The pack… A year of work

16 September 2013 | Blog

This is a story by Snejana – a volunteer from Dupnitsa who found the strength and courage necessary to change the tragic lives of 40 dogs in her neighborhood.

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There was no way to go out in the evening and not meet at least 10 homeless dogs, mostly mothers digging up trash. I left food and water around the bins, took in small puppies for rehoming, but nothing changed. It seemed like they were coming to our neighborhood from all over the city.

I fed Lisa at the same time of day for a whole year. I called her this, because she looked like little fox. She never let me touch her, but grabbed her bites and left back to wherever she came from.  She had a huge, shapeless stomach and infected eyes. It turned out she was hit by a car during her pregnancy and had lain by the roadside for days before she could get up and hide. I started her on better food, vitamins and antibiotics. Her belly became normal again and she was jumping around. A month had passed since she had given birth and I was looking for her den every evening.

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 Clever Lisa and Teek the good boy

One day she didn’t come on time, I was worried. Someone called me on the phone when I heard car brakes and went to the window to check it out. Lisa was down on the pavement with an anesthetic needle in her.  It was the catcher from the pound and she had found the strength to run to me to save her. I don’t even remember how I got to her, my husband picked her up and loaded her into the van… I told them I’d take care of her and want her back when she is neutered. Her puppies were doomed. Then, they told me this dog comes from “Mesokombinata” (the meat factory) and that it is full of dogs and hundreds of complaints have been filed against them. They had 8 dogs from the place in isolation and they’ve been there many times before. I had heard of this place form my neighbors – that you cannot walk there at night because of the dogs who were searching for food. I told them I would take care of it. It is my neighborhood.

It was exactly the 20-th of May in 2012 when 2 girls and I went over to “Mesokombinata” which was now turned into an auto-repair and a gas station. A few dogs snapped at us at the entry, there were a few animals inside still recovering from the anesthetic. 10 animals max. I talked to the owner who seemed like a really nice guy and he told me most of the animals the pound took were not returned… they told him homes were found for them. The animals were all fed by him, but they kept giving birth and the numbers were growing. He had noticed that the females are more likely to survive. Most of the dogs were rescued by his colleagues who brought them over from horrible places. I told him I live in the area and will help him out.

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Kaya, Roshko and Sharo

When I went back there the next morning to feed the dogs I finally saw the real situation. They were coming from every direction. Skin and bones, blind, paralyzed, mangy, with tumors, dyeing little puppies and bodies lying around the deserted buildings. The truth is I had to quickly hide to throw up. I knew most of the dogs. I had seen them all over the city. I gave them the food and they nearly killed each other. I only managed to touch one of them, they were sad and aggressive. I started to go there every day, take photos and write down everything about every dog. Meanwhile it turned out that Lisa’s babies had also been caught and are in the pound. She had bruised very badly to be able to go over to their cage and howl all night, so the staff let her go in. She fed them there for 2 more weeks and after that I took her and the survivors back to the former meat factory.

There were 42 adults and babies at that place. I have been keeping a record of everything that happened since, I will copy it for you:

  •  Baby Sharo is adopted
  •  Two dead puppies
  •  Baby Lu is adopted
  •  Mirka is neutered
  •  all dogs are dewormed with Prazymec JUNE
  •  Teek is neutered
  •  Herby dies
  •  Baby Minnie dies
  •  Baby Buba dies
  •  Baby Bobby dies
  •  Babies Nicko and Six go to ARSofia
  •  Babies Milla, Sharka and Boby are adopted
  •  Cherna dies of mammary tumors
  •  Baby Plashko dies
  •  deworming with Biheldon AUGUST
  •  Gina dies of an infection in her saliva glands

There might be people who will judge me for not curing or saving the ill ones, but here is how it went:

The first two puppies were already cold when I found them. They died in two hours. I found Herby resting peacefully forever by the trash bins – he had a spinal trauma and was moving with great difficulty. Minnie was neutered and dewormed, but despite the antibiotics that I gave her intravenously – she died the same day. Buba just disappeared on me one evening, people saw her come to eat, drink and die on the next morning. Boby was hit by a car. Cherna had a horrible tumor on both sides, we chased her for days on end to see if she can be treated or humanely put to sleep, but we didn’t manage to get her. We found her in her forever sleep under a car. Plashko, a dog that never let me come near him vomited blood and died in a few minutes. Gina just disappeared and never showed up again. She had been hit in the mouth with the sedation dart when they were catching her for neutering and despite my effort to help her – didn’t make it.

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Babies, Lushko and Siva

Despite all my pledges on Facebook, the only help I got were a few bags of food from friends and the first vaccines for the babies that were adopted.

Today, the following bunch resides at the meat factory: Sharko – neutered; Lishko – neutered, treated for mange; Roshko – neutered; Lisa – neutered; Hara – 7 months old; Kaya – blind in one eye; Sivka; Chera – neutered and on medications currently; Teek – neutered (a car hit him and he has ticks since then); Nera – 7 months old, treated for mange; Sharka; Mamma – neutered; Mila 1 and the Retired who almost can’t see and babies Nova and Verilla. Soon I will have homes for the rest of the babies and finish neutering the last of the girls.

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Hara and Nova

I love them and they know it. They wait for me every day.

Neutering can fix the stray dog problem 100%. We just need to work – each of us in our own neighborhood, doing all we can.

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16 September 2013 | Blog

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