Blog

Farewell!

Posted on 30 January 2020

Watching your beloved child spreading wings and fly away from the nest, brings much pride, but also much sadness.

Today we say “Goodbye” to Dr Michaela Kanovska and Dr Kalin Spasov, who continue their way – forward and upward!


They have been an important part of our clinic for a long time, after they started as shy interns and used to come for a few hours, between their studies.

Under the supervision of our head vets, they grew in the profession and there is not a sign left from the interns, that came few years ago!

Dr Spasov specialized in orthopedic surgery. He has started modestly, by assisting our vets. Soon his abilities outgrew theirs and his teacher became the best orthopedist in Bulgaria – Dr Vladislav Zlatinov (to whom we are forever grateful!).

During the last year with us, Dr Spasov operated all simple orthopedic cases we had and assisted to Dr Zlatinov for the more complicated ones.

Dr Kanovska specialized emergency medicine and soft tissue surgery. There is no need to mention, that during her stay she has saved lives of hundreds of poisoned, sick or injured dogs and cats on a daily basis!


Dr Kanovska opens her heart for every patient, but even in the most critical situations she didn’t loose her nerves!

They were a couple of kids when they came. Now a family of real doctors is leaving!

Dear Kalin and Michi,
We have no doubts you’ll succeed in the UK, because you are extraordinary in every possible way!
(and in case you don’t like it there, you are always more than welcome in “The Farm”!)

It was an honor to work with you! Farewell!

Photo credit: Ivanka Patterson за Stardust Pictures

Grima – a happy ending story

Posted on 09 January 2020

We have received a call from the emergency number 112 for a dog in distress.

It had fallen into a crack between two blocks.

The fire brigade was there the previous day, but the crack was too narrow and the distance from the surface – too big, to catch the dog and take it out.

The firefighters left. The stuck dog stayed to wait for its slow, but certain death.
We were its only hope…

We’ve made a long pipe with a rope in the middle, ending with a loop. After a few tries, we’ve managed to catch the dog and pull it outside!

The dog is an elderly sweetheart. We named her Grima and after all examinations we understood she is a bit dehydrated, but otherwise – healthy.

And, to continue with the miracles – not even a month later, our Dutch partners saw her and decided to take her!

Actually, today is the day Grima is leaving “The Farm” and we are sure, soon she will be in the caring hands of her new family!

Thousands of dogs like Grima need us! And to help them, we need you!
Please, consider a donation and be part of the miracles we do together!

FIBank; 37 Dragan Tzankov blvd, Sofia, BG; SWIFT: FINV BG SF

IBAN BGN: BG07FINV91501215999954; IBAN EUR: BG50FINV91501215999956

BENEFICIARY: A R Sofia Foundation; 23 James Bourchier blvd, Sofia, BG

SMS DMS DOG НА 17 777

1 лев дарение за абонати на vivacom, telenor и m-tel (няма ДДС)
Photo credit: Ivanka Patterson for Stardust Pictures

Month of the week – Bojidar

Posted on 29 November 2019

We’ve promised to tell you the story of every dog, starred in our charity calendar.

As today is Black Friday, we feel the dog we meet you should be black as well!

We took Bojidar in the clinic in May – bald and scared.

He had demodex, causing the skin condition and in addition – old fractures on the hips and the spine.

To make the healing faster, we shaved the few remaining fur he had.

Just a few months later, he became a new dog – beautiful and happy!

We made the necessary genetic test, scanner and ежен nuclear magnetic resonance. The orthopedist we work with – Dr Zlatinov – concluded it will be too risky to operate Bojidar and the the chance of improvement is too small, so it didn’t worth it to try. After all, Bojidar is not in pain – he just jumps with his rear paws, when he walks.

And take a look at him today! Smart, happy, great friend and, as you see – amazingly beautiful!

Bojidar is waiting for his adopters in “The Farm”!

Photo credit: Ivanka Patterson for Stardust Pictures

In the calendar, Darcho is April:

Photo credit: Wings Creative Studio

If you want to support us to help dogs like Bojidar, take our charity calendar!
Details for the places you can find it – here.

Our team: Bushkata

Posted on 25 November 2019

If you have visited our office, you’ve met our trustful secretary Bushkata.

We think that before she comes to join our team, she used to be a state or municipal clerk. There is no other explanation for her bad attitude toward visitors, compensated by crouching and fawning to the bosses.
Also, she does not hesitate to take bribes. For a piece of sausage, she’d sell us all.
A real state clerk, isn’t she?

Bushi came in “The Farm” with a smashed paw. But it was at the time, we have just bought the place, we had no clinic, no shelter, nothing – only one room, which we used for office, manipulation room and the only warm place for staff and patients.

To make the long story short – Bushkata was such an evil creature, that she started biting the vet, escaped and hid under a desk. We couldn’t take her out, because she would bite anyone approaching. So, we decided to leave her be there. Temporarily.

5 years later, she is still at the same place (which is now an office).

Somewhere on the way, she has stopped biting and became a member of team “Administration”.

But have in mind her vicious past, if you visit us, without her requested bribe.

Photo credit: Ivanka Patterson for Stardust Pictures

Month of the week: Anubis

Posted on 22 November 2019

Photo credit: Wings Creative studio

Every year our charity calendar raises many questions – “Who is the dog on February? Is December adopted?” etc.

For that reason we have decided to change a little bit our “Dog of the week” and tell you the stories of all dogs in the calendar.

And who to start with, if not Anubis?

Photo credit: Ivanka Patterson for Stardust Pictures

He has been roaming the streets of Vratza town for months. When he finally came to us, he was so frightened and abused, that he was acting like a wild animal – biting and attacking everyone.

Photo credit: Ivanka Patterson for Stardust Pictures

Our vets found out he had hypothyroidism and started treatment.

Photo credit: Ivanka Patterson for Stardust Pictures

Our love and care gave results – Anubis became pretty outside and inside – he became the cuddling and adorable dog that he probably was, before he was dumped on the street.

Photo credit: Ivanka Patterson for Stardust Pictures

During his stay at “The Farm”, Anubis became the favorite pet of staff and volunteers, but we all were impatient to send him home.

Photo credit: Alexandra Mincheva

And this is why we were so excited when Hristina and Dobroslav saw in Anubis their new best friend!

Anubis is at home!

His journey was rough and long, but it worth it!

If you want to help us helping dogs like Anubis, get our charity calendar 2020 

now!

Thank you!

 

Our team: Dr Polina Ilieva

Posted on 05 September 2019

Once upon a time (7-8 years ago) a tiny girl entered the shelter we managed at that time. She was a vet student and wanted to start working with us. She explained she has no experience whatsoever, but we gave her the opportunity to try, although the other candidates were graduated vets with experience. She was the behind the other vets for just a few days. Very fast Dr Polly won her place and responsibility for our 500, at that time, dogs.

If we have to describe her with one word only, this word would be a „typhoon”! Dr Polly is tireless and hardworking, she is the glue, that turns our staff from just a group of people, into a team!

Talented and never stops to learn and educate herself, it is now clear, that Dr Polly is the heart and the head of our clinic.

Our clinic is the only hope for thousands of stray animals every year. Thousands of dogs and cats owe their lives to Dr Polly’s dedication and golden heart.

Thank you, Doctor!

Photo credit: Ivanka Paterson for Stardust Pictures

Who are we? Eva – the real dog whisperer!

Posted on 10 June 2019

What are the odds that a French weight lifter joins the team in a dog shelter?
If the girl is Eva Fabian Anna Koudor – 100%!

At the beginning, Eva joined our team as a volunteer – quietly she would come, clean some poop, walk some dogs and leave.
Eva and Votan – her adopted from Serbia dog

Very fast we realized that Eva is not only a hard working and honest person, but she also has a sense for the dogs – she works successfully with the difficult ones – shy or aggressive dogs.

Officially Eva is a dog carer – responsible for the patients in the clinic.

But in fact she is much more than this – she is the person who finds the best matches for every new dog and makes the first meetings between the dogs safe and nice.
She also works with the dogs with behavior problems – and very successfully!

Eva is a real jackpot for Animal Rescue Sofia – we are sure that very soon, after she gets some more training, she will become the best dog trainer ever!


But in the meantime – if you come at “The Farm” and meet a smiling tattooed girl, have in mind, that she is here only, because her love for the animals is endless!

Photo credit: Ivanka Patterson for Stardust Pictures

Behind the scenes: from the acceptance till the adoption

Posted on 14 May 2019

We have been working with homeless animals for a long time now. As we managed the very first humane and European dog shelter in Bulgaria, there was no one we could learn from.
From the shelters in Bulgaria we used to learn how NOT to do it and from the shelters abroad – what we must aim.

We had to learn by making mistakes. And we will never stop learning and improving, because we don’t want to have a good shelter for the stray dogs. We want to give them a home, where they could stay for a while, before their real home appears.

Step by step:

Have you ever wondered, what happens when a dog comes to us? Here is the answer – step by step:

Step 1:
The choice:
Which dog to take in?

Every day we receive between 20 and 50 requests for admittance of a dog (or usually – a litter of dogs). We have 18 separated quarantine cubicles and an average stay in it of 30 days, it is more than obvious, that it is impossible to take all animals, we were asked to.

Most people, of course, do not understand that. This is, actually, the most difficult part of our job – interacting with angry, desperate and emotional people. They usually consider, that if they shout loud enough, if they threaten hard enough, or if they cry long enough, a miracle will happen and we’ll find a place for the dogs they found…

When one quarantine area gets free and available for a new dog, usually there are 100 dogs, waiting to take it. And they all are sick or injured.

50 is the average number of new dogs that we usually take each month.  These numbers is not valid during the spring and the autumn, when the baby boom happens. At these seasons  we usually have a litter of puppies in each one of our 18 cubicles and acceptance of injured animals is not possible.

The freed place in the clinic is immediately taken by the most urgent and worst case. Most often these are dogs, hit by cars (which is the reason for the big amount of orthopedic patients we have) or animals with skin conditions (because people are afraid of getting a disease and bald dogs are in a high risk).

Puppies are the biggest per cent of all new coming dogs. Usually we manage to persuade the people, who found the puppies, to keep them, while we vaccinate them (between 1 and a half and 2 months). In case we take fully vaccinated dogs, they can be placed directly in the shelter, not in the clinic. Let’s remind the waiting rate for one place in the clinic is 1 to 100. For the shelter this rate is 1 to 5, which is much more bearable.

When puppies are placed in the clinic and not in a foster home, their quarantine room is occupied for the next 45-60 days. Usually, after the first few weeks, they also must be separated in 2 or 3 cubicles, because of their growth.

 

Step 2:
Entering the clinic

So, the dog to be accepted in the clinic, is chosen. At arrival it goes through a full medical examination – blood samples are taken for a complete blood count and tests for vector and infectous diseases. It is microchipped and registered as owned by Animal Rescue Sofia and living at “The Farm”.

If the dog is injured, we take it to one of the clinics we work with, for X-rays and examination by an orthopeadist.

 

For the adult dogs that have lived outside, the tests for vectorborn diseases, are very often positive. So, after the test is made, a treatment is planned. For the most common ones – Anaplasmosis and Erlichiosis, the treatment takes a month and is relatively cheap; Heartworm takes between 3 and 6 months and costs around 500 Euro. The worst scenario is when the dogs comes out to be positive for Leishmaniosis. This, basically means, that this dog will stay ours forever and will cost a fortune to keep it relatively healthy.

According its condition, each dog gets an individual vaccination plan. Meanwhile, it is dewormed several times and microscope examines of the feces are made regularly, so that we are sure the dog is completely clean of parasites.
At the end, it is spayed or neutered and gets ready to leave the clinic.

Step 3:
Entering the shelter

Usually, after about 30 days in the clinic, the dog can be placed in the shelter and the search of adopters may start. Its place in the clinic will be taken immediately – tens of dogs have been waiting for it. It is time for us to choose the next one.

In the clinic, all dogs live alone. In the shelter, the kennels accommodate 2, 3 or 4 dogs, so we must find the best match for our dog.

During  its stay in the clinic, we have learn a lot about its character, so we look for dogs it would get along with, on theory. On practice, though, it doesn’t work that easy.


In the best scenario, it takes us a few days, to find where to place a new dog.
First we “accidentally” meet them during a walk. If the new dog will be introduced to more dogs, we do it one by one. If all looks ok, they are taken to meet in a dog run. They meet in the dog run for a few days, every time for a longer time. If no problems appear, together they go in the kennel.
Sometimes we try a dog in many kennels, before we find the best match. Sometimes we cannot find it and the dog must stay alone in a kennel for 3.

 

Step 4: At home!

 

How long a dog stays with us, before it gets adopted, varies a lot. If it is considered as an attractive one – breed dogs and lapdogs mainly – soon after the quarantine is over, it gets adopted.
For breedless and large animals it is more difficult, but if they are social and friendly, after some months their person shows up. Puppies are adopted faster than adults.
If there is no interest for adoption for a few months, we send photos and description to our foreign partners, so that they start looking for an adopter as well.

We are often asked what happened, if no one adopts a dog. The answer is – nothing. It will stay at the shelter, walk with the volunteers, dewormed every month and vaccinated every year.

We are open for visitors every day of the week, so candidates are very welcome.
Candidates visit us a few times and if they bond with the chosen dog, they may fulfill a contract and adopt it.

The long journey home is completed. All “our” dogs do not only live in our shelter, but in our hearts as well. When we give them for adoption though, it isn’t a sad moment. The opposite – the more we love a dog, the more we dream to see it leaving and to GO HOME!

This journey is long, difficult and expensive. We couldn’t do it without your support!
But together, we have walked home more than 6 000 animals!
Stay with us, and we will continue saving the world – one dog at a time!

FIBank; 37 Dragan Tzankov blvd, Sofia, BG; SWIFT: FINV BG SF

IBAN BGN: BG07FINV91501215999954; IBAN EUR: BG50FINV91501215999956

BENEFICIARY: A R Sofia Foundation; 23 James Bourchier blvd, Sofia, BG

SMS DMS DOG НА 17 777

1 лев дарение за абонати на vivacom, telenor и m-tel (няма ДДС)

A tale for the girl who saved the dog. And the other way round

Posted on 23 April 2019

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there lived a dog. The dog was good and kept its owner’s home.
One day, the owner got angry of something and got rid of the dog. Though, he forgot to take away the chain from the dog’s neck. The dog was a puppy and grew up. But the chain didn’t grow up and made a horrible wound on the dog’s neck.

While the dog was roaming on the streets it met a fairy. The fairy looked at the big wound on the neck; looked at the skinny body of the hungry dog and understood the dog needs help. So, she brought it in “The Farm” shelter.


At “The Farm” the dog got a brand new name – Snowflake! The people there healed Snowflake and loved her.

They taught her to love and trust humans, too!


And one day, the time for Snowflake to leave came. She went in another country – the Country of the Tulips!


Many people at the Country of the Tulips wanted to take Snowflake home.
“Come with us, Snowflake!” they said.
“You will be a princess here – you will not work, but lay on your bed all day long!”.

But Snowflake didn’t go with them. One day a woman came.
“Come with us, Snowflake!” she said.


“At home I have a little sad princess and if you come with me, you will not lie down all day long, but you will be busy to cheer my princess and help her!


Snowflake didn’t wait any more – she jumped and went to her new home!
When the little sad princess saw Snowflake, she smiled.

She wasn’t sad anymore.
“Dear Snowflake”, said Princess Sophie. Now, when we are together, I will no longer be sad”.

And it is just as it happened – Sophie and Snowflake stayed together and their story was known as the story of the girl, who saved the dog. And the other way round!

Help! Heartworm!

Posted on 20 March 2019
Spring is here!

Flowers are blossoming, trees are turning green! Birds are coming back!
Mosquitos are coming back as well.

Mosquitos carry a parasite, called microfilaria. When a dog is bitten, the microfilaria migrates toward its heart and lungs. There it turns into dirofilaria. The dog is sick, it has heart worm.

In 2018 16.9% of the dogs, that came into  “The Farm”, were sick with heart worm.


                                                                       Tutu

The treatment is individual, according the stage of the disease, the damage of the heart it has made and the whole condition of the dog. In most cases it is a month of premidication, which prepares the body of the dog, followed by Immiticide (Immitacide) injection (usually two times in a period of a month).

This is the most dangerous period of the treatment – the dead dirofilarias may clog the blood vessel and cause heart or brain attack.

Tutu
The treatment is risky and extremely expensive – we pay per ampule of Immiticide 50 euro. And it is for 10 kg, which means a 30 kilos dog needs 6 ampules – two times X 3 ampules.


We have many patients with heart worm at all times in different stages of treatment. Right now there are 3 dogs, who’s pre-medication is over and as soon as possible they must get Immiticide.

For them, we will ask for your help – the amount is impossible to collect without you!

                                                               Tutu

Tutu came to our clinic for a surgery only – she had a large tumor on her leg.
Our vets successfully removed the tumor, but meanwhile the test showed she had heart worm as well.

Atanas 
Atanas also came here for a different reason – he was in need of orthopedic help. Now, when his leg is fixed, he has one more battle to win -the one with the  heartworm.
Nitro
The elderly Nitro is the last dog in this group. He came recently and is very vital and sweet dog.

For the 3 of them we need to buy 12 ampules of the medicine. Tutu will need 2X3, Atanas 2X2 and Nitro – 2X1.

1200 BGN is what Tutu, Atanas and Nitro need to end with the heart worms. We don’t have such amounts.

Would you help us to help them?
Would you donate?

FIBank; 37 Dragan Tzankov blvd, Sofia, BG; SWIFT: FINV BG SF

IBAN BGN: BG07FINV91501215999954; IBAN EUR: BG50FINV91501215999956

BENEFICIARY: A R Sofia Foundation; 23 James Bourchier blvd, Sofia, BG

SMS DMS DOG НА 17 777

1 лев дарение за абонати на vivacom, telenor и m-tel (няма ДДС)

Thank you!

Let us introduce you: Atanas

Posted on 06 March 2019

It was the day of Saint Atanas. A day cold and windy.
The “perfect”day to abandon an unwanted dog. A dog injured. A dog faithful. A dog that would stay at the middle of nowhere, where you’ve left him, and wait for you, until the merciful Death end his suffering…

Although the ex-owner thought so it wasn’t how the story went.

Even after the betrayal of his owner, Atanas, as we named him, hasn’t lost his faith in humanity. He was so relieved  to follow us, like he was thinking:
“Oh, finally! I have been waiting for you so long!”.


Atanas is under the care of our vets since that day. He is a gentle and grateful dog.
His leg was healed, his life was saved, because “The Farm” is the place where animals without anyone by their side get  a chance for a second life!

We are a charity – we don’t receive any money from the Municipality, the Government or the EU.
Everything we do is due to you, dear friend!

To support our work, please, make a donation! Together we help!

FIBank; 37 Dragan Tzankov blvd, Sofia, BG; SWIFT: FINV BG SF

IBAN BGN: BG07FINV91501215999954; IBAN EUR: BG50FINV91501215999956

BENEFICIARY: A R Sofia Foundation; 23 James Bourchier blvd, Sofia, BG

SMS DMS DOG НА 17 777

1 лев дарение за абонати на vivacom, telenor и m-tel (няма ДДС)

 

Celebrating stupidity

Posted on 14 January 2019

Some say that Christmas is the most sacred of all holidays – time for humility and generosity, time for redemption.
And yet – there was one, celebrating with a gun on his hand.
There was a human being, who joined the fireworks with a fire arm.
Shooting to kill. Celebrating…

This is Shtastlivka. It means “Lucky” in Bulgarian. She was brought to our clinic on the Christmas eve, bleeding and in shock. She was shot. Twice.

Both her front paws are literally smashed by the bullets – the shooter was very, very close to her when he pulled the trigger.

 

Shtastlivka got lucky. She was found by caring people, who would prefer to be late for  the family dinner than to leave her helpless.
Our Dr Ilieva also preferred to skip the celebrating and to save a life instead.

Different people celebrate different things in different ways. Yesterday we were celebrating – after two surgeries and difficult rehab, Shtastlivka made her first steps!

We feel grateful and blessed, for being able to help dogs like Shtastlivka!
And the reason we can is YOU!
Thank you for supporting our work!
Only together we can create miracles!

FIBank; 37 Dragan Tzankov blvd, Sofia, BG; SWIFT: FINV BG SF

IBAN BGN: BG07FINV91501215999954; IBAN EUR: BG50FINV91501215999956

BENEFICIARY: A R Sofia Foundation; 23 James Bourchier blvd, Sofia, BG

SMS DMS DOG НА 17 777

1 лев дарение за абонати на vivacom, telenor и m-tel (няма ДДС)