Whatever we say about our mental care system – will not be enough. Simply put: it is almost non-existent; and whatever still works only functions on the dedication of the medical personnel. In this way, along with the stray dogs, the streets of our city are slowly, but steadily filling up with people in need of psychiatric care, left without shelter or a friend, forgotten and invisible to passers-by.
D-r Stankova got a call from the police in Elin Pelin. Officer Stoycheva – a lovely lady with a big heart for animals. 8 days ago, a woman from the village of Ravno Pole passed away. She left behind 4 dogs in her house – no food, no water, no way out.
Not all “forgotten” people are without a home. Some of them remain in their homes alone for years, filling them with things, garbage, animals… Yes, animals – speechless cats and dogs that they think they are rescuing, but are actually forcing them to live in unbearable conditions, sometimes in cruelty, sometimes in hunger, but always – living a confused, scary, abnormal life.
When d-r Stankova and Svetlio Petrov arrived– this is what they found. A house, flooded by human and animal excrements, garbage, dust, dirt… Everything lying about like a hurricane hit it. And in the dirt – 4 dogs, wild with fear and thirst.
Whom do we call a “hoarder”? Any person that has more animals than they can handle is a hoarder. That might be an elderly woman with 33 cats (St.Troitza district); an old man with 18 dogs (Elin Pelin town); a couple of isolated ill people with 7 dogs (Balsha village)… They all have one thing in common – their animals were kept in unbearable condition, and when you offer help and find places for some of the animals – the same number (if not more) animals are taken in…
These dogs have probably never met anyone besides their owner. We always try to deal with dogs in distress without using catching tools. Often, a few kind words are enough to ease a frightened animal. But with dogs that have never met other people it’s impossible to catch them, without being bitten.
Sadly, our 6-years of experience show that working with hoarders is causa perduta. We have had many cases like this, and have tried every possible way to influence hoarders – kindly, un-kindly, by police or even relatives… The truth is – this is a mental illness. And the social system is not there for them. And we will continue to stumble upon more and more animals in distress, suffering, because of people who thought they were helping.
Catching the dogs was extremely difficult. One of them hid in an un-accessible hole and couldn’t be brought out. With the permission of the heirs, d-r Stankova and Svetlio left the house open, food and water in a few places. Hopefully, the dog will find its way out when the noise settles.
We have nothing left than to try and help at least the “leftovers” of this process – the sad, neglected, fearful animals that stay behind when their hoarder leaves this world. Most dogs we have picked up from hoarders are either old, ill or very weary of humans.
Already at the shelter, here are the three dogs we did pick up. Two larger boys – fearful and weary. And a smaller guy, a little more social and very sweet. Hopefully, this will be the end of their misfortunes and with some good food and the love of the volunteers, they will get the peace and happiness they were always deprived of.
If you decide to help us care for them and their “brothers-in-arms” at the Farm, they will really appreciate it. Any DONATION helps, even the smallest one.
We thank the donors whose help allows this shelter to function.
Without you – these dogs would be doomed.