News

Currently at the Farm

Posted on 09 March 2014

It is insanely difficult to reconstruct both cheaply and with a reasonable quality – reconstruction details are dripping out of our ears, or at least it is how we feel it. The preparation agony before the work can finally begin in its whole is finally coming to an end, may the dog gods bring a good mood and less problems to our municipality – Kremikovtzi. Meanwhile our pals remain in their outside enclosures.

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Have you ever heard of sand that is not sand? Well, go ahead and buy the cheapest sand wholesale and you will know about it. This week we were replacing the sand outside. Oddly enough – once wet, the old yellow sand we had bought became mud. O, joy, o perfect holiday for the keepers and volunteers who leave the shelter decorated – many muddy medals on the front and at least 2-4 on the back of their clothes…

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Whilst waiting for permits and the final versions of the renovation plans, the boys decided to demonstrate their abilities and finish up one heavy task that doesn’t require special skills – taking down the attic in the clinic.

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The buildings, as you know, are old, we already tore down and made anew the ceilings in the huge building (it is only “the large” building for those who have not worked in it), but we never expected that the little clinic ceilings would make that much of a mess. But – as already proven scientifically – our boys are golden, and so are their hands.

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After a long battle with the mud and straw, our little clinic is now non-inhabited and quite windy!

Everything we had placed in the so-called “den” is now well arranged in the warehouse:

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And for the humans – with the help of FENSTERNORM windows and frames who gave us a window – we isolated a part of the warehouse which we now proudly call “the office”.

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This is our life currently, don’t ask “when”- we have gone wild asking that question ourselves. But – as it now seems – things will continue along the old Bulgarian saying: “take what you have calculated you need as time and money for the renovation. Now multiply the time by 3 and the costs by 2 and you will have a minimal estimate”…

Our oldest inhabitants – Rick, Dyakona, The-Walking-Dead and Lambi say we should be patient and send you their best regards:

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The magic martenitzi

Posted on 03 March 2014

3130 bulgarian leva were raised by you, dear friends, for the homeless dogs and cats of our city, by shopping at PETS&U for this year’s martenitzi! This really is a phenomenal amount – going many times over what we expected.

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And since we know how many we have brought to the shop and how much they are supposed to cost – we thank you triple for this phenomenal result. Do you know what it means to us to find a piece of paper with a donation wrapped in it that says “for Suncho and Co.”? It means everything, friends, it means that things are as they should be (on the photo you see Suncho, of course, thankful):

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This is a but mysterious, but as we hate to push our luck, we can only say officially:

the funds you have raised, along with the last money from the calendars and a part of the loan another awesome person gave us, will travel to Germany next week.

From there, they will come back to us in a totally different shape – one that is to benefit thousands of animals, not only in Sofia, but in the country as well. A helping, problem-solving form, the form we like best…

Please, stay tuned for some awesome news on our side, news that are possible only thanks to you generosity, compassion, intelligence, kindness and love for the animals!!!

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BE VERY HAPPY, DEAR, MOST WONDERFUL HUMANS!
May your road be always paved with possibilities, may you be white and red, happy and smiling! These martenitzi really are magic and the person wearing them gets an invisible luck-cloak!

Wild, wilder, Brodilovo

Posted on 02 March 2014

Yet another year in a row and again – using the “Bulgarian national traditions” as an excuse for their barbarism, the people from the Stranja region village of Brodilovo tried to hang, twist and throw their dogs in the water to “protect” their farm animals from Foot and mouth disease and other contagious illnesses throughout the year.

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This year their “festivities” were supposed to take place on March 01, but was met by the presence of police, media, activists and representatives of the local veterinary authorities.

“The police have been terrorizing the villagers for a whole week” states Ilia Iliev, mayor of Brodilovo for TOP NOVINI BURGAS. “The villagers were forced to sign declarations that they will not take part in the ritual, they were threatened and police violence took place” he claims. Mayor Iliev also told the media he is a firm supporter of the ritual as it is passed on through the generations.

“These traditions are bound to the survival of our folk. If it weren’t for these traditions, we – the Bulgarians – would never have survived” he adds.  “We will not surrender. We will continue our traditions and if we must – we will do it illegally.” mayor Iliev comments for bTV.

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It is a little known fact that this is not an old tradition at all and it should not even involve all the dogs in the village as Brodilovo people have it through the last decades.

Despite the big efforts on the side of the authorities and the friends of animals – the local barbarians were firmly set on carrying out the “tradition” and the police had to forcefully confiscate the ropes they had prepared to hang the dogs. We thank the officers who have proven that – is there is a political will – the Police can be very effective and convincing when it comes to animal cruelty.

Now these “patriots” and “keepers of our national identity” are wild with anger, claiming the police is terrorizing them and they will not give up their ways, that the dogs belong to them and they can do whatever they want to them, threatening to perform the barbarism when there are no outsiders present.

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Astonishing… do we really live in one country with these… people?

See the report of Nova Television who have filmed the “rehearsal” of the barbarism. The police claim this video is not enough evidence and no consequence will come for the people who did it.

A donation campaign at PETS&U

Posted on 28 February 2014

Dear friends of the homeless animals,
the amazing pioneers,  hosts of our Adoption weekends, the people who give us the fantastic opportunity to meet you in the city – PETS&U pet store have decided to put through a solid fund-raising campaign for the dogs and cats at the Farm!

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Donate whilst shopping!

From 01.03.2014 the store is giving you the opportunity to donate 5% of the cost of ANY pet food you purchased for the animals under the care of Animal Rescue Sofia!
Or, to put it simply – when you shop for food for your best buddy at PETS&U you are also feeding our dogs.

The campaign is valid for any and all types of food at the store – both for dogs and for cats. The only thing you need to do to make a donation is buy the food you need from their store. The people at the desk will ask if you want to donate 5% of it and the dogs at the Farm will really hope you answer “Yes! For Animal Rescue Sofia.”

At the end of each month the cool people from the store will donate everything you have raised so that we can buy the tons of food we need to fill the bellies of our shelter folk.

Why is this necessary?

Now that we have our own space under the sun – our Farm – there are many tasks ahead of us. The first and most important being to provide a steady flow of food to the hundreds of hungry throats we care for.

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You know that in the Bogrov shelter 1/3 of the food was provided by the Municipality, about 1/3 was donated through the kindness of friends in Bulgaria and abroad and another third we bought at cheap prices.

PETS&U is a huge store that sells all foods at one place. If many of us get together and decide to shop the food for our pets at the store – we could really create a working mechanism, providing food for our heroes without even having to reach in our pockets again!

We would greatly appreciate it if you join this initiative. It is new in Bulgaria, but has been tested and proven successful by many organizations like our abroad. This is a huge gesture from the people at PETS&U – for the homeless animals. You know how very hard it is to find brands and companies willing, and proud of the fact they are associated with “mutts”.

This is our chance to prove that it matters how things are done, that there is a point for a business to be socially-responsible, that there are many of us – the people who want to change our reality, the people who want to live in a European Bulgaria.

On behalf of the 200 heroes at the Farm: thank you for your support, friends!

Pets&U

Pets&U is located in Lozenetz, on the side of the Hemus hotel. The store is open every day from 10a.m. to 8p.m.

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The people on staff all love and own animals, the sales-people are both veterinarians. All pets are welcome at the facility!

Find them on FACEBOOK

Martenitzi at PETS&U

Posted on 15 February 2014

Chose our charity martenitzi for the First of March! Each one of them is a full donation for the dogs and cats at the Farm.

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Our martenitzi are sold at Pets&U from Saturday, 15.02.2014. You are welcome to come and chose yours, they do more than just bring luck, health and happiness!

Pets&U

Pets&U is located in Lozenetz, on the side of the Hemus hotel. The store is open every day from 10a.m. to 8p.m.

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The people on staff all love and own animals, the sales-people are both veterinarians. All pets are welcome at the facility!

Find them on FACEBOOK

Class 3-b, STROYRENT and KIROV donate for the Farm

Posted on 27 January 2014

It will soon be a month since we managed to buy the Farm, move the animals and begin the reconstructions. The dogs are placed in temporary enclosures, the weekend walks are organized by the volunteers despite the harsh conditions, the keepers somehow manage to keep things going, everyone is mobilized. And whilst we are drowning in overhaul, plans, permits and engineering tasks (not to mention the dogs) – we can pinch ourselves – we are not dreaming! The Farm is a fact, it lives and pulsates stronger in the darkness with every nail hammered into its walls. For more information about the Farm reconstructions read this. Here we would like to introduce you to some more of our magician-compatriots who not only are helping a miracle take place, but are also planting a seed of hope that Spring is yet to come for our nation.

The kids from class 3-b at 23-rd Middle School, with the help of some awesome parents and teachers, made a project called “Hope for the homeless dogs”.

Not only did they take part in our educational program “Dogs! Dogs!” and distributed leaflets, they also put up donation boxes in their school and thus helped us renovate the Farm.

We needed to rent-out two scaffolds to change the plaster in the dog building. With what they succeeded to raise the kids rented out the one and the company that leases them STROYRENT helped out charge-free with the other!

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On the photo you can see a dad of one of the 3-b students, who also works at Stroyrent, along with two smiling activists at the Farm. The kind people on the Stroyrent team also have given us a great discount on the construction panels we used to make temporary enclosures for the dogs.

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An interesting fact about good young people: 23-rd School has released a questionary to 68 kids – on the topic of homeless animals. Only 11 have said they would not adopt a dog from a shelter and only 5 wouldn’t come to walk dogs at the Farm with us.

We greatly appreciate the support we are getting from donors and volunteers, we go forward thanks to you, friends. As in any repairs things happen slowly and painfully, only we get a little help from our friends!

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Thanks to KIROV who provide us with all the machines we need to repair the Farm, we continue to take care of the pence whilst looking for additional financing opportunities.

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The BOSCH representative for Bulgaria – KIROV have promised to provide any and all machines we might need completely free of charge! We are touched by their trust and very happy that we will be able to save money.

And last, but definitely not least – we want to thank a friend who has been there for us at the right time – Rossen Paskov. A friend in need is a friend in deed. Indeed, Rossen =)

The Penalty Code to be voted by the Parliament with no changes regarding animal cruelty

Posted on 19 January 2014

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Dear friends,
as you are aware, three offices have passed in the Ministry of Justice, since the changes in the Penalty Code began. The project was started in 2011 and only finished by the current administration, the final draft being published for discussions at the end of December last year.

We were shocked to find the animal cruelty texts changed beyond recognition. The draft intended lesser fines and penalties for animal cruelty, practically de-criminalizing animal fighting. We sent our Statement to the Ministry, shared the petition our colleagues made, asked you for your help and you provided it, friends. Finally, the amendments regarding cruelty to animals were dismissed and the PC was sent to the Parliament for voting unchanged in this part.

We thank the minister of Justice Zinaida Zlatanova for respecting the protest and professional opinion of many activists and animal welfare groups. We thank you for being so active in sending your Statements and signing the petition (which automatically generates e-mails to the persons responsible).

Hopefully, there will be no sudden changes of course and the texts of the Penalty Code regarding cruelty to animals will remain the same.

A pet dog “trains” to kill on a stray in Botevgrad

Posted on 10 January 2014

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After the case from Varna, yet another video showing an owned fighting dog being “trained”on a homeless animal shocked the animal lovers of Bulgaria yesterday. The video originates from Botevgrad and was published by the proud owner on Facebook.

We remind you that currently, the Government is making efforts to change the Penalty Code, putting in smaller punishments and minor penalties, practically de-criminalizing animal fighting.

The video of the pet pitbull, encouraged and bated by its owner can be seen at Balkanec.bg, but be warned – it is horrid to see.

People from Botevgrad are needed to file the following COMPLAINT to the local police and prosecutors so that this crime does not go unpunished. These FILES should be also presented on a CD or memory card /the video and the two screenshots/.

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IMPORTANT: If you have not yet signed the petition against the changes in the Penalty Code, regarding cruelty to animals, please DO IT NOW. Your voice and participation are the only things that can influence this situation at the moment. You will find more information HERE.

To learn more about animal fights in Bulgaria, see THIS INVESTIGATION by Nova TV, it dates from 2011. It is important to note that the referee of the fight – police officer Stefan Naydenov was only punished with a disciplinary act at his work after the film was broadcasted.

A pet dog slaughters a stray in Varna, the Police takes no action

Posted on 07 January 2014

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Once again animal-lovers in Bulgaria are shocked, this time by a horrid video in which a pet pitbull kills a homeless dog on a city road in Varna. The footage clearly shows the dog is encouraged and under the control of an owner, with the face of the perpetrator clearly seen, a little child standing nearby, cars passing by the horrid scene.

You can see the video at this link, although we recommend you don’t, unless there is a chance you might recognize the man in it.

The footage was shot by a journalist from his car window, he called the police immediately and a patrol arrived at the scene. Despite the fact that a crime has taken place by current Bulgarian law – neither the owner, nor the killer-dog were taken into police custody.
The incident takes place as attempts are being made to change Bulgaria’s penalty code to introduce smaller penalties to people who torture animals, especially in the part on organized dog-fighting. Your voice needs to be heard – make sure to voice your disapproval by signing THIS PETITION, or even better – sending your personal opinion by following the instructions in THIS LINK.

Whilst Burgas is heading in the right direction in regard to the responsible dog ownership culture and the expertise of the administration, our other big sea-side city – Varna is ready to be proclaimed “Bulgarian capital of perversion”.

After introducing a mid-evil Municipal Ruling that fines every person feeding a homeless dog by 500BGN, the mayor has drawn a halt to the constructing of new dog-parks with the motive that “the smell and ticks” from the pets being walked there will disturb the public.

We say NO to: Decrease of penalty for animal cruelty

Posted on 03 January 2014

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Drowned in our transfer logistics we nearly missed an event of great importance. You would find it hard to believe, but the Bulgarian government has created a plan for changes in the Penalty Code and in the part where animal cruelty is described they want to lessen the penalties even more.

We believe that cruelty to animals is a crime and should be punishable as such. If that is your opinion too, you can send a message to:  nk@justice.government.bg

Unfortunately, our leaders have chosen to put out the project for “public discussion” between Christmas and the NY celebration – we only have till TOMORROW to let them know we are outraged with their proposal.

The full text of the changes can be read in Bulgarian HERE.

A Happy New Beginning in 2014!

Posted on 31 December 2013

A few hours remain till the beginning of 2014. We greet it full of optimism, enthusiasm and a hope for a better future. At the dawn of the New Year we take a last look back – to all that has happened in the last year, to the spectacular change this one brought us in its final months.

In the many events that filled our year there is one that completely overshadows everything else- our new shelter, our Farm is now a fact! We now have our own place under the sun – a place for all those homeless souls we have not yet been able to help. From today and forever on, we all – humans and animals – are permanent inhabitants of the Farm. The last working day of the year was also the day of our last “goodbye” to the Bogrov shelter – the place that helped us connect with you…

Allow us to take you for a little nostalgic, but more optimistic photo-walk-through of our last days in 2013, so we can close the door behind us together and continue on with an even stronger speed toward our truly humane, professional, non-governmental, European shelter for the homeless animals of our city.

Bogrov Shelter 2010-2013

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Three long years have we worked in the shelter. 2500 left it to go to warm, loving families. 5 700 were neutered. The people who worked alongside us in this quest know the amount of love, care, sleepless nights each 1 in these large numbers have cost us.

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And so, the time came to take a last look about the place where we worked over the last 1000 days. Without the shelter team, the volunteers and the dogs these are just a few rooms in two buildings and only we – the people who did their best so that this place to run – know what it caused to be ran properly…

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This place has seen its equal share of happiness and grief. We left it with no regrets, knowing that the time has come for something better; the time came for us to move on to the Farm!

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The Farm & The Franziska Clinic 2014-Forever

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We are now in our permanent home – the Farm! It became a fact of life with the efforts of thousands, really thousands of people in Bulgaria and all over the world – accomplished by all of us, it is our Grand Miracle, our tool to save thousands of lives, our proof that Bulgaria is yet to experience the Big Change – chosen and fulfilled by the people, not by the institutions of our little country.

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It will take time to turn the Farm into a shelter, but the process has already begun. Join HERE if you would like to take part in the reconstructions at our new shelter. Many things need to happen yet, so the Farm becomes the place we dreamed of, but we have all proven that we do not wait for the apples to fall into our mouths, we know how to work to achieve our dreams.

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Much work is still ahead of us whilst we reconstruct and register the shelter and clinic, before we begin working full steam again, before we begin to admit, heal and re-home animals again. The Bright Future is out there for us and we cannot wait to arrive there with you, dear friends!

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Check out LINK-1 and LINK-2 to see more photos of the work in progress 🙂

Happy New Year!

To all of you who are saving Life, to all you People With Big Hearts, to every person who has contributed to another’s happiness even by little, we say:

Let 2014 be filled with joy and advancement!
Let the new year bring you true happiness and satisfaction in life!
Let there be more light to shine your way when hardships come!
Let us stand strong together in the fight of a better and more civilized future of Bulgaria!

We wish you a wonderful New Year’s eve, dear friends!
Together we hug our silent, loyal friends with a promise – to work even harder for their happiness in 2014!

Amen!

More help for the Farm from Germany

Posted on 28 December 2013

775 Euro were raised for the purchase of our Dream Farm by kind Mrs Marion Lucchesi of Hundehilfe Limburg!

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Cordial thanks to everyone who pitched in so the dogs of Sofia can have their place under the sun! And best regards to Marion for everything she is doing for the homeless dogs of Bulgaria in her work!

Wir haben nicht Deutsch können, aber hoffentlich wird es einfach zu verstehen:
Wir danken Ihnen von ganzem Herzen, liebe Freunde!