She could’ve had a successful career in a corporation, but gave up everything with absolutely no regrets just to come back in her native town and take good care of abandoned animals. Now, ten years after a decision that changed her life, Andreea Roseti is radiant, good with herself and very very happy. She worked in Belgrad, earned a lot of money, but never had, back then, the emotional satisfaction that she has now. Vice-president and “heart” of Animal Life, an association that helps animals, Andreea was a guardian angel for thousands of abandoned dogs and cats. Beyond this, she helps a lot of other people with different needs, unconditionally, just being happy that she can do something good for the others.
I collaborated with Andreea (40 years old) for many years, writing news about animal adoption campaigns, but never talked to her about her personal story. Now, discovering her beyond her job is a joy. She is sensitive, more than helpful, passionate, dedicated, with a huge, beautiful soul. “Instead of talking about me, wouldn’t it be better to talk about our charity shop?”, she asks, not being used to talk about herself. And she actually says few things about herself, insisting on her work, her wonderful colleagues, the volunteers, all the people who believe in Animal Life’s projects and sustain their work. Nothing would’ve happened without them and their huge involvement.
She loves animals ever since she was a child, and the memories of her beautiful childhood, playing with animals at the farm where her grandmother was an economist, are priceless. “My grandfather was a hunter, but when I asked him not to shoot animals anymore, he stopped doing that. More than this, he started saving animals and I grew up with dogs, pigeons, animals around me”, she says.
There was a point when she wanted to become a veterinarian, but she thought she will not be capable to see animals suffering. So the attended a faculty of foreign languages, and worked as a translator and then in marketing, in Bucharest and Belgrad. Now she has the luck of doing what she loves – environmental projects – after years when she thought you just can’t earn your living by doing something you really love.
Ten years ago, Andreea made a decision that, for many people, might sound a little bit crazy. She gave up “corporate dream”, came back home to Sibiu, her native town, and gave herself the chance to just be happy. “I came back when I realized that the career dream is a big bullshit, a hoax, and that I simply want to live, to be with my family, with my friends. But all the corporations helped me understand how people work and what I need”, she says.
Animal Life project was already started for three years when she decided to come back home. Actually, while she was away and had very good salary she sent money home to be bought necessary things for abandoned animals. “We were 8 friends at the beginning, and we financed the association from our own money. Then each of us brought a friend, but it was very hard in our first years”, she remembers.
Then more and more people came to help. “We built a beautiful team of friends who had nothing better to work on than doing things together”, she says, smiling, with a huge modesty. What she does not say is that they worked on helping thousands of abandoned animals to find a loving family, or took to the doctors those in need, or did a lot of castration campaigns. Even helped people who had animals but could not afford paying for castration or medical treatment. “At the beginning, we built the cages by ourselves, we ruined our personal cars, we stayed in veterinarian’s cabinet to hold the animals while they were treated”, she remembers.
Things became a little bit easier since 2011, when the association had its first employee. Now they have 4, and a lot of wonderful volunteers around. Last year, they opened their first shelter for abandoned animals, where between 60 and 80 dogs can be kept. Now things seem easy, but the whole process was not simple at all. Yet, things went on as if everything “had to happen” – on Monday they had no money, but on Friday, when they had to pay for some work, a donation brought the necessary money into their account.
International dogs adoptions
One of the biggest aids they received was from a german foundation, the first one who started collaborating with them for international dog adoptions. “It all started from a friendship – we’ve seen each other for 5 minutes at first, and ten years passed since that moment”, she remembers, smiling.
Now, five German foundations collaborate with them for international dog adoptions, with TV shows in Germany and announcements in local media, a lot of stories and all vacations spent in Romania. “Everything we developed is due to friendship, you helped someone at one point and then so many good things happen to you that sometimes you don’t even know how to react”, she says.
Animals and the heart
About the emotional moments with animals people from Animal Life could certainly write books. Write with tears, of course, both of joy and of sadness. There are stories with animals who died after their owner died – true stories. Others, with animals who can’t be moved from the last place where they had seen their owner. And so many others.
On the other side, it’s the joy. That one of thousands of souls saved – from cats and dogs to horses, donkeys or birds – and the one of having seen people getting involved and changing their mentality and their way of acting.
“It’s so beautiful when people are mocking by doing good. It’s something you can’t understand until you start doing it. Volunteering and helping – doesn’t matter who – are a blessing, how you help is one thing but how much this helps yourself is another story, what it does for you as a human being and for your soul is priceless”, she says.
You can find out more about Animal Life on their website, HERE