Words of helplessness: Part 4 – Season Finale

Posted on 14 July 2013

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Those of you that haven’t followed the story from the beginning can read all about it so far Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. And for those who’ve been wondering what happened next, here is part 4, a final episode of the story about a mother and 3 pups, that were not in good hands.

We are very happy to announce that Ayra has been found, thanks to all of you who were touched by her story and decided to share it.

For safety reasons, we would not mention names or publish photos of people. We will only shortly say that apparently used to public transportation, sweet Ayra went off a bus on her station Happyness and jumped straight into the kindest possible hands.

Ayra is adopted in a wonderful home.

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She would never again be alone; she would never again be confused, hungry and sleeping under benches. Ayra now lives in an apartment with a person who loves her very much and takes care of her wonderfully. She also loves him already, and trustfully lays her head on his hand.

On Saturday we neutered Ayra and examined her. She has an ear infection which is being cured, skin problem, for which the doctors took care, so the only thing left is to be fed regularly. From now on, this endlessly gentle girl, would lead the calm and secure life she deserves.


And most importantly, there will be no more suffering puppies to be born and sold for profit…

Letters from the Happy Place

Posted on 13 July 2013


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Hello, we are Petros and Paolina, the people who adopted Ronnie.
We’re sending you some photos to enjoy – he has become such a big monkey. He brings us joy, we love him dearly and are never giving him up!


Roxy (Rodger)

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Hello! I am writing to let you know how great Roxana feels in her new home and what a loved dog she is, and not just by me.

I am very happy we adopted her, this is the best thing I have ever done, not to mention the love Roxy gives me. She wags her tail so enthusiastically when I come home – I have to worry if she will not tear it off! She is so sweet! I can’t help myself and hug her all the time!

She is a bundle of energy, the most playful dog in our neighborhood! 7 in the morning and she will tear my hand off trying to chase a cat or a pigeon that have attracted her attention. We started letting her off the lead already on the second week since we got her and toss her a ball close to our living block. We try to give her plenty of exercise, she is a race-dog!

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Now Roxanne is at our villa, because we will travel and can’t leave her in the apartment. She loves it there, plays outside all day long. We took her on a few longer hikes and she was so exhausted afterward she falls asleep the moment she goes through the door. I am sure she has all the energy and liberty she could dream of! Here are some of the hundreds of photos I have made!



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Hi, friends at Bogrov, I hope you haven’t forgotten us, we haven’t either, but there were some troubles with our PC and we lost all the photos we had with Dara. Now there are some new ones to send!

Regards from Dara and BooBoo – the little doggie we neutered with you (when we brought Obama who is now in Holland). We make sure she is happy, our whole living block takes care of her, we de-worm and vaccinate her regularly and take turns to brush her every day. It’s a pity she is homeless, but at least she is taken care of.

We’ve had Dara for a year and a half now, it is the best time of our lives. She is now 15 kilos and no longer looks like the walking dead. I would like to see her a bit larger, but she is such a sprinter it’s no wander she’s slim. No trouble with her appetite anyway.

It’s now warm and we are often at our villa. Dara loves it there and has fun in the yard all day long. Last time we were there we took a late walk in the fields and I cannot describe to you what a pleasure it was watching her… She was running through the tall grass, setting the birds to flight and sometimes took the hunters’ stand by a nest, waiting for us to go see what she found. We were all staring at her in dismay, she was really amazing, she must have been a hunting dog before, I don’t know. But I don’t care anyway. What counts is that she is happy and that makes us happy too.

Many hugs from us and we promise to write you again soon.
Lora and Dara

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40 happy cats!

Posted on 11 July 2013

Three weeks ago we asked for your help to be able to send 40 cats to their new, happy lives in Austria! And as you know – we did it! But because we have already published most of their stories in our CRY FOR HELP, we decided to wait a little, so we could show you where the lucky kitties have gone to. We are happy to share with you the joy we felt when we saw these little angels happy in the hands of our kind partners.

First, take a quick glimpse to see what kind of housing our poor kitties are enjoying. Great climbers such as these are the only way for our purring prisoners to survive the dull life we offer them in our concrete jungle:

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As there really are just too many cats that have been lucky to depart – we will not be writing about each of them, although each has a story to be told – a story of love, happiness and comfort! And you can read about their old life on the link above, we can say for sure that Bulgaria was no good mother to them, not at all. Each of these lucky angels has now opened a brand new page in their book of life and we think there’s no need for words when there are sights like these:

We are lost for words to express our gratitude, dear sponsors of Animal Rescue Sofia. You, the volunteers, the fosters are living proof that Bulgaria is an European country, that we have thinking, free people with kind hearts living here. We’re often asked – how do we manage to work with so much pain? It is far easier than you’d expect, because of you – the people who help us make dreams come true for the saddest creatures of this city – the homeless dogs and cats. We wish you health and happiness!

Adoption marathon 2

Posted on 10 July 2013

Sirius, the wonderful husky we found wandering in Nadezhda district a long time ago has a new home finally! He was just a fluffy bag of bones when we took him in, no muscles on his legs and body – those are signs of life on a chain. Sirius wasn’t shocked with the shelter concept at all, on the contrary, it was a relief to him and he was one of the dogs that kind of liked living here. Unfortunately, when there are so many dogs in one place – accidents happen. And Sirius was badly bitten by his roommates last month, leaving him in the clinic for quite a while.

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Sirius is now shining in the life of Mirolava Dermenjieva and Antonio Stefanov! We wish them many happy years together!

Jessy – yet another black-and-tan dumped baby with a nano-chance of being adopted, went home with Todor Chouchoukov and Elena Dimitrova!


We thank the kind-hearted couple for giving a chance to this little peanut that can easily go un-noticed in the Puppygarten crowd. Sadly, there are many dogs of this color in our shelter and for some reason they are hard to rehome, maybe it is because they are mostly black… we don’t know. Neither do they, the poor little souls, who would tell them all about humans and colors whilst they grew fast in their mother’s belly, who would explain to them they’d end up in the trash, no matter how good they are… But all is well when it ends well and Jessy will live in the collective dream all of our 500 dogs see each night they close their eyes.

Sivcho’s story was first very touching, then quite crazy and in the end – absolutely hopeless. The good boy, who came to us after he met a care that tore him in pieces was claimed to be a favorite in the neighborhood, he was supposed to have caring friends to help with his bills and adopt him when he is healed. As you can guess – none of that happened. Neither did his miraculous healing – the poor guy has been fixed and repaired, repaired and fixed so many times we hardly knew if we were torturing him or it was the other way around…

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A dog of his interface, age and medical history – is an unwanted dog even if it was the canine Gandhi. Our partners abroad are reluctant to take operated dogs from us, because they don’t trust our doctors and “cripples” or what we call – special animals are scarcely adopted locally. So we just accepted the fact that there is a Sivcho in this world and he belongs to… us.

At this point it has become perfectly clear to you that a miracle has taken place. It is actually a double miracle, walks on two legs, but its main characteristic is the fact that our miracle has not one, but two huge hearts! Their names are Nathaly Persoons and Jean-Luc Beirlant! Do you remember them? They are the wonderful family who adopted and gave the most wonderful home to two of our babies: funny little Rex and Molly, whom they met in the quarantines when they came for Rex. Nathaly and Jean-Luc were shocked to find Sivcho at the shelter again and when they found out his story – they decided it’s about time someone started to really love Sivcho and took him home!

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As if this is not miracle enough and because they are: 1.kind; 2.compassionate; 3.caring; Lady Luck decided to test her powers on Nathaly and Jean-Luc and threw one more of our dogs on their path. Bear.

Bear came to the shelter in the form of a very friendly bloody goo – he was a tiny puppy with a shocking case of mange. He stayed with us long, he became a stunning dog and found a lovely family that treated him kindly for a whole year. But… most unexpectedly – his people brought Bear to the shelter and said they can no longer care for him. What a mystery! Four days later the mystery has been uncovered! He came back to the shelter just in time for Nathalie’s and Jean-Luc’s visit!!! HURRAY!!!

Adoption marathon 1

Posted on 09 July 2013

Two little sisters from our puppygarten are now resting happily in cozy beds in their new homes! The little angels come from a litter of 5 puppies that some idiot dumped in the yard of kind people. The man who got this generous “donation” was correctly picked by his “donor” – he took care of the family, vaccinated the babies so that they don’t have to risk their health upon entering the shelter and neutered the mother. When the little ones were ready for admittance – he brought them to us. It is wonderful when people are willing to help and show understanding when we explain that little puppies are not safe with so many other dogs and without vaccines. We thank every one of those hundreds of people who have inconvenienced themselves to assure a safe future for the puppies they have found, before we take over in the shelter.

And so – lucky pup number one is Julie, she was adopted by Evgenia Alexandrova and instead of being kicked around the streets, she will grow happy and loved in her own home!

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Lucky pup number two still hasn’t got her own name, but we do have a lovely photo of the children in the family with her and it seems, she has found just the right place! We thank Veneta Tzvetkova and her husband for bringing up their children in responsibility, kindness and care.

The darling, the kind Brick is only the second of his litter to leave the shelter (he has a Dutch sibling that left as a baby) with his new people. Some people! Brick is now the best friend of Nicolina Kostova and her daughter Gergana – two ladies that definitely have an eye for the invisible, an x-ray vision that helps you identify a friend no matter the time, place or mask he may be wearing.


We can only hope that more superheroes will come for the other youngsters in Brick’s litter – they came to the shelter as tiny dumped puppies and have been waiting ever since. Well, they say good things take time, and Brick’s union with Gergana and Nicolina is living proof.

A little lady known among us as “the white mama from Voluyak” has found a lovely home too! She showed up in the streets of the village shortly after she had given birth, her breasts heavy with milk, her mind crazy with worry and… without a single baby. In the shelter clinic our vets took care of her mammory infection, the little girl came down, got better, put on some weight and the wait began. She didn’t have to wait for too long – her kind eyes looked straight into the hearts of Luben Popov and his son who had come to the shelter looking for a dog to cheer up their apartment.

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Christo writes us that they have called the lady “Rossy” and she is doing great! The second photo is from her new home. We are so glad there is a happy end to this sad tale!


Words of helplessness – Part 3

Posted on 08 July 2013

This sad story has a happy ending. Read all about this dog family’s destiny:
Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4

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Just a quick remark first as we got many: “Why didn’t you call the police” pointers, we would only mention that Police was alarmed and altogether – volunteers, owner, dogs – everyone went to the police station. On the way there the mother was microchipped and a passport was issued on the name of her rescuer, but the police officers were inadequate and returned the dogs back to this so called “owner”. Outside the police station he agreed to sell two of the babies and then took off with the mother and the third, ill puppy.

Rio and Reya were bought off for no little money. They were placed in vet clinics and after many fluids due to dehydration, and tests, they were diagnosed with Parvoviruses. The boy, Rio, did not make it, and became the victim of this story. Reya however faught off the disease and is currently in a foster home. Soon she would have a vaccine and would look for a permanent home.

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Meanwhile, we did not give up and kept following the steps of the mother, whose name is Ayra, and the third puppy. For the puppy, we actually have no information, but about Ayra we know, that in the beginning of this month, the individual who brought her to the condition of skin and bones, got off a bus station in Sofia, while she remained in the bus. She probably got off the bus by herself on the next stop. A day later, she was seen in the area of Hotel Pliska begging food from people on the street. On the 6th of July, she was seen begging food again, this time on Pirotska Street.

So here comes the moment where you, friends, can help. Let’s try to find Ayra together by keeping our eyes open. Ayra has black fur on black and white spots, she is a pointer mix, more skinnier than any stray dog you see in the streets. She has a skin problem, probably scabies, so you can see thorugh to her skin on the side. She’s friendly, goes to everyone. She looks like she’s nursing, but she has actually given birth on the 30th of April so she’s not nursing anymore. This is a photo from Saturday.

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Help us find Aira, so we can help her sooner. A fertile bitch in the street and without her own area is not a good option. We hope she is not already in the hands of someone who would breed her even more. If you find Ayra, please keep her and call 0897 022 671

Thank you,
Maya and Raya

Saturday grooming: results

Posted on 07 July 2013


We thank the volunteers who worked so hard to help us keep the shelter sewage free of hair. And the dogs simply loved taking off their woolen winter sweaters finally!

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The winners!
I place – Sofia Vacheva
II place – Irena Todorova

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Our speedy grooming competition aiming to collect the biggest ammount of lose coat possible proved itself to be quite a good idea. The shelter staff had perpaired a simbolic snack – with so much hair around, we couldn’t leave it without any food to stick to…

Little Thief, not Little Mook should be the name of this rascal who invited himself to the party and served himself cake on the floor!

A CRY FOR HELP: Juanita from Kazichene

Posted on 05 July 2013


Thank you! Huana has been successfully operated and is back at our shelter – as friendly and sweet as ever!



Thank you! The funds for Huana’s surgery have been raised! She will be operated later on today by d-r Vladi Zlatinov, keep your fingers crossed for her!

This is a message we received from Stoyan, a good boy from Kazichene, 13 years old:

Hello, Animal Rescue Sofia. I thought I should write you in hope that you will answer my cry for help. There is a little dog in the village (now neighborhood) of Kazichene, a year old or younger. I really want to help her, but I am only 13 and cannot do anything. She disappears from time to time and comes back wounded, only this time, she has a broken front leg. I feed her regularly, but we really need your help. Please help!

Although the shelter is overcrowded (perhaps we should finally get used to this situation and be done with it), we could not put a death ear on this plea. Thursday morning Kremena was in Kazichene to pick up Huana – the 7-8 month old dog that Stoyan had caught, waiting for us to arrive:

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The little sweetheart did not bite or cry, like most dogs would do if they were in her situation. She was absolutely thrilled with the attention. For her people are the Number 1 in the list of Best things that can be seen on this planet. She looks around with great curiosity, asking in her eyes – what’s next? Juana accompanied Kremi to the Central Veterinary Clinic where she got her very first personal item – an x-ray:


Dear friends, Stoyan and Juana need your help!
Juana’s broken bone has begun to heal in the wrong direction. To be able to straighten-up the bone and let Juana use her leg free of pain a difficult surgery must be performed at a high price: BGN 380 (195 E).

If we manage to raise the amount needed and Juana gets the surgery she can’t walk without, Juana will remain at the shelter for adoption after her recovery. We are sure, there is a family out there who will be able to give her the human love and company she craves for.

It is a lot of money. But then… there are a lot of us too! Could you help?

The two young heroes don’t deserve to be passed by and lose their faith in people.
If you think so too, you can DONATE through PayPal, ePay and by bank.
You can also leave money at the CVC registration, just make sure you tell them it is for the bill of ARSofia.

WE THANK every kind person who will respond to this cry for help.
And warmest regards from Juanita!

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A speedy grooming contest at the shelter this Saturday!

Posted on 04 July 2013


Dear volunteers,
as you know, with the heat-wave returning to our part of the world, our 500 furry buddies are in a hurry to get rid of their winter undercoat. It has been proven holistically that neither we, nor the dogs, care much about dog fur on our hands, clothes, food… The only one complaining about all the lose hair is… the shelter’s sewage system.

We need your help!
So, we are announcing a Saturday Grooming Contest!

This Saturday (July 04) we ask the volunteers to focus on the grooming of as many furry animals as possible from the large dog building.

We have some brushes and combs available, but if you’d rather use your own, or have seen what we have and prefer to bring something better – you are welcome to do so. The staff will be handing out bags in which to collect the lose fur.

At the end of the day the two volunteers whose bags are fullest will get:
I-st place – a t-shirt of their choice from the ARS shirts we have available at the shelter
II-nd place – a cup of their choice from the ARS cups we have available at the shelter

500 furry pals await you with huge excitement!
They don’t feel like wearing their wooly sweaters anymore…


A new tumor-champion in our shelter clinic

Posted on 03 July 2013

Earlier this year we introduced you to Shatzie – a granny with a huge tumor, which we defined as the largest tumor to ever be removed in our shelter. Some days ago Shatzie’s record was beaten by an old dog we admitted for medical intervention. Meet granny Inka – the new tumor medalist at the Bogrov shelter:


It is a very rare thing to see d-r Stankova frown. But granny Inka made sure to give her many grim hours of contemplation about the difficult surgery she has to perform. The combination of a giant tumor + an old animal + a difficult place to heal is no favorite to any surgeon. But – the results are all clear now – the operation has passed and Inka is recovering successfully. We thank d-r Stankova for her selfless professionalism, we can only wish that this Earth has more people with a heart like the one beating in her chest.


Finding Nemo

Posted on 02 July 2013


I am writing to tell you that Nemo is well. He has gotten used to his new home, knows us, learnt to walk on a lead and walk more. We try to provide him with a long walk at least once a week – in the weekend. We feed him dry food, sometimes soaked in meat bullion, we buy him edible offal which he loves, and he has gained 2 kilos.

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I remained his “staff” and my husband became “pack leader”. We took him on a picnic in the mountains, he spent some time at our villa, hes been to the park and even rode the bus often. People always notice him and ask about him when we are outside.

Well, of course, he can be a nuisance. We found our house upside down three times, I have no slippers left and we had to order a new remote for the TV. When we are outside he is easily distracted and sometimes doesn’t come, but we are working on that. We are trying some of Cesar Milan’s methods.

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As we all expected – we want to keep Nemo. I admit, he is not the dog I came for, but he is the dog I am not bringing back! I have no words to describe his connection with my husband, it even surprised me. We want to keep Nemo and we want him to be our dog, this is what we call him “our dog”.

Regards, Denny

P.S. The wise dog-people in the neighbourhood think Nemo must be 30% Dingo, but my husband doesn’t agree.

– – –

After this letter from Denitsa Pencheva all we have to do is show you this photo of Nemo from the ARS-Reload party, where his adoption contract was signed:


Adopted buddies send you special regards

Posted on 01 July 2013


Denny Ivanova celebrates two years since the adoption of Ares. We have received these lovely photos from her and (but please don’t tell anyone) wondered for a while – who is this dog??? And Ares turned out to be Kefal. But he must have been Kefal in some other life, because the dog you see her seems to have nothing in common with the skeleton we admitted to the shelter a long time ago, a sad, lifeless creature at the end of the road:

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It’s been two years since Denny began loving Ares and you can tell it’s a big love. Of course, it was a bumpy ride at first. Dogs like him are rarely dumped from an apartment or home – he must have spent his life guarding someone’s junk on a short chain. He never had love or care, he learnt to cope by himself. The first months were hard for Denny, but she made it, and she made it well:

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Ares-Kefal also has a small buddy – Erik the Pekingese who spends his time harassing Ares. But he doesn’t care one bit. Thank you Denny for giving a second life to Kefal! Spot the 10 differences:

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Dear Stella, how’s everybody? We hope every single one of you and yours are doing fine.
It’s just amazing to see how time flies. Could you believe Sofia is one year old already?

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We celebrated her birthday with a nice meal prepared just for her, and here she is happy as always playing “Kitty in a Bag” and “Kitty in a Box”:

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She is loving life as much as she can, basically in full, including absolutely everything that surrounds her. You can tell how much she has grown.
Regards, Milton, Cynthia, Tiger and Sofia


Hi, Vessy, we came to the shelter last Friday with Queeny (Benji), but unfortunately we didn’t catch you, it was your day off. Sorry, we should have called in advance. We wanted to show you how well Queeny has grown and how much she has changed. On the outside! Inside, she is still the wild gal you knew.

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Queeny has brought us loads of joy, good mood and love! We hope everyone will have the chance to experience this amazing friendship – between man and dog. Thank you for your efforts – Queeny wouldn’t be here with me if it was not for you! See you soon, Manoah and Queeny

Enjoy this photo of Queeny celebrating her birthday with Manoah:
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And kindest regards from Liza!