Merritt Clifton, Trustee for ROLDA US involvement with Dana Costin

Merritt Clifton – US Trustee/Secretary – started Romania League in Defense of Animals to support Dana Costin, fueled by his dreams and fantasies of him and Dana.

Merritt Clifton, now former editor of the influential Animal People Newspaper (fired from this position), and self-proclaimed “Watch Dog” of international animal charities, first met Dana Costin in 2004. In 2005 Merritt and Dana had a secret rendezvous at the beach in Southern California during a CHAMPS conference whilst Dana’s partner Rolando was in the hotel room suffering from a terminal illness.

Shortly thereafter Merritt and his wife divorced . Email evidence provides information that Merritt’s relationship with Dana Costin was the instigator for the ending of Clifton’s 15 year marriage.

In 2006, Merritt Clifton started the charity Romania League in Defense of Animals for Dana Costin as a 501(c)(3) charity in the USA, being fully aware of the lack of accountability of ROLDA to Romania Animal Rescue.

Merritt withheld receipts from Romania Animal Rescue for funds that were to be submitted to them for ROLDA in early 2006. Merritt has inappropriately used his position at Animal People Newspaper to solicit donors for ROLDA, such as Nanette, a $20,000+ donor solicited by Clifton for Costin, and also used his “position of authority” at international conferences to promote ROLDA and Dana Costin.

Merritt’s assessment of the 2 ROLDA shelters in 2009 is not credible, as he has a conflict of interest as the ROLDA Trustee.  Was Merritt aware that the Large Shelter is fully funded by ArcelorMittal, the multi-billion dollar steel company……

Merritt Clifton and Dana Costin – The tunnel

Merritt is so smitten

A wife’s rightful response

Merritt Clifton defending Dana’s actions

Merritt again defending Dana’s lack of accountability

Merritt using Animal People contacts to benefit Dana   – A direct conflict of interest. Animal People statement: “ANIMAL PEOPLE is the leading independent newspaper providing original investigative coverage of animal protection worldwide,founded in 1992. Our readership of 30,000-plus includes the
decision-makers at more than 10,000 animal protection organizations.We have no alignment or affiliation with any other entity.”

Merritt again unethically solciting donors for ROLDA and the Dana and Rolando porn fantasy

Fake fantasy used to get donations

Dana admits fantasy untrue and has the audacity to state even registered organisations scam money and is wrong to take the money from the dog

Merritt Clifton, reporter for Animal People, no longer writes for Animal People news source.  He was apparently fired from this position in early 2014.   He is now writing articles in Animals24-7. His articles include The Dogs of Hope, where he praises “the ROLDA shelter was a safe, happy place…”; and Help Labus, Save The Dogs, & ROLDA demonstrate progress for Romanian animals in different ways, besides reporting that dogs choose to stay in the shelters instead of returning on their own volition to the streets, he admits to fantasizing about being a dog in the care of ROLDA.




 Do you see something wrong with this picture postcard?

In 1986 Romania was still under communist rule

In 1986 ROLDA did not exist

In 1986 Dana Costin was approx 7 years of age

17 Comments add one

  1. Jayne Nicholson says:

    They say love is blind – personally they sound ideally matched!

  2. Nancy Janes says:

    It is a real shame that Merritt could not see through Dana Costin in the beginning. Now he appears to have sold his soul to the Devil…

    • says:

      It’s many years since I first heard about Dana…… and because I was sent Animal People (when paper version was mailed out), I knew about Merritt Clifton and had in fact written to him on a couple of occasions (a very arrogant & contradictory man, who is ‘always right’!), but that was before his first trip to Romania and the beginning of total obsession with Dana (beats me what he saw in her, but for an aging man he must have felt flattered). I also exchanged a few emails with his wife (probably ex-wife), but will not mentioned anything we said; suffice to say I learned a lot and she’s most definitely better off without him. Dana has conned so many people out of money, I’m surprised she is not in jail. As for Merritt, his day will come…. I’m sure Dana will tire of ‘grandpa’ in the near future…… he deserves all the humiliation coming his way…..

  3. Susan Jasper says:

    What an idiot……I understand this man is a good deal older than Dana Costin. I think we can see what is going on here, at the animal’s expense of course.

  4. Ruth Cline says:

    Merritt Clifton should be utterly ashamed having supported such a corrupt individual for so long. Not only has he allowed his personal desires to cloud his judgement but he’s activly encouraged unsuspecting animal lovers to donate to ROLDA knowing full well that he himself even had concerns in the past as to Danas legitimacy.

    Merritt has put his own wants and needs and ridiculous schoolboy yearnings above all else. He set up ROLDA as a charity in the US, hardly an unbiased position for the co-founder of a dog monthly publication that prides itself on being impartial. He has collected hundreds of thousands of dollars on Danas behalf, money which has gone where? All of ROLDAS costs are covered by the Mittal Corp so no donations have any been needed. Merritt knows this and yet continues to solicit donations on Danas behalf.

    It’s time people learn the truth about Merritt and the sickening role he has played in the ROLDA scam!!!

  5. Everhart van Lidt de Jeude says:

    I cannot understand why people are giving donations to a guy following his d..k.

  6. Betsey Means says:

    This man was once highly respected in the animal charity word. He is now being snickered at behind his back.His reputation is unraveling.

    • Batya Bauman says:

      Re Betsey Means’ post that Clifton was “once highly respected in the animal charity world,” as a longtime animal advocate, I know that many in the animal advocacy community had Merritt Clifton’s number long ago, myself included. I also wondered if he was an outright liar, or sadly delusional.

  7. Oana Dumitrescu says:

    Merritt Clifton….what a character, pretty sure he is the brains behind this ROLDA scam in Romania. pathetic creatures attracting sponsors and loads of money to do nothing positive to improve the life of Romanian animals!! How could anyone say they love animals, how could anyone co-found a dog publication while scamming people and not really doing anything good for those animals?? Just an old frustrated infatuated man chasing the graces of young lady….plotting so she could somehow love him…while this foolish romance developped along the years, hundreds of Romanian dogs keep on living their miserable lives in the hands of Dana….moreover, Merritt fully knowing her scams, continues to support her false activity by attracting loads of money on her behalf. In Galati, Romania, everybody knows her scams and her total lack of involvement, everybody knows the Arcellor Mittal plant is paying for everything for the big shelter….but still, this Merritt guy keeps on supporting Dana’s frauds….maybe he is ashamed to admit his mistakes, maybe he is scared he would be liable for all those donations being misused….all and all, he has no common sense, no decency, he is no animal lover…he is just an old guy making a fool of himself by supporting a big time fraud, divorcing his wife and chasing a Romanian girl whose only agenda is to make a profit and living a wonderful life without having to work a single day in her pathetic life….

  8. Oana Marin says:

    Merritt Clifton…what a ridiculous character!!! he is no animal lover, he lost his name and reputation by supporting Dana Costin’s scams and frauds! He is nothing but a frustrated old guy who tries his best to win her graces….

    Everybody in Galati, Romania is well aware of the fact that the big shelter was built and is funded by ArcelorMittal. Still, Merritt attracted loads of money for Dana and ROLDA Romania supporting her vicious lies. And they did nothing positive to improve the situation of the strays in Romania.
    Merritt only uses his international old reputation to attract donations for this lady while her only agenda is to make a profit and live a luxurious life without having to work a single day in her life.
    Divorcing and chasing a young lady whose mind and heart were set on making money….only show us his true passion, women and glamor.

    they both should go live on a deserted island!

  9. Becky Schwartz says:

    Really, Merritt Clifton? You pathetic you. How small of a human being can you be? How worthless, how pathetic, how low? Any dignity left in you? Any moral sense, consciousness, something good at all? Leaving your wife and child cause you were going through some sort of midlife crisis and felt misunderstood, blah blah, when you were only following your d..k? You p…k!

  10. There is a reason the Merritt has such a hatred and fanatical, all-consuming hysteria with “dogs of character”: he has no character of his own.

    A quick look at all those who call themselves “animal lovers” and then spend their time and energy trying to get several breeds (and mixes) of dogs destroyed will reveal this same shallow, slimey lack of depth.

    There is more in Merritt’s background. One need only look.

    With “friends” like Merritt, animals don’t need enemies!

  11. We ‘clashed’ with Dana and Merritt back in 2004 and always thought that he was as described in comments as above and that she was as crooked as they come. What goes around comes around!

  12. Jenny says:

    How true: “Merritt Clifton. An amateur statistician that readily admits he pulls all of his data about dog bites, and breeds from media reports. Merritt scours the internet looking for news articles about dog bites, and dog bite related fatalities. He happens to come along that same article you did. He sees that reporter called the dog a pit bull. He logs the date, location and breed without any further investigation. Later on, Merritt publishes his non-scientifically gathered data in a report.”

  13. Nancy Janes says:

    Merritt Clifton has now broken all ties with ROLDA USA. He is no longer the ROLDA Trustee in the USA. Reports of harassment to him and his family by Dana Costin are being reported on the “Where Did My Donation Go” Facebook page.

    • Karen says:

      That’s a pathetic attempt to cover his backside. Too little too late. Even if Clifton hadn’t involved himself in this grubby affair and ripped off animal lovers, there is plenty more that he should have to answer for.

  14. Kathy says:

    Merritt Clifton and his wife Beth Kleinfeld Clifton own and presumably live off of animals 24-7 . While some of their work may be good that’s probably the part that gets the grants. They lie and mislead the public and then asked for money from them. They are so arrogant. Beth won’t be happy until there are no more pit bulls because of her pride and anger at the fact that she had a pitbull puppy who at three years old was put down rather than given to a legitimate organization like best friends who may have been able to help the dog. Her thinly disguised “open letter” to AHS the ASPCA and best friends is nothing more then a Media effort to get people to donate to them based on fear and ignorance. I grew up with Beth and find this extremely disturbing.

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