Sarah England, Volunteer at ROLDA shelter in 2011, Testimonial

rolda sarah englandSarah England Testimonial
7th August 2011

Note to reader…..please see above from Dana Costin/ROLDA 2014 posting.   This is Sarah England in the photo.  As you can see, Costin is trying to give the illusion that Sarah still supports her.  Read below to see Sarah’s testimonial upon conclusion of her trip to ROLDA .

My dog Arthos was – as I have now found out – another example of a dog brought from Rolda who needed veterinary treatment to put right the wrongs that occurred in Romania. He is 18 months old and we feared his lumps were cancer.

His first lump on his belly was small and easy to remove as it was a sis and not uncommon. However the report showed that inside the sis, there was an adult tapeworm. The vet told me this was unusual, especially the ‘nemetode’ variety of worm that it was- they are normally found in the stomach/ intestines, not in the skin. As this is an adult, it suggests he has had for a long time. I conclude no, or infrequent, worming tablets were ever administered. He eats far more than my heavier dog Woody, and is consistent with having tape worm inside him too. The second lump was where his testicle would have been had be not been neutered. The reports showed this was a chronic bacterial infection which was a result of his neutering operation one year ago. The vet had not seen this sort of lump before. The sample will go for further testing at a dermatological laboratory as it is of further interest. I will of course, update you as to the results. He is on antibiotics now to make sure all has gone. I do not know if the neutering was done by Dana’s vet, or by the person he was taken from as a puppy. I really do realise now just how lucky Arthos is to have come home to me.

The facts I can tell you are as follows and allow you to make your own judgement: Now that I think about it, I never saw the dogs in the small shelter have their worming tablets, though Dana did make reference to the big shelter being a good time to visit after the men had done the worming. Maybe it does happen, and I was only there for a fortnight. Before the dogs are ‘shipped’ they have flea treatment applied after they have been bathed the day before departure.

They do not feed the dogs the night before departure so they are not physically sick if at all possible, but I am sceptical about the impact the flea stuff has on them – it normally upsets my dogs for a day. I did not see them done at any other time. Worms were identified by Anja in faeces one morning and Flori wormed them, however tape worm per my vet does not show per se in the stool as they break off in small bits. Arthos was in the small shelter for a year or so, I’d say they were rife. On the day they were shipped, I confirm whilst I was there, the cages were cleaned with fairy liquid and checked over generally. But the dogs had never been in them before and were stuffed in. I had the fortune of training Arthos in stages to get accustomed to the travel crate – first without the lid, then with, then close the door, then leave him etc over a few days. It would not take much to prepare them for travel. One dog had an injury in the small shelter on it’s side which we surmised was from the rusty wire in the kennels as it was clearly not a bite injury. It seems such a shame the dogs suffer in this manner in a cage that should be providing them safety. In defence, Dana says the materials for building are of poor quality and may have rust on them when being bought.

Anja observed to me that Dana quotes being responsible for 600 dogs with Rolda, however Dana explained the metal works pay for the management of the stray dogs on their land, and that the Rolda charity money supports the small shelter only. The small shelter was 40 -50 dogs during my stay. She makes reference to the employees not being paid for months – I don’t think a Romanian worker would settle for that – but surely she only supports Flori if Rolda only supports the small shelter? The food I took with me was stored at the small shelter – this is consistent with the charitable donations being kept by for the small shelter dogs. Likewise with the toys she asked for – which remain in boxes unused. These dogs do not understand toys anyway, and there is no one to introduce them to toys. I understand the dogs need supervising with them, but why ask for them if they will not be given?!

Anja and I were witness to an attack between the large cage wiring – four dogs in one cage were trying to pull another dog on the other side through. Fur and blood flying. The dog was separated by us, and Dana said as it was a Sunday that no vet would be working and could wait until tomorrow. Dana said the dog went to the vet Monday and was then back at the big shelter. On our subsequent visits we did not see this dog again. Walking along the kennels of the big shelter some of the dogs were in appalling conditions – obvious skin conditions and eye infections, but it would appear only the lucky few get treatment.

They were fed by the men throwing their biscuits on the floor. This starts dog fights over food as some of them are so thin. There was nearly always one dog out of the three in the cage that was desperately thin. These will die. That’s how they facilitate the turnover of dogs – not that many ever get to be rehomed and they continue collecting off the metal steel land as more dogs migrate. This is a holding facility until they die. Probably, horribly.

One dog I worked with I noticed had no wooden pallet to lie on like the others, just the concrete. There was a pile of plastic beds outside one of the kennels, so I put one in for her. I was later told by
another volunteer the lengths she went to to make sure she shipped beds over, and yet this still happens.

One of the men, strutted up and down the kennels with a Rotweiler in tow – you can only imagine the noise as is wound up the other dogs. It was threatening.

Whilst sat outside a kennel, I noticed by where I was sat there were small creatures all in the gutter. I believe these were ticks. I have photo’s to support these statements. I will add them in due course.

Sarah England

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