Plamen and Zimty happy at their new homes

Posted on 22 January 2013


Our Middle-Asian Shepherd Plamen, whom we got after a complicated rescue from the sewer at Orlov Most has found his new friends! Plamen, who now boasts an excellent new name – Grum (meaning “Thunder”) has went home to the wonderful family of Yassen Kaludov here in Sofia. Grum has the excellent company of 3 children and divides his time between the joyful comfort of a city apartment and the happy days of a house in the nature. What a lucky guy!

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Happy and loved at his new home is also our little cinnamon tiger – Zimty the kitten! The little one who was rescued from the street in the coldest of days is now warmly cuddled up in the hands of his most beloved new owner – tiny Raya! We wish them health and luck in the long, happy life that lies ahead of them.
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A home for Evgeny and Jenny

Posted on 21 January 2013

Two good dogs with a similar destiny went home recently. Both were abandoned at the shelter entrance. The dumping of dogs at the shelter doors is a huge problem that we fight with all possible means. Despite our 24-hour security and the 50 watchful guards who will bark at any intruder – we still have this issue.

Sadly, when we tell the tens of people who want us to admit their dogs that there is no space – it is exactly what we mean: that there is no space. You would not believe how many people yell, swear, curse and act like total idiots when we refuse to take their dogs… At first we were shocked, but now we know these people actually think it is a normal thing to do. The problem is that when  one of these “rescuers” decides to dump a box of babies or an adult without our consent  he is not only placing the specific animal at risk, but also all of the dogs we already have.

Anyway, when it warms up we will probably put a surveillance camera on the road, so we can give more details to the Sofia Municipal Police when animals are being dumped. Certainly it not the dogs’ fault that these people are only thinking about themselves, so we try to do all that is in our power to help these poor animals. Here are two of them that got very lucky:

4-month old sweet baby Jenny came to us with her brother. They were shoved in a small cardboard box, lined with a piece of old carpet, that was about 3 months ago. Jenny’s little brother left for Germany with our last transports in 2012 and we were sad that’s he remained alone. It was Nicolay Baev who solved her problem with a wave of his hand! He chose Jenny to be his first dog, because she is such a calm, well-behaved lady. We are positive that she will make a very strong start in the beginning of Nikolay’s dog-owning career. We wish them health and happiness!

We said farewell to one of the favorite dogs of the shelter – good guy Evgeny. This smiling, cheerful, fun fellow came to us about a year ago – he was tied up to the shelter fence, quite puzzled by the loud barks he got as a welcome from his new 500 comrades. Of course – he didn’t bear a grudge, he is not that kind of guy.


A whole year passed since that day and there were no news for Evgeny. Not that we didn’t try – he was suggested to almost every person who came looking for a dog at our place. Still – no one liked him and he lingered behind. We are very lucky that the family of our vet d-r Ralitza Gergushka likes to adopt dogs from us! Evgeny, who generally doesn’t like the idea of cars quickly understood what was going on and loaded onto their car with no hassle, ready to go to his new happy life in the village of Brenitza, where he will be loved and happy for the rest of his days. We are so happy for him!

A home for Tiger and Teacup

Posted on 19 January 2013

Teacup has been with us ever since she was a little puppy. She, like so many of our dogs was just a little baby, dumped in a box in the city by the irresponsible owners of her mother. Teacup had a little sister, who came in a more favorable color and she quickly found a home in Holland. Poor Teacup’s color is one we call “color homeless”. Because people very rarely adopt dogs like her…


Teacup found love and comfort in the home of Blagorodna Georgieva! The little soul will be living happily ever after in an apartment in the center of Sofia. She already has a new, official name – Carra. Blagorodna chose Teacup, because she hasn’t had a dog before and wanted to start with a calm and easy-going animal. What an excellent choice!

Tiger has a very bizarre destiny. Obviously – he was the baby of a pet who had a breed (a boxer most likely). He and his 2 brothers lived in a village just outside Sofia, where some elderly women took care of them. The boys grew and grew and grew, and when finally, at the age of 4-5 months the trio got infected with Distemper, the women called Ecobalance to come pick the dogs up.
So, ill with Distemper, from the bus of Ecobalance, we took 3 very friendly pet tigers.


Unfortunately 2 of them died shortly after admission, but ourTiger had a firm grip on life and was set on surviving. He managed to fight off the disease, grow strong and handsome and the wait begun. It wasn’t too long, though! Thanks to Biliana Savova-Toleva, our boy has a loving, caring home where he will be greatly loved from now until forever!

Bogrov dogs with diagnosis by the CVC

Posted on 17 January 2013

Dear friends,
we want to apologize for keeping things so quiet in the last 10 days and for not being able to tell you tens of exciting stories about the daily work of Animal Rescue Sofia during that time. We had very important things to do, and hopefully will be able to tell you all about them next month (keep your fingers crossed!).

Meanwhile – our work doesn’t wait for us – sadly, pain and suffering never take a day off and we have managed to help tens of suffering animals, and also re-homed quite a few. We will tell you all about them in the days to come, it is now time to give you an update about the visit to the Central Vet Clinic that you helped us pay and for which we are greatly in debt to you.

To our huge surprise and great joy, besides the funds you raised for Maya, Kimbo, Liza and Mina – a few people wrote us that they want to help some other shelter animals as well and we managed to take quite a few dogs to see the orthopedists and ultrasound specialists at the Central Vet Clinic. You know that however helpful, our clinic is rather small and let’s face it – very poor, so this is their only chance to get the diagnosis or specialized treatment.

On their way to the clinic though, a detour had to be made. We received a signal about a dog that had fallen into an open shaft and couldn’t get out. When we went to the spot, this is what we discovered:


A tiny, miserable little girl who has been stuck there for days. With the help of our kindest Kremena, the little one was rescued and then loaded onto the bus – scared and dehydrated, to be taken to our own clinic for infusions and treatment.

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But -before she could get to the shelter, the other dogs on the bus had to be taken to the clinic. Here is what happened (sorry we don’t have many photos from the clinic– it was a crazy moment with so many dogs to handle):

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We have bad news for little Mina. She was diagnosed with Kushing’s syndrome – a treacherous illness that requires a lifetime hormonal treatment – her condition is close (but opposite) to the one that poor blind Misho is suffering from. As is with him – we are still yet to see how she will react to the treatment, how much it costs once she is stable and what we are going to do about her problem.

The worst diagnosis was received by German Shepherd Liza. After a thorough investigation she was diagnosed with a metastasized malignant tumor, numerous exostoses and what is the worst – intolerable pain that has been torturing her for months. With a cancer in its lethal stage and no chance of getting better, Liza was humanely put to sleep by us, after we took her for a nice long walk and gave her some very tasty treats. Rest in peace, dear girl. You are now in a place where pain cannot reach you.

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Let’s see if you will recognize this buddy right away? It is your friend Bruce – who owes his life to you after you helped him twice – when he was hit by a truck and operated; and later on when he was diagnosed with heartworm and needed immediate treatment. It was time for him to go for a routine ultrasound and sadly, the doctors are prolonging his treatment for yet another month, but – things are going at a steady pace. The doctors say Bruce looks well – healthy, loved and even somewhat arrogant from all the attention Bruce was his normal, confident self at the clinic. Now we wait for him to get lucky with the worms in his heart so we can finally look for a loving home for him to rule.

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Katya was among the prize pupils this time – the doctors said she can be operated to remove the metal plates they inserted to keep her bone steady while it recovers. We don’t have the means to do that now, but it will happen soon hopefully and the girl that is already quite a runner will be able to enjoy herself completely on the shelter grounds (Katya and Lilly live together free as “shelter dogs” during the day).

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The news is not at all so good for poor Tray. After you gave him an operation so he can keep his leg, after 2 months of effort and physiotherapy – the bone that had initially begun to grow back quite well, has failed him and will not recover. We did all we could – unfortunately – we have no more alternatives. Wonderful, good boy Tray will have to join the group of 3-legged dogs in the shelter and accept his destiny. Sadly – there is no other option – as soon as we find the money – he is going to be amputated.

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This fellow here is Pompay. If you know Dalmi (a Dalmatian mix that has been with us for half a year) – this here boy seems to be like a clone of his. Pompay is a dog of about 6-7 years and besides a Dalmatian parent, he must have had an idiot for an owner, since he is missing all of his front teeth and was found with a painful old problem in his back leg. We wanted to have that one checked and so we did. The doctors at the CVC gave him an excellent prognosis – he could be operated and walk on 4 legs. So, he is yet another dog to get in line for “better times” when we could afford his surgery.

Kimbo – no news so far, we wait.

We have excellent news about Maya – the dog with the crushed hind paw. Her recovery has been going even better than anticipated and she will not need any operation! We continue to change her daily bandages and will perform the physiotherapy she needs. Hope she continues to heal so well!

Well, that is it for now – such was the “stroll” our sweet “bogrovians” took to the CVC this week. We hope that little by little, the money to help the ones who still need treatment will be gathered and if they are lucky – it could be as early as next week that the “animals on hold” get what they need. Once again – we thank all the donors for helping us find diagnosis and adequate treatment for these unwanted, unloved heroes.

CRY FOR HELP: A hospital in the end of the city

Posted on 16 January 2013

16.01.13   EDIT  6:40p.m.

Dear friends,
we thank you for not passing them by once again!
The funds for Kimbo, Maya, Lisa and Mina have been raised. Tomorrow our heroes will be brought to the central veterinary clinic where we hope they will get good news. We hope they are good, at least, it is high time that good things have started to happen to these poor animals.
We send you our best regards and thank you from all our hearts, although words are not enough to describe all the good that you are doing!

At any given time our clinic is full of dogs who literally owe their lives to you. Whatever we write – words would not be enough to explain to you, dear friends, how much you help means to these animals. This month we introduce you to yet another small group of dogs you have saved. Each of them has a different past, a different pain, but they all have one thing in common – they are all live thanks to your generosity.

We turn to you for help once more – the overcrowded clinic is working at full speed and cases have piled up again that need special care outside of our abilities. These are dogs that could be healed if we can only find the means to secure them the special treatment and diagnosis they need. As you know – our clinic is small and unequipped – although our 4 doctors work as hard as they can – there are some procedures that we simply cannot perform.

Michail is a very friendly, kind and lovable dog, about a year old. He has been with us for two months now – the first time we showed you his skinny body was back in October. Sadly, we haven’t been able to improve his situation much since then.

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He came to us to be neutered, after being caught by the municipal catchers of Ecobalance. When they unloaded him – we realized the dog is blind and admitted him to the shelter. He was all bones. We took the time to feed him abundantly, but he didn’t gain a single gram. After we realized we are not helping him, we brought Michail to the Central Vet Clinic where he remained for 10 days and underwent all possible checks to be diagnosed.

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And so he was – the scary diagnosis he received is  Hypothyroidism. The treatment requires the administration of hormones and a very strong food. Doctor Stankova bought him very good kibble and we have now put Michael in the empty Puppygarten so he is not bullied and can get some attention from the passers-by. You cannot imagine what a wonderful dog he is.  Although he is completely blind Misho knows who is coming by the footsteps he hears. If he hears the keepers he runs to his plate and begins to push it around (he is always hungry), if walkers are coming – he jumps around the fence begging for some attention… We are still to find out how his hormone therapy will unfold and what the future holds for Misho.

Kimbo arrived at the shelter as a tiny puppy. He was caught by Ecobalance together with his mother and her whole litter. All the other pups grew and developed normally, but Kimbo suddenly began to show signs of scabies. We began his treatment immediately – mange is not something that worries us, as we stumble upon it every day.  But is has been 3 months now and Kimbo shows no sign of improvement. He looks bad and grows like a mushroom after rain – this means his chances for happiness are shrinking with every minute.

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Kimbo is neither in big risk, nor in pain, but he has a very severe sentence: “I am too ugly and no one will want me”. Like our poor girl Trudy who has a simple cellulitis on her face and because of that we have been unable to find her a decent home for 2 years now…

Kimbo need a specialized check-up and tests that will cost us 70BGN only in the beginning. Additional 80 to 115BGN will probably be necessary later on. This money holds the key to a happy and loved life for Kimbo. And the shelter cannot spare it.

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It was the municipal dog catchers of Ecobalance that brought these puppies and their mother to the shelter in the beginning of December. It was very cold those days and the pups arrived to us with a severe case of bronchopneumonia. One of them died the following day.


We cannot say anything much about the babies – they are just another set of unwanted lives out there. But their mother… what a wonderful creature! Small, skinny, nearly frozen and hungry as hell she didn’t leave the side of her babies and took every bite, every injection, every touch with gratitude. The little ones are finishing their antibiotic therapy and hopefully will soon begin their normal vaccination routine as every other baby in the shelter.

Mina is an abandoned pet of about 7 years – someone had dumped her in another neighborhood and she was wandering around scared and confused. Like Kimbo, Mina needs a specialized examination and tests. She has blood in her urine. We treated her for a long time and she got better, but a few days after her treatment was over – the symptoms showed up again, she must go for an ultrasound examination and a consultation with a specialized urologist.

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Mina is a quiet and calm animal. She hardly stands the crowd and noise in the shelter. Mina spends her days curled up in a corner of her small cage – silent and shy, expecting that this nightmare of her will end. Until we fix her health, sadly, we will not be looking for a new home for her. And the clock ticks away. Mina needs 60BGN for the test and diagnosis that will save her from this sadness. And the shelter cannot spare it.

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Tyra has neoplasy on one of her front legs. Her skin is always an open wound and her leg has been deformed in this part. When we took Zoran for the documentary evidence the police needed, we brought Tyra along. The results were complicated, but all in all meant that she has a chronic inflammation in this spot. Now she goes through daily bandages and we have a result which antibiotics will influence the infections most. Cross your fingers for her treatment!


Maya is a sweet, calm and polite dog that was found by kind people in the street with her hind leg crushed  and so severely infected that she could not be operated without suppressing the infection first. Day after day we changed her bandages and things are finally looking better.


Maya is about 5 or 6 old and has a very sweet, balanced temperament. The people who found her paid for the initial testing she needed, but the time has come now to check her again. Maya’s x-ray and examination will cost 65BGN. Without it we can’t tell if she needs more bandaging or has to go up for a surgery. This money will decide if she will walk on 4 or 3 legs till the rest of her life. And the shelter cannot spare it.

This brown jewel is Mookie – a sweet and gentle creature we picked up with Distemper from Chelopechene. We treated her for weeks on and on till finally we got the best news – a negative result from her Distemper tests. There is a Distemper epidemic in Sofia at the moment and it is a nightmare wherever you turn. Generally we do not admit infectiously-ill dogs, as they pose a threat to all our 500 loved dogs. But, since we were brought a few ill animals for neutering and couldn’t send them back anyway, we had no choice.

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Having dogs stuck in quarantine with distemper already, we took in quite a few cases – mostly ill puppies and closed the shelter for admittance until the end of the month. To our great joy, besides the few losses our ill group suffered, most of the animals are now recovering and hopefully by February we will go back to our routine.

And finally – Liza. An old German Shepherd who was dumped as a bag of bones in a large parking area just outside of Sofia. A place that is proving to be a favorite dumping ground for pets, as we have to admit in dismay.  We have picked up all sorts of pets from that place, but few were as bad looking as Liza. Since the first bit of food we offered her she began eating like a starved anima (which she is) and now she can boast with a more secure and steady walk, no matter that she still looks like a prisoner who was just released from Auschwitz.


Above: Liza in the beginning; Below: Liza today


Although she is feeling and looking better already, it seems that Liza has a bigger problem than we anticipated. Our vets suspect a tumor somewhere in her digestive tract. She needs an examination and an ultrasound check that will cost 60BGN. It depends on this money if Liza will be spending care-free last years of her life or not. But the shelter cannot spare it.

225BGN (115E) stand between Kimbo, Mina, Liza, Maya and their chance for love and health. We know that January is the hardest month of the year – the holidays and cold have emptied out our pockets too. But we must try, because they have no one else to turn to.

Dear friends, if you are able to help – even with a small sum – DONATE HERE for our Hospital at the end of the city. There are so many of us, we only need to get together and we could solve these dogs’ problems.

The long road to happiness

Posted on 11 January 2013

“In 3 years we have re-homed over 1700 animals” – a message that wouldn’t impress anyone who has not dealt with the difficult ordeal of helping a homeless animal.

To find it, to take it home, to stabilize it, prepare it, find it a suitable place abroad, bring it there, count on decent partners who find decent homes… a long, long process that includes the efforts and dedication of many, many people.

Because we have so many animals we can rarely find the time to give you a detailed description of their stories.

The heroes in this tale, however, are already known to you – they are the so called “little lumps” as we used to know them – a litter dumped in a box by the heartless owners of the mother in last years’ spring.

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The beginning – first days at Anelia’s home

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Everyone all grown and happy – the kids with Anelia in the summer

It was the 25-th of April when these babies showed up in our shelter. Today, 8 months later we can stamp a huge “SETTLED” stamp on their case file – each and every one of these babies has settled down – all are happy and in their right places.

We asked their foster mother – our friend Anelia Kamburova to write their story for our blog, but instead – we received a list of thanks – an appropriate and illustrative list to show how much effort each and every one of our dogs requires.

So much effort to fix one simple mistake. The mistake made by the owner of these puppies’ mother who left her un-spayed and then cruelly dumped her babies in the trash at an age they couldn’t have survived. Here is  Anelia’s thank you list:

“- I thank the person who found the packet of puppies in the trash and brought them to a veterinary clinic.

– I thank the kind vets at the Central Veterinary Clinic who gave them a chance and contacted ARS.

– I thank Animal Rescue Sofia who took them to the shelter and looked for fosters.

– I thank the doctors at the Good Idea Vet Clinic who saved Boril and cared for the little hooligans as they grew.

– I thank all my relatives, friends and neighbors who helped me morally, materially and however they could. Special regards to my neighbors who were kind and understanding of the racket.

– I thank Animal Rescue Sofia once again who helped Karaman, Dora and Boil become Dutch – now Kay, Forrest and Moyra.

– Huge thanks to the partners of Animal Rescue Sofia in Holland who cared for the group and found them the most wonderful families.

– I thank Volodya, who helped raise these babies with all the love we could give them.

– To be sure I’ve thanked everyone – I also thank myself and the puppies too for being so very wonderful.

It was back in the beginning when Boril was still fighting for his life when Volodya and I made a promise to keep him in the family. Promises are made to be kept, so we officially adopted Boril just before the New Year.

And so, dear babies, I wish you loads of luck and happiness to the great joy of your owners!”

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In Holland, with their new families – Dora, Boil and Karaman

So, this is it – a simple calculation – 3 in Holland, 1 in Bulgaria – all of these little ones are now living their second (and for Boril this must be a third) life.

Here is a short timeline of this “simple” story:
Foster home needed urgent  << April, the puppies are looking for love and care
4 babies, a transformation << June, the little ones are growing under the loving care of Anelia and her husband
45 dogs and cats now in Holland, Austria and Germany! << November, after quite a few complications, 3 of the little ones finally leave for their Dutch destination
>> December, Anelia and Volodya adopt Boril officially (he is the puppy whose life they fought for)
>> January, all are finally settled in their new loving homes – each has found a family most suitable to their needs and temperament.

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Boril as a baby and today with Anelia

We send our kindest regards to all our foster and adoptive parents, volunteers, donors, colleagues and adherents – ARS is a combined effort of all these people, together. This is something very unusual for Bulgaria where everything and everyone is splitting, dividing, splitting, chipping off…
As it says on the National Parliament “Unity makes us strong”, dear friends. Thank you for your support!

The alien (or the new gas heater at the shelter)

Posted on 09 January 2013

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The dogs are curious about the alien

Most unexpectedly – the prohibition of smoking in bars, clubs and restaurants let to a whole month of delay for our gas heater project. The lamps for external heating became the most desirable item and – we missed ours by a moment. Thus – we had to wait through the whole of December and only got our lady of choice “Elegance” in the first days of January. Now, our new friend stands like an unusual alien in the hallway between cages 14 and 16 in the large dog building.

We thank the generous people who donated for the lamp are:
Natasha Stoyanova, Albena Haralampieva, Katya Motseva, Kristiyan Banatsyanou, Lora Nencheva, Aneliya Vasileva, Preslava Dimanova, Za Balgaria team, Zornitsa Nacheva, Dimitriana Hristova, Ekaterina Rashkova-Gerbrands, Mihaela Grueva, Radostina Buneva, Neda Kuzmanova, Preslava Stoeva, Yana Angelova, Marina Shinovska, Vesela Velcheva, Natali Farah, Irena Todorova, Diana Borgodzhiyska, Margarita Balabanska, Anna Dimitrova, Elena Vasileva, Nina Dimitrova i Elizabet Danielova!

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Valko putting the lamp together

The people who took care that the lamp would have gas to work with are Virginia Barova who sent a donation for it, and a young couple from the Dutch city of Gouda who organized a charity event.

Are you curious? Well, this is what Ekaterina and Peter came up with: they organized a fundraiser in the Bulgarian School in Leiden, encouraging people to donate 10, 20 BGN for heating fuel. They made a special presentation about our work in the shelter and tried to engage as many people as possible. They did a great job!

The special thanks go to:
The kids and parents from the Bulgarian School in Leiden, the Netherlands, Erica Dane & Rene van Geesbergen, Karnoe Dorenbos, Table Tennis in Gouda, Antoaneta Dimitrova, Angela Tzoncheva, Daniela Piccio & Irene Bueno, Assia Rashkova, Stefan Rashkov, Nadejda i Rashko Rashkovi, Dimitar Nedkov, Ekaterina & Kosta & Ivana Milevi,  Klasa po yoga na Eli, Petya & Paul!

Ekaterina’s and Peter’s adopted dog – Buba guarding the collection box

Today is said to be the coldest day this winter. And although one small lamp doesn’t make the 1000 square meter building feel like a Bahamian beach, the heat the dogs get in the night is precious to them. Thank you for helping, dear friends. Our dogs are lucky to have you!

Happiness for Sadly and Jessica

Posted on 08 January 2013

Two really good dogs have left the shelter in the beginning of 2013! We can only hope that the old wive’s tale about January being prophetical for the whole year, because this means many good dogs will be finding their homes through us!

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Sadly is a very calm and friendly bear whom we picked up from the Business Park in Sofia about 2 years ago. He must have been someone’s yard dog – it often happens that at some point these faithful guardians are deemed useless and kicked out.

The good boy quickly got used to the shelter life – unpretentiously he became firends with everyone and was calm and gentle with anyone who came near him.

Sadly is now living his dream life in a house with a yard where he has the company of another good elderly dog who recently lost her companion. Sadly was adopted by Lachezar Brakadinski. Congratulations!

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Jessica is about a year old, she was left in the shelter by her owners. They said she was a mix between a doberman and a rottweiler, but we think she just had the bad luck of being born in a color Bulgarians consider “scary”.

Luckyly, this amazing mollycoddle didn’t have to wait too long. She was adopted by Violeta Andreeva and Panayot Dobrev!

This wonderful family has 2 adopted kids – Bogdan and Bojidara. Violeta and Panayot wanted their children to both have a true friend and feel the joy of adoption. Jessika immediately fell for Bobo and Dari and we are sure she will bring them the happiness and friendship they deserve!

Abandonment as a favor – Roro, Misty, Shy and Duda

Posted on 07 January 2013

If only the new year could bring a few now thoughts to our fellow countrymen:

  • Owning a dog is a responsible and time-consuming effort that requires no small amount of knowledge, patience and resources.
  • The decision to get a dog should be taken seriously and after consideration. The information about how a dog must be looked after should be read before the dog is brought home, not afterwards.
  • A dog can live for up to 10-15 years and needs daily care and efforts in order to remain well behaved, healthy and beautiful…

We have a dream. It is a dream of a day when dog abandonment will not be a daily routine for the Bulgarians, the shelters would be empty and we would import dogs for adoption from… let’s say Turkey.

A dog without an owner is like a human without  a mother – we are all to them – their leaders, their parents, their brothers, their gods even. Living without  home out in the street is hard enough. But nothing is harder than going from a warm, loving home to the cold brutality of the street.

Although… perhaps in some cases abandonment could be viewed as a favor. Such are the cases of Roro, Misty, Duda and Shy – four owned dogs that came to the shelter abandoned by their owners and who now all have their new, loving and caring families!

Kind girl Misty is a 4 y.o. Golden Retriever. She was dumped with us for a reason we couldn’t understand – all we made out of the owners explanations was that she smelled like a dog… People are people, as they say, but to leave such a good dog, because you don’t have the time to keep it clean is… sad.

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Misty remained at the shelter for quite a while, but is now finally settled and even has her own cat. Misty is now officially the loving dog of a most wonderful family – the Spasovi! Well done!

Duda came to the shelter with her owners and was shocked to see them leave without her. To her great luck, a kind friend of ours came up to foster her, so she didn’t spend much time being cold at the shelter.


When Irina Manusheva wrote to us – we were quite surprised! She, her husband Petar Iliev and their two children had set their minds on helping an abandoned dog and opened their hearts for Duda – an 8 year old Great Dane! You  know that this huge breed has a very fragile old age, so there could be nothing better for Duda than to spend it loved and cared for in a good home. We hope the doggy gods decide to restart Duda’s countdown – since this is a new life for her. Good luck, Dudie!

Roro, the sweet black Labrador we found limping, hungry and scared has been adopted by Stoyan Stoyanov!


The funny boy has gone home where he is learning to live with the family cat and is being a good Labrador – friendly, fun and always hungry. We wish him health and happiness, and may he never again find himself alone in the streets!

There were so many people who wanted to adopt Shy the basset that it took us 2 weeks to talk and meet all of them. Many wonderful families wanted to have him, but he finally went home to Adelina Banakieva-Ivanova and her husband Vladimir!

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The couple has a few more dogs, birds and all sorts of interesting animals that are their passion in life. The noisy and fun Shy will be very happy and spoiled in this environment, he is already feeling well and “sweeping” his new yard with his long, curious ears.

So lucky! Both the dogs – for finding such wonderful families, and the people – for finding such wonderful dogs!

Greetings from your friend Zoran

Posted on 06 January 2013


With a huge gratitude for the help you sent him, our “Christmas gift” – the abused Zoran is recovering very well at the shelter clinic.

Excellent food, expensive medication and all sorts of airs and graces have put Zoran back on his feet in only ten days! The anemia is almost fully defeated, the wounds are sewn-up and healing, and his malamute heart is back to “I am the biggest and most important!” position, with that unique Northern arrogance that makes us love these unusual dogs so much.


All the documents on “the Zoran case” have been produced and given to the Police and state Procecutors.  Now we must wait for the wheels of state to turn to finally learn the Truth about Zoran.

Who is who at the Bogrov shelter

Posted on 03 January 2013

Or: “It is nice to meet you”, a story by Nadia, part one

I already mentioned that the people at our shelter are somewhat crazy. Last week, at our Christmas party this notion seemed to have grown and as a director of this wild circus, I decided to introduce you to the people who stand behind the miracles happening in Bogrov: the great love for animals concentrated here; the endless hard work; the care for each and every one of our animals. And also all the nonsense, arguments, slamming of doors, angry foot stomping and the all-favorite line “I can’t take this anymore”.

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Christmas party at the shelter

D-r Stankova

D-r Marietta Stankova (lately known under the code name of Margaritta) is my oldest acquaintance. We hated each other from first sight when she categorized me as a self-absorbed Barbie and I thought she was just a dog nut. So many things have happened since and today, in all honesty, we can say she was wrong and I was right.

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D-r Stankova at her home and with Dutch students at the shelter 

Margaritta is a person who would get up in the middle of the night to cross the whole city just because a self-absorbed Barbie has found a dog in agony and can’t handle the situation alone. No joke, it is the truth. So if ever you hear some of our Dutch students greet you with “mamka ti” (sort of “go to hell!”), you should know it was Margaritta whotold the poor person this meant “Hello” in Bulgarian.

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D-r Stankova and D-r Gergushka take a small break from a Spayathon

D-r Gergushka

The “kids” – this is the word we use for our younger doctors – d-r Ralitza Gergushka, d-r Polina Ilieva and d-r Melinda Bryn. Ralitza came to her interview with a long manicure, a miniature and very cut blouse and an impossibly blond hair. She lasted a whole day at the shelter before she left upset and offended. We had quite the laugh on her account.

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Spay/Neuter apprentice d-r Ralitza Gergushka in action

A few months later she came back and despite Marieta’s “I don’t want this one!” we decided to give her another try. To everyone’s surprise d-r Gergushka turned out to be a hard-working, light-handed and devoted doctor. So, to my dismay, when the time came for Marieta to pick one of “the kids” to train as a second surgeon – she picked Ralitza. All the hostility has been buried in the past and Ralitza proved to have all the good qualities of Margaritta, but (thank you, oh, Lord!) none of the bad ones. In other words we are 100% sure (well, almost) that she wouldn’t try and go beat up someone…

D-r Ilieva

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D-r Polina Ilieva in action at the Vivacom puppygarten

D-r Polina Ilieva is a little typhoon. Do not be misled by her fragile looks and humility. I did that in the beginning and am still winking with disbelief when I see her go around all furious and bossy. Polly has a true gift of a healer and though she does sometimes get signals form the Mothership we are sure her way is going all the way to the top.

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D-r Ilieva at the clinic and in a cage (under the supervision of d-r Bryn)

It also turned out that we had been waiting for Polly for our team to become a united machine that can not only work, but also have fun together. True, she is always chasing her colleagues with: “we are collecting 3 leva for someone’s birthday gift”, “2 leva for Christmas decoration”, “5 leva for this-and-that”… but no one gets angry. The boys even suggested their paychecks should be first given to her and then she can give them what is left after all that “we are collecting for”.

Kremena Ivanova

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Kremi adopting a dog from the shelter in 2011 and with Ralli – Helloween 2012

Kremena Ivanova used to be a volunteer, a donor and an adoptive mom for the dogs of the Bogrov shelter. Only later she became a keeper. After that she became an administrator. And only after she became The Sis. She is the good cop in the office team. She is the friendly and polite one, no one gets angry at her when she gives away tasks, because after all she is the big sis. Not for her age. But for the respect she has earned.

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Emil, d-r Polly, d-r Melinda, d-r Ralli, Kremi (The Sis), d-r Marierra, Valko and Milcho

Kremena is the one who will go and rearrange the storage, walk the ill dogs, do the laundry… when she gets tired of answering the phone.  Perhaps you have seen her on TV? She is the only one in the whole shelter who doesn’t go into hiding when cameras are nearby. That’s what a sis is for!

READ MORE: Who is who at the Bogrov shelter (part 2)

All our cats went home for the Holidays!

Posted on 30 December 2012

It is with great pleasure and excitement that we can announce the lucky faith of ALL our cats who until recently were desperate to find loving homes through Animal Rescue Sofia.
We enter the New Year basically “catless” which makes us extremely happy!

We begin with the luckiest of all – Paul! An aristocratic, wise, cautious and friendly male of about 4 years. Paul used to live in his own home in the Sofia center and had an owner that must have loved him… Anyway – this summer he somehow found himself on the street and coping with loneliness and hunger.


The wonderful news is that Pauli is already at home and settled in very well in the home of Anie Manova who adopted him for Christmas! ! !

The second luckiest cat in this tale is cat lady Miranda! She was dumped in the street fat and purry in the beginning of this winter. The problems with mature cats is that they are seldom sought for – the older a cat is, the harder it is to rehome.

miranda pri viki

This is why we send our best regards to Vicky – the lady who adopted from us our oldest cat yet, 14 year old Bobi. Bobi has recently passed of old age and Vicky contacted us straight away – looking for the least adoptable cat we had. Thus – she met our kind Miranda! Miss Miranda is already feeling at home with Vicky and is loving her new fortune!

Tow very lucky angels are now in Germany! It is Mimmy and Maliunchik who have come to live together in Berlin in the happy home of our fellow-Bulgarian Martina Docherty!

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At the fosters and in their new home!

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We thank Maliunchik’s foster parents and Martina for the successful organizing of the quite complicated logistics in this quest! Maliunchik’s new name is now Whiskey and we believe these two couldn’t have been luckier!

Golden girl Zlatka is now in her new, happy home with Mitko and Sasho where she is doing her best to remain unseen, hiding under all possible beds and couches – cats are such experts in hide-and-seek!

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The good thing is that the game will soon be over and there is no more risk for Zlatka. Her owner was leaving to live abroad soon and Zlatka’s odds were looking grim until recently. Luckily for both – things worked out and lady Zlatka has a new home with Mitko and Sasho just in time!

Indira and Perun – two lovely cats with a very special story. It was the same evening when we published their photos- all grown and well-looking that Indira and Perun got people who wanted them in Holland! Our friend Selma called us straight away and the two kitties left for Ovidefarm with our last transport. Indira and Perun are already with their loving people:

indira i perun

Franko! One of two amazing kitties found on St.Fransis’ day (Oct 04) – the World Animal Day. He was adopted by a kind family that is looking to adopt a “brother” for their own cat.


Of course – getting used to the new environment is going slowly and any self-respectful cat would have it. Francesco will need a few weeks to show his true self. We congratulate Martina Ivanova who made the right choice – to save the life of her new best friend by adopting!

And finally – Jente! A sweet angel, abandoned together with her brother and sister at a veterinary clinic. The babies wouldn’t cope out in the street so the kind vets put them in a cage in and even found a home for the third, black brother. The two ladies remained “jailed” until we found a foster family for them – it was too sad to have them sitting behind bars during the Hollidays.

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The wonderful news is that Jente has gone home today to a wonderful new family! She was adopted by Bronwyn Anderson and will live happily in her home together with her cat Charleigh! ! !

The only kitten that we have left at this moment is Seeri – her little sister. Who knows, there are still 2 days left till the New Year – perhaps she will be lucky too!