In 2008 I adopted a ROLDA dog. When he arrived his long coat was matted and dirty which disguised the fact that he was a bag of bones. I didn’t dare take him to be trimmed in case someone reported me to the RSPCA for neglect. Everyone who saw him thought that he was an old dog. He was 18 months old. I had to take him to the vet anyway because he couldn’t use his back right leg and the vet was horrified at how thin he was. I’d queried the limp with Dana and she said that he must have banged his leg on the journey over. The xray showed it was an old injury and a lot of his femur was dead. Luckily because he was young the vet was able to cut away the dead bone and anyone who didn’t know him wouldn’t notice that his right leg is shorter than the left.
The second ROLDA dog I adopted was dirty and smelly, but not particularly thin. At that point another poor shelter had contacted ROLDA for help and she put their appeal on her web site. I contacted a UK dog magazine and asked them to put an article in about this shelter, which they did. The shelter set up a paypal account but the magazine went to print with the story earlier than we expected and used Dana’s paypal address. She told us that no donations were raised for this shelter. I regret now not making a donation myself through her account and seeing if she was being truthful. To be fair to her, she did give them some money later. I will never know if this was part of the money donated by the readers of the magazine or not.Dana took some dogs from this shelter to ROLDA to be advertised for adoption in the UK. They were supposed to be getting a rabies injection straight away but six months later, when a neighbour of mine decided to adopt one of the dogs, they still hadn’t had their vaccination. The Romanian lady who had initially rescued this dog went to ROLDA to visit it and took some photos of it and another dog. When she sent me their photos I was horrified at how thin they had got. She hadn’t said anything because she was scared of Dana. The first dog is big and weighed about 45kg when she arrived at ROLDA. She was 20kg when she left and very food aggressive. As it happens she is with me now and very laid back about food so her aggression must have been caused by hunger. When I questioned Dana about how thin the dogs were I didn’t get a straight answer and she went on the attack immediately. The dog was also filthy when she arrived in the UK. These dogs were the lucky ones. They were in the small shelter and advertised for adoption.
These were the ‘lucky’ dogs being advertised for adoption. I had sent ROLDA a lot of money over the years but stopped once we got the last of ‘our’ dogs out. I didn’t dare stop before in case Dana did something spiteful to the last dog, a real sweetie who is now the very much loved pet of a Dutch family.
I never donated to Chrissy (Phillips of Romania Animal Aid as Dana Costin is claiming now). I sent the money straight to Dana, £100 a month for years. When I got Archie in 2008 I didn’t even know Chrissy and she sent him over with Robert Smith. The only money I sent to Chrissy was when I paid for her to bring my second dog across and I also paid £500 towards the travel for Zuzu, Tata and another dog. I ended up with Zuzu though she was elsewhere for 3 months and Tata stayed in Holland. I don’t count paying for transport as a donation.
by Gill, Rescueme Romania