Someone is now at home!

Posted on 11 December 2014

A bunch of sweethearts are no longer ours, but pets!

Grozil came in the shelter just a few days before the distemper outbreak we had. So, according an old Bulgarian tradition, we named him with an ugly name, so that the uglyness in his life to be only in the name…
Now Maya Hristova and Ivo Shishkov will share an apartment with him, and of course, they will choose a better name.




Rizhka (from now on - Raya) was adopted by one of the good people who took care after her 
on the street. When we took Rizhka, she was diagnosed with Anaplasmoza, which is a tick 
dismitted disease. Raya was very lucky - not only she went home with Galina Encheva, who 
knows her very well, but was also cured from her disease and now can live happy and healthylife!




Hayat was adopted from Gerdzikovi family. She will now live with their other pet in Sopot!




The kitten Bobko was the last unadopted from his litter. Now, thanks to Ralitza Katzarova and Angel Jarkov, he will spend Christmas home! And not only this Christmas, but many, many more…






Buzanka….Eeeh, Buzanka is home! After everything she passed through, finally her human came!

From now on the sweet girl will keep company to Mihail Alexandrov, Elitza Todorova and their 14 years old shar pei!




Pippi is the first one to be adopted from a litter of very shy dogs.  They all spent their childhood in a dogs’ hotel and came to us frightened. We did what we could to socialize them, but from now on Maria Podobedova will show Pippi how nice people are!




Alexander Iliev adopted Paskal! What a good choice! Paskal will live in a home with a big yard!




Last, but not least is Aramis! The good boy finally left for good, after 4 years in a shelter.
We are extremely happy that Maria Tancheva decided he’ll be her dog!







Farewell, doggies and kitten! We are sure you’ll do your best to make your people as happy as you will be with them!

Life with Annie Part 3

Posted on 05 December 2014

Originally I had hoped that if everything went well and I didn’t make any mistakes, she might wag her tail in a month.

I was wrong.

Monday morning was to be her first all puppy chow, no rice meal, and she sat on the rug watching me.  When I picked up the little bowl she uses, she suddenly stood up, barked, and started wagging her tail!  I knew, from experience, that a rottweiler with a tail who wagged as vigourously as she did was a serious menace to coffee tables and shins, so briefly I thought of my good fortune that Annie was destined to be a small dog.  I managed to evade her enthusiastic leaps to get the bowl and to set in on the floor for her.  In only three days, she was barking, wagging, and running with a puppy-gallop across the pen.

Clearly she had no respect for my timetable.



I wondered which, if any, of the other dogs she might attach herself to, or perhaps take on as a role-model.  Would it be Rufus, the dignified, elegant pack lead?  That would be an ideal choice since Rufus is as close to a ‘perfect dog’ as any I have seen.  Or maybe she would follow in Woody’s footsteps, again a good choice as he is the most intelligent dog I have known, and she looks as much like Woody as Louie does Rufus.  Woody is fun-loving and very communicative, so that wouldn’t be bad either.  Even Simon or Jeff would be good: quiet and cuddly, always appreciative of attention.

There is probably no way I can surprise those of you who know my pack and its history, and if you know of my fervent belief in Murphy’s Law, you will guess immediately whom she chose.


For those who don’t know Louie, imagine that if he were a teen-aged boy, he would want tattoos and have a leather jacket and a motorcycle, but would always stop to help ducklings across the street.

And then chase them all the way to their mother.



After Louie was caught standing—on one foot—stealing food from the kitchen counter, I found Annie up against the dog food table trying to eat from Bubba’s bowl.

Louie has always insisted on being on my lap in front of the computer, no matter how difficult it is for him to climb up.  Now it’s even more of a challenge since he often finds Annie already in “his” place.

Louie also likes to lie on the back of the sofa, wrapped around my neck, and put his head on my chest, especially if there are people-cookies or potato chips available, and one evening I reached to pet the little head on my collarbone and it wasn’t Louie.  It was Annie,

And now Louie has to share his favorite pillow and chew toy—Simon.


Of all the dogs she could have chosen…

At least I’ll be assured of a houseful of fun for many more years.

Annie is reserved, but ready to play.  She is reluctant to meet new people, but will eventually allow them to pet her and even give her treats.  She has great joy in her when she feels safe, and a great capacity to love.

As wonderful as all dogs are, for the third time I have been shown that “broken” dogs are a special blessing.

All it cost me was a little extra dog hair on the furniture.


The story of a good dog and her babies

Posted on 04 December 2014

Once upon a time, there was a pet German shepherd, Danca. She was very good and beautiful dog, but her owners made a mistake and punished her for it – Danca got pregnant, but her puppies wouldn’t be German shepherds they can sell, but muds… So, the owners abandoned the pregnant dog in front of a shelter. It was cold and dark, there was noone around. Danca was confused and scared but she didn’t have any choice – she gave birth in front of the door of the shelter.

How surprised the people were in the morning, when they saw a covered with snow dog, trying to keep alive her 6 newborns!


…Two of the puppies died only few hours later – the cold night outside had killed them…

The people from the shelter didn’t know what to do – in a few days they had to leave the shelter for good and their new place was not ready to accept newborns in the cold winter…

But Christmas was coming and a miracle happened! A good woman, called Aukje understood about the family and decided: Someone must help them! But, wait! I am someone! I will help them!

So Aukje took the family home!



The puppies were growing in a loving home…



And growing…




And growing…

1079143_705106666220782_1577435979_nOne by one they all found their forever homes!

Some – earlier:




Others had to wait more:



But at the end they all got their happiness!

And what about Danca?
Well, she was also adopted, by Aukje’s nephew!

And here’s regards from them, almost one year later!



And the puppies are happy and loved:











Thank you, dear Aukje!
Thank you, friends of the  shelter!
Together, we create miracles, not only on Christmas!

Love is all around us

Posted on 04 December 2014

In a world dark of cynicism, indifference and desperation we almost forgot about love.

But love exists and is all around us.  Alive and real. On Saturday Love came to Animal Rescue Sofia with not one, but two cars full of food for our dogs!


Mariana and Nicolay got married!

Immediately after the wedding, these amazing young people shared  the “flowers” from their party between a home for children without parents and our four-legged children.

Instead of flowers their guests gave them food for those who do not  have…


Congratulations to Mariana and Nicholay! Love each other long and strong! Make love, children and good deeds!

Thank you for making the dogs part of your happiness!

10151309_1571151209767000_4006617905210471785_n (1)

Well, some of our dogs even kissed the bride !!!

Live with Annie Part 2

Posted on 03 December 2014

The next day was uneventful, although Annie made it very clear that she approved of the rice I cooked for her breakfast and sprinkled with her new puppy chow.  The day was spent with short walks, small meals, frequent cuddles and quiet introductions to her new family.  Well, mostly uneventful: at one point Louie decided Annie needed to understand precisely who was Dad’s favorite little dog, (his words, not mine), and snapped at her.

I did not know such a small dog could make such a loud noise—she literally screamed.  I picked her up immediately, visions of shark bites dancing in my head, and went into a dark room where I sat with her in my arms and stroked her quietly.  Much to my surprise, she calmed down almost immediately!  This was the first indication I had of just how capable she was of adapting and understanding that despite being a stranger, I was safe for her.

She slept at the back of her crate again that night.


The next morning, Sunday, she once again required me to “haul” her out with the leash to go pee and to have breakfast.  I gave her more puppy chow and less rice, and her appetite showed that was perfectly acceptable.

She went into the crate, with the door left open, for a mid-morning nap.  I was given the opportunity by Louie to show him how wonderful I thought he was, and during our cuddle/play session, I noticed Annie, asleep, but stretched out on her cushion!

Before  she woke, I brought a small ball into the room and after a bit of play with Louie, the ball ended up about three feet from the crate door.  Annie sat up and looked at it, far out into the ‘danger zone’, and then stepped out, on her own, and picked it up!  I’m used to new dogs taking much longer before taking an interest in toys or playing, but there she was, happily chewing on the ball, outside the crate!


Annie and Hugo

In the afternoon, she was on my lap for a long petting session, then suddenly to jump down.  Since I had seen her x-rays, I knew how bad things were ‘on the inside’ and I didn’t want her taking chances so soon.  I reached quickly to stop her, and she screamed again.

I don’t know how others react to a puppy’s scream of terror, but for me, it feels like my spine is trying to climb out my ears.  Once again I scooped her up, somewhat less fearful for my own flesh, and took her back into the dark room.  Once again, she settled in and recovered in an amazingly short time.  I knew I had a special puppy then, and hoped we might have a special relationship.  How special it was to be, I found out Sunday night after she had been in my house, in my pack, and in my arms only three days.

At bed time, after everyone had been outside to pee, I put her into her crate and closed the door.  Instead of heading to the back, she lay down next to the door—something very new for her.  I had no sooner noticed this than she began to whimper.  Thinking she may have left something unfinished outside, I re-opened the door and Annie came right out, with no reluctance at all.

Instead of heading for the door, she came to the sofa where I sleep and stood up against it. I realized she didn’t want to sleep in the crate that night, which I thought was a wonderful step forward.

What I hadn’t realized was that she wanted to sleep with me.

And she did.


 A bedfull of Bulgarians – Jeff, Louie and Annie

Top 10 of the reasons why people dump their dogs

Posted on 02 December 2014

“If you want – you find a way,

If you don’t want – you find an excuse!”

N.B. The reason we wrote this post is not to point the “bad people”. It is a way to try preventing taking a dog from people, who are not ready to be responsible owners!

A lot of our candidates for adoption, get really angry, when we start asking them questions, which may be considered as too personal. We do realize, that it is not very nice if someone you don’t know, starts asking you when do you plan to have children and what will happen with the dog than.

We don’t do it, because of a sick interest. We are in the middle – we meet a lot of people, who want to adopt a pet, but we meet also the ones, who want to dump thier pet.

It would be great if, before taking an animal, we think over the main reasons people usually dump their animals, and consider what would we do in such situations. If the answer is “Dump the dog”, please, just don’t take any.

10. It is actually not mine

It was my children’s and they don’t want it any more, it was my father’s and he passed away, it is a stray dog – I took it 10 years ago, but it is not mine, it is from the street..



Ethan was dumped after 4 years, because he wasn’t theirs, but taken from us i.e. he is ours

9. My new partner doesn’t like dogs

We actually do believe in love and making compromises because of that. May be it is just us, but we also think if you love someone, you accept him and this includes his furry four-legged part.

8. I am too old

I am 76 and I cannot take care after this 2 years old energetic dog. Hmmm… What have you been thinking 2 years ago, when you bought the puppy?

7. We can’t deal with it

The dog is not clean at home, it is agrresive and doesn’t listen. Or is sick. We can’t deal with this.


Vassil was left on the street paralized and sick

6. It is old

We had this dog for 13 years and we love it soooo much, we just can’t watch it die.


Bibo was 13 years old, when his people abandoned him

5. We are changing the furniture

People who think the new sofa is the most important thing? No comment.

4. We didn’t expect this

It needs walks and food and, can you believe?, vet care! We didn’t expect this.


Paspartu was left, because he is young and energetic

3. An alergy

Of course it may happen. Please, just make sure the allergy is exactly from dogs.

2. We will live abroad forever

It is not that people abroad don’t have animals, but you didn’t decide it yesterday. Why all the people who use this reason to abandon their dog always say Ï am leaving tomorrow”?!?

1. We are expecting a baby!

Good news indeed! Actually, the researches show the opposite – kids who grow with pets are not only happier, but healthier as well. You can read, if you want.

In conclusion – it could happen. Noone knows whats expecting him in future, but the way you react when you have to leave your pet, shows what kind of a person you are. The action after this matters – do you look for a new owner for you dog and give it as long as it needs, or you just dump it on the street or a shelter?

Stibi’s Hundeparadies and friends save the day!

Posted on 02 December 2014

We have always preferred to stay positive and not to complain to you, but frankly speaking, sometimes it is not that easy to keep on.
Having the only private shelter in Sofia is not only rainbows and unicorns. Medicines, equipment, food, plus the reconstructions and it soon enough could become a nightmare. But it doesn, because we have friends – our volunteers, donors and adopters! Even people, who have never seen us or our animals, but send us regards and help from a distance!

Last week we received a wonderful gift from Stibi’s Hundeparadies and their German friends. Or, to be exact – 350 gifts for dogs, cats and, can you imagine – for people as well! And in addition – 1200kg dog food!



Every gift was packed with so much love!



And inside – there was a little something for one of our animals – some canned food, bisquits, a toy or a beautiful blanket!



Even postcards with Christmas wishes for happiness and fast adoption (and a donation in one of the cases:) )!



Thank you so much, dear friends! Your help and attention means so much for us!
Thanks to you, this year Christmas came earlier in our shelter!



Life with Annie Part 1

Posted on 01 December 2014

We all enjoyed the stories about the two special Bulgarians in Canada – the two-legged Louie (ex Little Mook) and the three-legged Jeff (ex Negarcheto). Now, when a third dog of ours was adopted at the same home, it is fair and a pleasure to introduce to you Life with Annie (ex Joan of Dark), again written and experienced by our dear friend Tom Chesser.

After four weeks living with Annie, I think I can say, if I want to be fair, that she is a miracle.

One would think that surviving her ordeal would be enough, but it seems the spirit inside her little body just can’t be crushed.  Her will, and ability, to recover from whatever life throws at her is extraordinary.  She can still be frightened, even terrified, but when given the tiniest comfort she will restore herself from a quivering mass to a quiet, relaxed puppy.

 And knowing she will take that comfort in my arms is truly humbling.

I suppose everyone knows that she began her journey to me after Animal Rescue Sofia saved her from the most inexplicable and horrifying abuse.  I won’t explain beyond saying that when I look at her x-rays, it makes me cry.  Enough of her past.

I picked her up from Jochen Langkeit who had very kindly brought her to Cape Breton from Frankfurt and we arrived home at about 1:30 in the morning.  Concerned that a frightened little dog like Annie would grab any chance to hide in a hole, I carried her, still inside her shipping create, into the house.  It’s a pity there was no one there to watch the comedy of an old geezer trying to move a crate that only barely agreed to go through the doorway, and still not upset the little one inside.  I was too tired to laugh, but someone should have.


Once inside, I took the leash that Jochen had provided, (thanks, again, Jochen), and got down on my hands and knees to remove her from the crate.  This was a little dog that had been hideously tortured by someone, didn’t know me, and had a mouth full of razor-sharp puppy teeth.

I made sure I had plenty of Band-Aids at hand.

I took a deep breath, partly to convince her I wasn’t concerned, but mostly to convince myself, and opened the door.

Nothing happened.

Annie was as far back in the crate as she could get, doing her best to convince me she wasn’t there.


Reminding myself where the bandages were, I reached in with the hand I thought I would be least unhappy to lose, found her collar, and attached the leash.  She didn’t resist, but she certainly wasn’t going to help, either.  I dragged her close enough to the door to pick her up—and felt really foolish about the Band-Aids.  Annie very calmly accepted my embrace.

I took her outside to the enclosed pen and set her down, and Annie really woke up.  She tried to run in every possible direction except toward me.  I walked slowly with her, and eventually she gave in to nature’s demands and peed.  When she finished, I quietly picked her up, took her inside, and put her back in the crate.  Then I struggled, (more comedy), to move crate and pup into the room where the pack sleeps, and placed her where she could, or would have to, look at me.  Again, she was trying to blend into the back wall.  After considerable sniffing by the other eight inmates of my little doggy asylum, we all went to sleep.


 To be continued…




Adoptions! Weekends! Adoption weekends!

Posted on 25 November 2014

Every weekend our friends from Pets&U do their best to make their guests from “The Farm” to feel home. What’s more – they do their best to find them home!
Thanks to them, there are so many happy beginnings! This is what we did together in November:

The puppy Plish went home with Alexandrina Yolova:



The cats Tigra and Drakon became part of the family of Atanas Zlatarov:



Matilda is no longer homeless, now she has everything a cat needs:



So does Charles, who found for himself Vyara Ivanova:




The brothers Bucky and Steve went home with Dimiter Nikolov and Peter Petrov:







Thank you, dear Pets&U, thank you, dear adopters! We wish you all the best!

Weekend is coming

Posted on 14 November 2014

A lot of people will never go in a shelter. But the volunteers in  “The Farm” are different! They do not come to cry and feel sorry for the dogs. They come to laugh and give love to the dogs. You still think visiting a shelter is something sad?

Just look at the photos and the comments, both made by one of them – Vyara Mladenova:)



We came early and it is still silent.


Only a few curious persons are on the balconies, waiting to see the volunteers coming.


When you’ve been waiting for some human attention for a whole week, you look like that!


The reconstruction is still ongoing, but some dogs are already in their new apartments.


Some painters are about to start working.


“What a pleasure!”


“Walk! Walk!It is our turn!”


“Hey, I’m here! Don’t forget me!”


Funny ears.


Lilemur and Naomi are also waiting for attention.


…And got attention.


Happy snouts!


Everyone was painting carefully


Are they waiting for bread? No, the quеuе is for dogs.


There were not bored people – everyone had a brush or a dog…

Join us this weekend! The dogs are waiting for you!

Lizel is finally home!

Posted on 05 November 2014

We love all our dogs, but of course, when a dog spends long, long time with us, the connection is stronger. And, if this is possible, when a dog like this is adopted, we are even happier!

Lizel was with us for almost 5 years. We took her at the beginning of 2010 from the municipal shelter in Seslavtzi. We were told that there is a mother with a few tiny puppies, and decided to take the family under our care. Unfortunately, when we went there, the babies were already dead. But the poor mother looked so sad and heartbroken, that we took her anyway, promising her we’ll find her a real home.

Years passed and we started to wonder if we have actually lied to her and she will spend her whole life in a kennel. The answer is No!


Lizel was adopted by Kerstin and her family in Germany and already feels like home! The first few days Lizel (now named Ellie) probably thought it is just temporary, because she followed Kerstin everywhere, including in the bathroom, afraid that she’ll be left alone again. But once she realized it is HER home, she started showing happiness and love and made good friend in the face of their other dog, Tino.



This is exatcly what we live for, this is exactly why it worths fighting for!
Thank you, Kerstin! Take care of our girl and be very, very happy together! You both deserve the best!

Hello Annie!

Posted on 03 November 2014

Annie, formerly “Joan of Dark”, is home at last!
The little sweetie fills out my trio of Bulgarian bowsers with Jeff (Negarcheto) and Louie (Little Mook) !
“Joan of Dark” was a very good name for her past. 
I’m going to call her “Annie” to wish her a bright and happy future.


I owe so much to everyone who brought Annie to me, from whoever first brought her to ARS, those who cared for her, the veterinarians, her foster mom, to Jochen and Suzann who got her to me, and of course, all the staff and volunteers who make sure ARS is there and ready for little tykes like Annie. I can’t thank you enough for this precious little one.
Please find and thank anyone I missed or don’t know about.
Annie is *very* special, very courageous and very intelligent.

This is what Tom Chesser, the new owner of Joan of Dark wrote, a while after little Joan arrived in her home in Canada!
Amazing turn for the unwanted puppy, which some human monster had cut with a knife 12 times! Now Annie will become part of Tom’s pack of friends, which already includes our two-legged Little Mook-Louie and 3-legged Negarcheto-Jeff.
Thank you, dear Tom, for the happiness you give!