan to make at our large dog rescue center are well founded and certain to make more animals happy.
Our trustees from the United States and the UK visited the Fiducia shelter in Transylvania – the shelter (with its 130+ dogs and countless puppies which we took under our wing at the end of 2009). We were encouraged to continue to support this amazing Fiducia shelter and its founder, Mrs. Lidia’s, work to care for her healthy and beautiful animals.
In late spring, a team of veterinaries from Norway and Sweden volunteered with our local veterinary team for three weeks to help sterilize homeless animals who roam throughout Galati and the surrounding area. It was a tremendous experience for all involved as well as quite a challenge given the overwhelming number of strays. But it was successful as many more animals were sterilized – all for free.
The good work ROLDA has done since 2007 at the sprawling Arcelor Mittal steel plant (close to where our large sanctuary is located) led the DAMEN Shipyard (a Dutch/Romanian corporation) to request our team to initiate a plan to reduce the dogs overpopulation within their premises.
In June, our annual online contest (in partnership with local media) to celebrate both dogs and children without homes was again a great success. Every year more and more people participate.
In July, we began re-homing dogs in Holland and, in Norway, we established our first foster homes.
Supporters in Orange County represented ROLDA at the PET EXPO in Orange County and organized for the second year in a row the Vampire Ball to promote our work and the desperate situation of the thousands of street dogs in Romania.
Finally, this spring, we were able to purchase a rescue vehicle to transport dogs and supplies on the dirt roads to and from our two shelters, especially now as the winter season is upon us.
So 2010 really was the “best of times” for ROLDA. (And I have mentioned just some of the highlights.)
But 2010 was also the “worst of times.” The world financial crisis hit us hard.
ROLDA depends entirely on the generosity of people such as you – our friends and supporters who dig deep to send the contributions that enable all that we do. We don’t receive government assistance or grants of any kind. We made it through thanks only to our supporters.
I know that many charities are struggling these days but I am proud of how wisely the funds you have donated were put to work to save lives, prevent births of more unwanted puppies by sterilizing street animals, find forever homes for rescued strays and even build two more paddocks so more dogs could be sheltered and cared for after being rescued.
Looking back, I am proud of how cost-effectively we have used the donations you have entrusted to us. But I am also worried… I am deeply concerned about our ability to keep vital programs going if the economy doesn’t turn around soon. The simple fact is that while there is less money coming in, it continues to cost more to meet basic expenses.
So please, even in these difficult economic times, I ask that you continue your support for our work and the animals we work for by making a SPECIAL HOLIDAY GIFT today… so as this year ends and the New Year begins we can continue making the kind of impact for the animals that they so desperately need and deserve.
As I briefly reminisce about some of the remarkable achievements your support helped make possible – I want to assure you that just because it is the holiday season ROLDA staff are not taking time away from the job…
In the “worst of times” your donations have made a tremendous difference this year – you have helped make 2010 “the best of times” for many animals in Romania.
Closing the year as strong as we started will mean a better life for SO many more homeless animals.
Again, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for your support, confidence and generosity these past months.
And don’t forget, not for a moment, that those who cause them pain and suffering don’t close down for the holidays.
On behalf of all the animals who live in peace and dignity today because of you and those that we will help tomorrow, my best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful holiday.
Founder, Romanian League in Defense of Animals
PS: Just as we cost-effectively managed every penny entrusted to us in this difficult financial year to do great things for the animals you can be assured that we will do the same with whatever you are able to send today. Thank you again.