Frequently asked questions

This is a list of questions, and of course answers to the most frequently asked questions we get at Animal Rescue Sofia

Who are the people behind Animal Rescue Sofia?

We are a group of dedicated and responsible people who love animals and trying to solve the problem with homeless dogs in Sofia and across the country. Our organization emerged from the largest online dog forum in Bulgaria – www.dog.bg . Some of us have spent years dealing with homeless dogs and spay/neutering programs, others were involved in cynology and the rest just loved animals and were looking for same-minded people and support in the ARS organization.

Currently, we manage the largest dog shelter facility in Bulgaria – the Bogrov municipality dog shelter, where we take care of over 500 dogs. We have set up a spaying/neutering center in shelter where we offer free castrations to street dogs and cats. The center works during the weekends too in order to facilitate people who are unable to come to the shelter during the week.

Do you receive any municipality or government funding?

ARS is not funded by Sofia Municipality or any other city municipality. We currently have a contract with Sofia Municipality that calls for certain obligations on part of Sofia municipality related to the Bogrov shelter.

Under the current agreement, the Sofia municipality pays the shelter’s rent, security, utility expenses, rabies vaccine shots, and part of the food. ARS covers all the expenses related to medical care, staff, castration programme, etc.

How is ARS financed?

ARS is financed from individual and corporate donations. Almost all of our funding comes from Bulgarian donors. We are very happy there are so many people who trust us and help us. We are grateful for all of our donors – most of them make small but regular contributions.

Regular donations, no matter how large, are vital for us as they allow us to plan our budgets and avoid financial distress every month. We hope to attract more and more supporters and thus save more animal lives. In addition to bank accounts, we have set up epay and paypal accounts. We also organize fund raiser events on regular basis and sell merchandise with the ARS logo.

Why do you insist so much on castrations?

Every castrated animal means less pain, suffering and death on the street. Female dog comes in season twice a year and gives birth to 6-8 puppies. The average life of a homeless dog is around 5 years which gives us around 70 puppies per female homeless dog over its lifespan.

It is obvious what happens to the puppies – 2 of them survive to continue the cycle of suffering and death.

In times of overpopulation, castration is the only humane and viable long term solution of the problem. The Trap-neuter-return method is the only legal and proven method that can successfully reduce the number of homeless dogs. It is also endorsed by the World Health Organization.

What is the adoption process and how do you promote adoptions?

The adoption of a dog from the Bogrov shelter is free. In addition to that, each dog comes with full set of vaccine shots, identification microchip, EU passport and castrated.

Every adopter is provided with an Adoption card containing the names of the dog and the number of the microchip. The Adoption card provides the owner with a 20% discount at a partner pet shop as well as 10% discount at the “Dobro Hrumvane” vet clinic.

The adoption process is the same for everybody – every candidate is required to visit the shelter at least 3 times in order to get to know the dog and think things over carefully. The Vet or the Manager of the shelter interview the candidate trying to determine if s/he is suitable for a dog owner and can provide good care of the dog and recommend suitable dogs. During the third visit, the approved candidate can sign a contract and pick up the dog.

How do you track dogs that are adopted abroad?

We work only with shelters and organizations with proven track record. We keep in touch with everybody who has adopted one of our dogs and the adopters contact us if there are problems with the animal. Very often, the adopters send us updates and photos of the dogs without us even asking.

Each animal, dog or a cat, adopted through ARS has an identification chip and most European countries have common identification database to track the registered animals.

What happens if a dog doesn’t get adopted?

We keep looking for its people and home. We DO NOT euthanize healthy animals. We make extra effort for the dogs that have been in the shelter for a longer period of time or have hard time attracting interest – we make videos, fancy photo shoots, come up with clever names for the dogs.

Some of the dogs placed in our care are permanently disabled – missing limbs, deaf, blind, paralyzed. Even in those cases we have had instances where we were able to find homes for these animals. Unfortunately, the attitudes in Bulgaria make it impossible to find a home here, and the adoption abroad is time and resource consuming endeavor.