Testimonial of Janet Gilmore – Rolda VolunteerI met Dana Costin who runs ROLDA, several years ago whilst I stayed at her small shelter in Galati. My visit was intended to discuss new ways of helping ROLDA to re-home some of the dogs held at that shelter and those at the larger shelter. Although my visit had been planned several months in advance, Dana continually did not turn up to meetings to discuss better ways to help the dogs in her charge. When questioned about this, she became aggressive. This behaviour has continued throughout the 3 years of knowing Dana. Whilst I was there, Dana continually evaded several questions regarding spay/neutering and even the dogs living right next door to the small shelter were not offered this supposed ‘free’ service. I visited the large shelter several times and asked Dana why all the dogs did not have any beds or toys – her response was that they would fight over them. So in the midst of winter all the dogs slept on concrete.
A friend of mine, Chrissy Phillips, went out of her way to purchase plastic crates at her own expense, to get the dogs off the ground and sent them over to Dana. That was 2 years ago – the crates have never been used and the dogs still sleep on the hard, cold concrete.
I have visited Romania on many occasions and worked with other animal charities. I have taken many dogs from ROLDA and have fostered them until their new forever homes were available. On endless occasions Dana has made ‘mistakes’ with the gender of the dogs, with character details, us not being informed of existing health issues. When phoning or emailing Dana to tell her of these situations, she has always come back on the defensive and blamed someone else, or attacked me for my lack of knowledge. I received many, many emails from Dana threatening me.
The large shelter in Galati which is run by ROLDA and funded by Mittal, offers no creature comforts whatsoever for the dogs. The people working at the site only ‘muck out’ and give food; there is no human interraction whatsoever. As far as I could ascertain, dogs in this shelter could be left there for the remainder of their lives.
Just over a year ago, I fostered 3 Irish Wolfhound-type dogs from ROLDA – I couldn’t believe my eyes as they were the skinniest dogs I’ve ever seen. When I rang Dana to ask why they were so thin she told me that the winter had been particularly harsh and no-one could get to the shelter to feed them. Bearing in mind that by the time I got Mica, Alba and Susie it was MAY!
Throughout my ‘liaison’ with Dana, I have found her to be a liar on several occasions and I believe without a shadow of doubt that she does not care about the dogs in her charge, only the monetary aspect of running a charity. I have also been party to some of the emails she has sent to friends of mine threatening them