The cunning Ostap

Posted on 19 February 2013

Bogrov is overcrowded. What is more – our contract for this shelter runs out in the end of the year, there is no way for us to stay  here (don’t be startled, we are working on this matter, you will be the first ones to know once we have some certain information). This means that we have tightened the admittance to the shelter – we only take dumped puppies, abandoned pets and injured stray animals that cannot be returned through the CNVR (neuter&return program).

This doesn’t mean we can take on cases of injured animals forever. We take in wounded whenever there is a space available at the hospital or in the quarantine where the skin-diseased dogs are kept. If we are very bad with the money – we only take dogs that we can treat at our own clinic. If we are normally bad (because we are never well with the money) – we take the dog and look for additional help… This is probably already clear to you as you have been following our work for 3 years now.

So, when one of our volunteers brought Ostap – happy that she could help – we were shocked “but we never admitted this dog!? We told the people over the phone that there is no space for him!?”. So, it turned out some “sly” person used the plea for help we had issued for the transport of Strahil and Sancho and wrote “this dog will be treated at the Bogrov shelter if a volunteer is found to get him there”. And our friends answered immediately – went to the location, found the dog, loaded and brought him to us. But there is no space.

DSCN5253 DSCN5320

We invented some insane and totally unacceptable way to house this extra patient. Bloody and quite confused Ostap didn’t look well in the first minutes of our acquaintance. When we examined and cleaned him up, it turned out he only had a small, but bloody wound, and not a “popped out eye” – the boy would have made it on his own.

Instead – our volunteers were rushed from work, spent half a day in running after made-up stories. Something that happens too often to us “Come! Help! A dog is dying!” and when we go – there is no dog, or the dog is not at all so unwell, or the people just wanted to get rid of it… What a waste of nerves, time and energy this is. How is it that people don’t understand simple math: to leave the shelter and look for a dog, one or two people are not doing their daily work with the dogs we already have…

Ostap is now getting better, when he is healed, we will fix him and return him back to the place where he was found. Hopefully, he will not be getting into the way of cars anymore. And to those “clever” people that cheat and lie in order to get dogs to the shelter – we hope you get your brains back soon. This is not a joke – to play with the lives of animals and people who work their asses off to help them. This is not helping.

A home for lovely Benji

Posted on 17 February 2013

DSCN2742 DSCN2757

Benji simply “showed up” in a Sofia village one day. Her body was stuck in a wooly basket – she had so many mats on her – we had never seen anything like it! We had to shave down half of her body – it was impossible to brush through it.

DSCN2743 39 (3)

Benji is about 2 years old and has a most wonderful temperament – a friendly, communicative, sweet dog. So, we were not surprised that she didn’t have to wait for too long. Even as a “half-a-dog” Benji found the most suitable owner – Manoah Filosof! Manoah immediately changed her name to Queeny and promised to look after her like a queen. We wish them loads of luck and happiness!

DSCN5140  39 (2)

What is this special dog?

Posted on 16 February 2013


“What kind of breed is she? None!? No, she must be something special!” – passers-by cannot believe it that Rita is just a little black angel with no pedigree. She is a dog that we took in exactly two years ago, when she was kicked brutally and paralyzed by a guard who had tied her up as a guard dog at his work.

1297711646-hxaw7231-006 1297711653-nfzi8471-007
>>Rita was paralyzed from the neck down, but was still waving her tail!

CLICK HERE to see the fight Good Idea vet clinic put up for this puppy – it was huge. The clinic not only saved her life, but also became the reason for her adoption – kind adopters Lubomira and Martin had come to see another dog in our care at that time.

Today, two years after the horrible state you will see on the link above, Rita is one happy, friendly, energetic, strong dog, fed to the full by true love and full of curiosity. We are very grateful to Martina and Lubomir for the excellent care!


Surprisingly – Rita remains in the history of Animal Rescue Sofia by two other major events:

– she became the indirect reason for the change in the team of Animal Rescue Sofia two years ago. Then, a technical bug in our website became the reason for us to re-consider our priorities and re-group to the team that currently runs Animal Rescue Sofia.

– Also, Rita was the reason for a 6-month huge wrangle between us and the company that runs the facility where Rita was tied. We contacted them immediately after the event, they agreed to cover the costs and… disappeared. It was a huge scandal, but it ended well – a year after the event, they finally covered Rita’s bill.

Yes, she must be a special one. We hope she is healthy and happy for many more years!
That cheeky little black revolutionary!

A home for Rex the second

Posted on 15 February 2013

rex 2 rex2

Rex the second came up in yet another “batch” of freshly dumped dogs. Skinny, dirty, but with the typical  Northern spirit, he quickly found his place in the busy crowd at the shelter. Unlike many others in his shoes – he was lucky and didn’t have to wait. Rex was Noticed only a month after he came to us.


Rex’s new name is Ronnie and he was adopted by the kind Dragomir and Gergana Ganchevi! He will live in the outskirts of Sofia and his new people will love him for who he is – a cheerful  northern character.Congratulations!


TO ALL FANS OF REX (the first and irreplaceable)
>> Our buddy is now ready to go home! He is alive and healthy thanks to your kindness. We are looking for a good home for him, hopefully, he will get lucky soon. He deserved it!

A dumped dogs’ profile

Posted on 14 February 2013

You know that we work is based on the Trap-Neuter-Return program. This means we neuter stray dogs and put them back in their habitat to lower the numbers of stray population. But – we cannot send back dogs that were raised by people – they are not able to survive in the streets. Most of them won’t last a week outside. So, no matter how hard things are at the shelter, we try to always find some space for abandoned dogs. Here are just some of the ones we admitted in the last week:


Ramon showed up the other day – skinny as a skeleton. Although he is supposed to be weary and unhappy he doesn’t stop kissing and put his head in your arms. He is a fun enthusiast who can’t stop in one place – a typical hunting dog. He is about 1,5 years old and only needs a bit of care to become a shiny onyx.

DSCN5334 DSCN5335

He is such a beauty! Come see him, you will love him!

ramon and meery

Hammer after the surgery

Posted on 13 February 2013

EDIT: 24.03.2013
A final “farewell” to Hammer

EDIT: 05.03.2013, 13:00
Hammer had a second surgery.

To all that made Hammer’s miracle possible!
Here he is, the good boy – operated by the wonderful doctor Zlatinov at the Central Veterinary Clinic:


As you already know, Hammer was operated on Friday (Feb 8), the surgery took a very long time, but it was a success. The spine has been fixed, but the eye that needs to be removed has been left for “later” as Hammer spent too long under the anesthetic and it couldn’t be prolonged for the eye as well.

3803_17582_5_s0 3803_17582_3_s0

Currently, Hammer is recovering and is going through special procedures where electrical impulses are being sent through his nerves in order to stimulate them. Also, he is getting physiotherapy with a special treadmill, because he is too weak to stand up, he needs to build up some strength. To be able to monitor how his spinal surgery develops, he is being x-rayed every day.

P1010137 P1010136

We thank the fantastic doctors at the Central Veterinary Clinic for the huge care and to all of you who made this miracle a possibility for Hammer. His stay at the clinic costs between 35 and 50 BGN per day, but we don’t have the guts to ask for anything more after all the pleas we have sent to you during the last days. We remain waiting, Hammer is giving his best and will hopefully soon be rewarded for his patience!

PS If you accidentally happen to pass by the CVC – to see him, or to donate something, please have in mind that he goes under the name of “Slavi” there.

A CRY FOR HELP: The plea of Strahil and Sancho

Posted on 12 February 2013


What does it mean to be a mangy dog in Bulgaria during the winter?
Basically it means that you are doomed to starve and freeze, unless you are first caught by a frightened citizen with access to poisons.
It means people fear you and never come near, and if you decide to do so – it is either a rock, or a kick for you, depending on the situation.
It means other dogs chase you away and you remain hungry and alone.
It means you have no chance.
Especially in this stage of your illness:

strahil (2) suncho (1)

These two fellows are Strahil and Sancho. Two dogs in an advanced stage of demodicosis that were stranded outside naked in the freezing cold. Quite some time passed for them to get this gorgeous look – it has taken them months of hunger and cold to come to this point. We can only wonder how they have survived.

strahil (6) suncho (2)

On the brink, the two boys came to us, to the clinic of the Bogrov shelter. Now Strahil and Sancho have a diagnosis, they have doctors, food and care. Both turned out to be very kind and soft animals, grateful for every touch. They spend their time gorging down incredible amounts of food, sleeping like pigs in the warmest room we have and all in all, being totally happy with their new circumstances.

Their treatment will be a long one. And what is worse – for it to be a good treatment, it will also have to be expensive.  It goes without saying that they will need Ivermectine, they will also need quality food, fish oil and supplements. Unfortunately, they are yet another set of dogs that need Ivermectine at the shelter.

DSCN4770 DSCN4794

What is Ivermectine? Generally speaking it is an excellent drug against parasites. It is widely used as a treatment for mange, but is also great as a preventive treatment for dogs under the risk of a heartworm infection. In a shelter cramped with 500 dogs that has a swamp nearby, that means – 500 dogs at risk. This means that we use huge amounts of Ivermectine at the shelter – for both the dogs with mange (and there are quite a few of those) and the ones over 4 months of age – as a preventive treatment for heartworm. This means – there is not enough Ivermectine.

We need a total of 340 BGN to stock the shelter with Ivermectine for February and March. If you can – PLEASE DONATE A SMALL SUM, it will be used for the lives of Suncho, Strahil and many, many others.

A change of the agenda for an old Pekingese

Posted on 11 February 2013

What would life look like if we would see it through the eyes of a 12-13 year old dog that has huge tumors and has just been dumped on the street in the ice cold winter? Lucy knows the answer to that question, because last week, she has been lucky – she was dumped in the hallway of a living block, her owner threw her in, closed the door and took off.

There are few things as pathetic as an abandoned old dog. As if the Earth has been stolen from underneath it’s feet, the old dog can’t understand change and expects life to go back to the normal routine. Old dogs don’t like new things, but Lucy is going to have to get used to many new things.


Let’s take a look at the facts – it may sound very sad, but the honest truth is that Lucy’s world has turned around and in a good way. Instead of agonizing in pain from her hellish tumors, alone, cold, hungry, scared… she fell into the hands of d-r Marietta Stankova.

Meaning that Lucy has been through very complicated surgery and her tumors were removed. Once again – it was very difficult surgery – not only the huge, ulcerous bit, but there were many large lumps all the way. Probably the genius who had her also stuffed her with estrus suppressing hormones – a true poison to the female dog organism. CLICK HERE if you want to see what it did to her, but please, note the graphic content.

IMGP6220 IMGP6245

And so? What do we do with a 13-year-old Pekingese? It’s obvious she can’t stay at the shelter, it’s obvious she would be a nightmare to rehome locally.

OK, lets’s cut the suspense, you deserve to know straight away – she has been found a home in Switzerland, she will travel! Lucy only needs a little time to get her strength back and she will be a spoiled baby in the land of chocolates. What is more: she is already at her foster home, recovering. So – is she a lucky or a pitiful dog – we have no idea, you decide for yourself.

We can only be glad that yet another dog has been saved from the vulturous claws of death, for at least a few years on. We hope she is strong soon so she can go to her new, happy life for as long as she can enjoy it. Every day is a day stolen for this little angel…


Dear friends, to be able to help dogs like Lucy – we need your support. The shelter is funded through donations only – that means we are always working in severe deficiency.
Please, if you think we are doing something useful – help us, even if it is by something small, your help matters and we cannot do without it. If you decide to save a life through our work – DONATE FOR THE SHELTER HERE.
We count on the regular, monthly donations that help us have at least a small sure amount for the dogs.
We cordially thank the 300 people who help us regularly. Lucy owes her life to you, dearest of friends…

Fabio has finally found his loving owner

Posted on 10 February 2013

After a lot of difficulties and two unsuccessful adoptions we have great news  – Fabio finally has a home! The golden boy, who was excellent in the shelter showed some problems when he went home to two different families, so we had to re-evaluate his temperament, marking him as a “sporadic biter”…

Picture 688

His first hours at home – confused and bedazzled

This is no stigma, nor a diagnosis – it’s a simple behavioral problem that can be fixed with some perseverance. Fabio was a good and fun dog at the shelter, so it was clear that his problems depend on the environment. He has obviously not had an easy life before he came, the poor thing.

Picture 695

A huge THANK YOU and WELL DONE to Elitza Savova! Elitza came to the shelter looking for a cocker to adopt and loved Fabio immediately. We did our best to scare her off, but she knew what she was doing and thanks to her experience with her previous dog she quickly solved his issues. Here is a short narrative of her dealings with Fabio:

He is a wonderful boy, a bit mischievous and very playful, but a great dog. We decided to call him Caramel, because of his color and good character. He is very hard to photograph, he doesn’t like it one bit. As any living creature, he too has his own peculiarities – he plays alone, but he is a very lovable and lively dog. I hope we have a wonderful future ahead with Caramel!

Picture 704 Picture 707

Volunteer is a proud word

Posted on 09 February 2013

“Itzo and his mom” – that is how we know these wonderful people at the shelter – a huge (really tall) young man and his tiny mother, who have been helping us care for the dogs for years now.

DSC06084 Snimki4991

The last time Evgenia took abandoned puppies into her home, so they can be vaccinated and safe when they enter the shelter environment, her heart was broken. The little ones were so weak and full of worms that de-worming released too many toxins into their fragile organisms and they passed one after the other. To have puppies die in your arms is hard, but it is even harder when you know that it is a safe future that awaits them.

So, when the family had to say farewell to their elderly dog 0t he question was – what to do. Too much wandering is no good when you are near d-r Marietta Stankova who quickly convinced them that they need to take home a grown-up “cardboard-box puppy” – miss Rita. Oh, just for a while, just temporary… yeah, yeah, you can already guess, can’t you? Rita has a home!

IMG_0055 IMG_0033

Congratulations to Eva and Itzo for this new crocodile pal they have adopted. But most of all, congrats to Rita who was lucky to find this family. She should be thanking d-r Stankova for being this clever, but – she will never know…

IMG_0041 IMG_9969

This is the kind of folk that comes to help out at the Bogrov shelter every weekend. You can come too! There may be few of us, but we are the good guys. True, we are not too organized, but, when a few good people decide to do something – it usually works out. Anyone can help, think about it – your effort can really save a life.

We have quite a few things to thank Itzo for, but the most recent one is the making of leads for the waling of dogs at the shelter. We have no clue why we lose so many leads all the time – some are eaten, some lost, but they surely must have a parallel universe somewhere near to the ones where all the pens and socks go.

170120131637 170120131638

Thanks to the kind people of PIK 3000 Ltd. We now have 200 meters of excellent used mountain-climber’s ropes! They have promised us more, which would be great! Itzo makes leads from the ropes and the volunteers use these comfortable leads for the walking of dogs every weekend.

Ah, if you have some rings (like the ones on the pictures) think about donating them, we are paying 0,50 BGN for these at the moment, but they should be much cheaper.

DSCN4272 IMG_0134

Bless you Itzo! And best regards to your wonderful mother 🙂

URGENT: The life of Hammer hangs by a tread

Posted on 08 February 2013

EDIT: 24.03.2013
A final “farewell” to Hammer

EDIT: 05.03.2013, 13:00
Hammer had a second surgery.

EDIT: 14.02.2013, 16:50

Hammer recovering after his surgery.

EDIT: 12.02.2013, 13:40

A few quick words about Hammer: the boy has been operated on Friday evening after his funds were raised. His doctor is satisfied by the way the surgery went, but it is too early to say anything with a certainty. We need a few more days to be sure everything is OK, meanwhile, Hammer is recovering at the CV clinic. Cross your fingers!

EDIT: 08.02.2013, 16:30

Hurray! The funds for Hammer’s surgery have been raised!!!
He is going to the clinic immediately, please keep your fingers crossed for him!
We will keep you informed.

Hammer’s story begins somewhere in Northern Bulgaria, around Byala Slatina, where this lovely old Rottweiler must have been loved and well looked-after by someone. Otherwise he wouldn’t be such a good, gentle, kind and loving dog.

But what happened next? How did he end up outside alone? How did he lose his human, his happiness, his future? He couldn’t tell us and we will probably never know. Life introduced us to Hammer through the mighty power of Facebook – people wrote to us, saying that a Rottweiler with a missing eye is laying by the road and cannot get up. We answered immediately: we are sorry, but it is too far; we barely manage here; we don’t have anyone to send; we cannot help each dog in Bulgaria; is there no one closer that can help and etc….

Days passed and the story of the Rottweiler continued to circle the Internet whilst the poor boy was agonizing helpless and doomed, broken in half. So, yesterday, in their day off from the hard work at the shelter, d-r Ralitza Gergushka and keeper Miro got onto the bus and went on a journey, looking for the dog from Byala Slatina.

DSCN5019 DSCN5020
Photo 1: Miro handing Hammer to d-r Stankova
Photo 2: Hammer in the clinic – his eye is beyond repair, he has a broken spine, but he is wagging what was left of his tail with great enthusiasm

They found him. They brought him. We took him in for x-rays expecting a black diagnosis, but – a miracle is at hand! The dog does have a broken vertebra, but: he also has full sensitivity on his hind legs; he has the will to move despite the horrid pain; he is fully mobilized; he has an amazing appetite and all in all – Hummer is telling us that he only needs a chance and he will fight with all his might and courage.

D-r Zlatinov who will be operating Hammer if we manage to raise the money for the surgery is very optimistic. There is only one issue – we must be quick. Today is the 6-th day since he has been found. There is no time to wait. We must act now.

DSCN5022 DSCN5027
Photo 3: Hammer can lay like this forever, as long as he is being touched, he loves it
Photo 4: Hammer must have been starved for a very long time to be in this condition – he is only bones, fur and pain

Dear friends, we managed to find a donor who is ready to cover most of Hammer’s bill, as long as we are able to find the remaining 300BGN (150E).

Please, if you can, help us help the good boy. It is his only chance, but it is a real chance. Hammer is a wonderful, lively, strong and very kind-hearted creature. He has all the precognitions to live many years of happy life. It is up to us if he will have them.

You can donate for Hammer through PayPal, e-pay and by bank AT THIS LINK. To donate in cash, you need to go to the front desk of the Central Vet Clinic mentioning specifically that the money is “for the bill of Animal Rescue Sofia”. We appreciate every little help!

Happy moments from the lives of our rehomed friends

Posted on 05 February 2013

We have said it many times – there are very few things we enjoy more than photos in which the animals we once knew as sad, sick and abandoned souls are happy and loved in their new homes.

We have a wonderful little ALBUM on Facebook that we use to post happy photos like these. In the last few weeks many adopters have thought of us and sent us news of their new friends, here are some of them:

Lord (1) lord (6)

Lucky boy Lord in his own yard above and the abandoned Great Dane Duda with her family below:

duda (1) duda (3)


river (2)

River the retriever has become a huge boy!

river (4)

Roza the kurzhaar and her friends:

roza (4) roza (6)

The foxy sisters who were lucky to be adopted together:

And Boo the kitten and little Jenny who have grown so big:

boo jenny melani lutova

Aaaaaah, what a joy to see them!