Rabied dogs from Bulgaria – a mystery or a mystification?

Posted on 20 November 2013

We share with you a report by News7 in regard to the very dangerous and difficult subject – the alleged export of Rabied dogs from the Bulgarian town Silistra to Holland. In the matter of only a few days the media took on a melodramatic story fed to them by the Dutch veterinary authorities and it led to colossal problems not only for our Dutch partners, but for everyone seeking salvation for unwanted animals in the Western country. Below you will find a translated transcript of the story aired by News7, you can view the video HERE.

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Is there rabies among the homeless dogs in Silistra or not? This is the question we went to investigate and the answer to which you will now see. Our colleagues in Silistra track down a real mystery – whether it is a mystery or a mystification – decide for yourself.

TEXT: Everything started on October 23 when the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency received a letter from the Dutch veterinary services. It carried the claim that two dogs originating from Silistra that have been sent to the land of tulips for rehoming have displayed Rabies symptoms, confirmed by a laboratory test after they were euthanized. The Bulgarian authorities acted immediately – urgently calling the Regional Epizootic Commission to work.

Fevsi Usun, director of the Regional Branch of the Food Safety Agency:

As we have not yet found any cases of Rabies in the area, we are aiming our measures to precaution and informing the population on preliminary measures. We need the Municipal epizootic commissions to take action for the owned and homeless animals, gather information on any dead animals that are found in the area.

TEXT: The commission has taken all possible measures, ruling there are no Rabies cases in the area. The questions remain. Not a single member of the local veterinary specialist believes that the dogs we actually infected.

D-r Dimitar Stefanov, chairman of the Tutrakan hunting association:

Yes, I can say with complete certainty that the dogs we not infected with rabies. They have lived in a home environment entirely between the months June-September. The anti-Rabies vaccine works after 7 days, forming antibodies in the organism. There is practically no way that these vaccinated puppies could have been infected with the disease.

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Fevsi Usun, director of the Regional Branch of the Food Safety Agency:

After taking account of all information in this case and finishing our responsibilities to it we can have no doubt that the dogs were not Rabies carriers.

TEXT: D-r Yovko Haralanov who has performed the vaccinations on the puppies cannot find any logic in the accusations received by the Dutch authorities. Anti-Rabies vaccination is a routine procedure, one that is performed successfully every single day, the dogs were given inoculations by a French manufacturer and were in complete order. The manufacturer gives a 100% success rate for the vaccine shots.

We were absolutely shocked to receive the information 20 days later – that the puppies were euthanized on a Rabies suspicion that is supposed to be confirmed by a respected laboratory. I find this absolutely strange and cannot agree with the proclaimed results.

TEXT: The Dutch themselves have said unofficially that the dogs displayed no Rabies symptoms, but were experiencing gastro-intestinal issues after their long journey. There are many more details that make the allegations of the Dutch authorities highly improbable. Renown foreign specialists have expressed their lack of convincement that both dogs were carrying the Rabies virus.

D-r Yovko Haralanov:

I have discussed this situation with rabies-specialists both in the UK and the US and they have expressed their doubts on this actually being a real Rabies case.

TEXT: Since the Bulgarian Veterinary Authorities have completely excluded the possibility of the dogs being infected with Rabies on Bulgarian or Dutch territory – what has actually happened?

D-r Dimitar Stefanov:

I will have to say it directly – this is a case of unversed, unqualified work. The fact that they have found negrian bodies on the swab in the laboratory test proves absolutely nothing, definitely not that the dog is a Rabies carrier.

TEXT: There is an implication that seems very probable – lately we have had many homeless dogs exported to European countries, could this be the reason?

D-r Yovko Haralanov:

I cannot know what exactly is the point of this and whether it is an attempt by the Dutch authorities to seal off the import of animals from Bulgaria.

D-r Dimitar Stefanov:

Having in mind that Holland, France have their own shelter animals to think of, it is not surprising that they will come up with a way to restrict the import of dogs from Bulgaria and other countries.

TEXT: Of course, for us it is most important that the dogs in Silistra have no symptoms of Rabies whatsoever. If any homeless dogs in the city were indeed infected with Rabies that would make life in the city a living hell, or at least that is the opinion of the specialists. And yet – the questions still remain unanswered, somewhere on the long European road between Bulgaria and Holland.


The super sale at Paradise Garage Boutique!

Posted on 20 November 2013


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A stunning total of 8816 BGN were raised for a new shelter by the fairies of Karnigradska street – Marinella Zakaryan (Paradise Garage) and Rayna Kosovska (MUSE shop)!


The boutique put together the charitable work and kind hearts of the incredibly talented: Kalina Chankova from Kliuch shop, VЯRA, Papieta, Mira Jambazka – MODO, Vyara Tzeneva Jewellery, abina Petrakieva, Ogledaltse Ogledaltse, Vintage Sofia, Blagorodna Georgieva, 46pinkBerlin, Lucy Dyakovska and Kamelia Veselinova, Mbg FashionStudio, Ma cherie – la fee boutique, Sylvia Philipova, Inga Ilieva, Rayna Kosovska and Irena Christova! THANK YOU LADIES! Your work is breathtaking!!!

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In harmony with the great beauty of the specially made items –t-shirts, scarfs, dresses, skirts, earrings, necklaces, and all sorts of lovely hand-made accessories – the event had a huge success! So far, this is the most successful fund-raising campaign dedicated to the Animal Rescue Sofia dogs. The funds are already stored safely in the new shelter bank-account:

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Click HERE for more lovely photos.

WE THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS – everyone that was a part of this amazing day! We hope to see you again soon before the year is ended, so we can once more be a voice for our silent best friends!

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Paradise Garage will continue to raise funds for the ARS shelter – you will find lovely stuff that hasn’t found a new owner on Saturday, as well as our brand new calendars and a donation box. Make sure you pass through soon, you will find something you LOVE, that we can guarantee!

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It will be a unique day at the corner of Tzar Asen and Karnigradska – the lovely ladies of Paradise Boutique and the MUSE SHOP right next to it have collected a ton of fabulous apparel and accessories that will be sold to the benefit of Animal Rescue Sofia!

The most prominent and talented new Bulgarian designers will be guests at Paradise Garage: Rayna Kosovska, Kalina Chankova, VЯRA, MbgFashionStudio, MODO, Vyara Tzeneva Jewellery, Sabina Petrakieva, the German label 4pinkBerlin and many others!

The event begins at 12:00 and will go on till 20:00!

SIGN UP AS A GUEST ON FACEBOOK and see more beautiful stuff that is looking for a new owner this Saturday!

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It will be a day to remember, friends!
Come, and ask your people to come along – as long as they like beautiful stuff and love dogs – thety are very welcome. Let’s all come together and give the dogs of Sofia a true Shelter, where good things happen to them, on the way home!

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Mountain climbing for ARS!

Posted on 18 November 2013


23 tourists led by the sweet Elitsa Antonova have raised 325 BGN for an ARSofia shelter. The funds have already been transferred to the account where the amazing 60K double every donation. This means that the dogs are getting a total of 650 BGN from this wonderful initiative!


We want to cordially thank Elitsa from “Mountaineering with Ivan” and all the people who joined her hike to the Skaklya waterfall. We will succeed. We will succeed together, dear friends!

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Dear friends,
Elitsa Ananieva of the wonderful “MOUNTAINEERING WITH IVAN” invites you to a doggy hike to the Kaklya waterfall with a charity participation fee. You can enjoy the last days of the golden autumn and in the same time help Animal Rescue Sofia raise the funds for a new shelter.


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For more information:

  • 0895 426 554 Elitsa
  • 0898 663 703 Ivan

A Street Show for ARSofia – November 16-th, Sofia center

Posted on 12 November 2013


The Machines hip-hop band, the Acrobatic and Cheer-leading teams of the First English Language School invite you to an amazing Street Show! There will be many cool participants, unique dancers, great music, and a worthy cause to support – ours!

The event is planned in support of the Animal Rescue Sofia shelter – so we can purchase our Dream Farm and continue working for the city.

You are welcome on Nov 16, Saturday, at 4:30p.m. at the Sofia University underpass! Come, have a great time, dance with us and help our dogs get a roof over their heads and hundreds more others find the love and comfort of a good home!


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Organized by:

PTPI The Doves Chapter

ARSofia & Friends Flash-Mob

Posted on 10 November 2013

“True friends are not those who stand by you when it is time to laugh, they are the people who will be by your side when you are weeping”

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You could say that in the last few difficult months each of us has felt lost, and not once, many times. Every single one of us has tossed and turned at night, uneasy with questions “What should we do?”, “Maybe we should just quit?”, “Why do these people hate us?”, “Is there any point to this never-ending struggle?”…

And this is how you, dearest adopters, answered us. This is how you managed to wipe away all doubt from our minds – by coming and not only showing your support, but also bringing along the real reason that makes it all worthwhile.

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Counting the dogs rehomed is one thing. But it’s a whole other story to see 150 of them in one place with their owners by their side. It is not likely that we would be able to put the feelings of our hearts into words and describe the feelings this meeting provoked. The happy, well cared for and greatly loved dogs speak louder than any words could do.
They seem to be our dogs, but are not anymore. They seem to be the same, but are completely different.


Seeing Jack, who got his first real hug at 7 years of age giving a high-five to Nadia – heart-melting! Seeing him lean on his master’s leg just to make sure his adoption was not just a dream – priceless!
The hug Zoran gave to Vessy when he met her is nothing in comparison to the little kiss he gave his master’s hand.
Are those two happy huskies pulling a bike really Bea and Dante? Weren’t they just two skinny, dirty, sad dogs that were left outside to die?
Could the little meatball running to greet us on three legs really be Santra who never looked up and shied away?
Three-legged Lynda that we rehomed over 3 years ago!?
Doncho, who looked like the walking dead???
Is this lovely Labrador really our blind Aura?
And Eezzy, Tascha, Bonnie, and so many dogs that left our shelter as little pups and are now huge lovable pets?
Dogs that have left us so long ago, that it seems like decades have passed…

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Oh, we can  continue this all day. Each of us, dearest friends, every smiling couple – dog and master gave us our faith back and reminded us why it all makes sense. No matter that some media called this “a protest”. No matter that most comments under the reports are full of hatred as usual. No matter. The only important thing today is… you. You and your four (or three) legged friends. We thank you from all our hearts! We thank you for the support, for donating 610 BGN! We thank you for coming! But most of all we are grateful to you for standing by us and giving us the courage to go on!


1246 leva from Street Salseros & The Dance

Posted on 09 November 2013

It was an incredible dance evening with a lesson by Mony of Street Salseros at The Dance. Over 60 generous, smiling guests raised 1246 leva whilst dancing and having a good time with the tasty treats provided by Los Pachangeros.

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We thank Zory of The Dance for organizing this awesome event and to all the lovely people of the evening who opened up their hearts to the saddest inhabitants of our city – the dogs we care for. Being up to our ears in our work we rarely ever go out and it was something we had never seen in Bulgaria – the evening felt like it was on a little island where the elegant and smiling people live.

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If you are wandering how to brake-up your schematic everyday life – try bringing life to your body and smile at The Dance, we promised ourselves to do it one day  – it turns out that there really is a lot of happiness in dancing, especially when there are so many kind and friendly people around.


Become a guardian angel, be part of the 60K miracle!

Posted on 08 November 2013

Dear friends of the dogs,
thanks to your incredible support the match-giving fundraiser with 60K International Call Centers has ended with a grand success!!!

(Please note that our “money-meter” calculates the funds in Euros, that makes: E 20 228!)

So, this makes our total results up to December 09: 172 935 Euros for the Farm where we can continue to work for the beasts in need, dear friends!!!

You have been absolutely incredible!!! THANK YOU for donating so generously!!! We thank the amazing people behind 60K both for donating and the brilliant idea! You really are guardian-angels!!!

Dear friends of the dogs,

our prayers have been answered. On the day of St. Michael – first among the angels, Animal Rescue Sofia and 60K invite you to take part in an extraordinary event – where there was 1 lev, there will be two.


The miracle

Have you ever heard of “Matched Giving”? Although it is very popular abroad, here in Bulgaria where Charity id only beginning to evolve, this method of raising donation has not become familiar yet.

The concept of Matched giving is simple: there is a Sponsor Company and many smaller Donors. The Sponsor Company agrees to double every lev donated on a certain account. This way, if you were to donate 10 leva, the Sponsor Company donates 10 more and the supported cause receives a total amount of 20 BGN.

Here is our little miracle:
The amazing team of 60K – one of the leading contact centers in Bulgaria – will support our joint effort by donating through a Match Giving campaign!

60K will DOUBLE every lev donated for a new Animal Rescue Sofia shelter at the campaign bank-account.


What does this mean? It’s simple: each lev you donate on this bank account will get a buddy lev donated by the people of 60K! We will raise X amount of money and 60K will change the equation to X.2 for the homeless animals in our city!

The initiative starts today and will be active for up to a month, depending on it’s success.

Become an angel

You too can be a guardian angel! You can donate and let your donation be doubled by 60K using the following account:

ProCredit Bank, 26 Todor Alexandrov blvd, Sofia, Bulgaria
IBAN: BG16PRCB92301033111022

Each lev that you donate on this account will be doubled by 60K!

Please note that only donations received at this bank account will be doubled!


60K is one of the leading contact centers in Bulgaria, working with clients on 27 languages from all over the world: e-commerce, telecommunications, IT and software developers, entertainment, leisure and travel, finance and insurance, research and etc.

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The company has over 600 young, talented employees who enjoy they work. They are the people who decided to support us in the effort of building a new home and future for hundreds of dogs.

60K on Facebook


Dear friends, even if you are unable to donate a modest sum to the bank account that 60K will double, we ask you:
please, share this idea with your friends and online, help this wonderful initiative reach a maximum number of people!!!


Our HUGE appreciation to 60K for their generosity! We can only hope that more companies would follow their example and be socially responsible and engaged with the most pressing issues of our huge city.
From the thousands of dogs we have not yet been able to help to all of you that will join this campaign – a bow and countless tails wagging!

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*MIRACLE – noun: 1. an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause; 2. such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God; 3. a wonder; marvel.

**ANGEL – noun: a person who performs a mission of God or acts as if sent by God.

***ARCHANGEL – noun: chief or principal angel.

An INSANITY session for our dogs

Posted on 03 November 2013


260BGN for the making of an ARSofia shelter were raised by the guests of coach Ivan Germanov at the Charity Insanity workout held at Arena Vitosha! A few words from Ivan to all the lovely participants who didn’t spare any energy and enthusiasm in this intensive effort:

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“I am very happy to tell you that the charity training at Vitosha Dance&Sport Arena has been more than successful! Over 20 daring sports-people came to our event, raising twice than what I was expecting – 260 BGN. Nice! This comes to tell us that the hearts of the participants are twice bigger than I dared to hope. I thank everyone for coming!

A donation box will be present at Vitosha dance hall, so that everyone may chip in at a better time. I thank you all again for making me believe. Regards!”

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And we thank Ivan for being such an awesome person!

A Halloween Party + Concert at BACK STAGE

Posted on 02 November 2013

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7414 BGN were raised by 460 guests at the amazing Charity Halloween Concert for the purchase of a place to turn into a shelter for the ARS dogs and cats!!!

Huge thanks to hosts Radio Café and Back Stage for the organization and hospitality; to the amazing musicians for the fabulous concert; to all of you who came, supported our work and made a huge donation altogether!


In a time when everything is divided in Bulgaria and people have nothing but hate for each other, it is a huge joy for us to see the friends of animals united in the common cause. Love WILL save the world, we know it and are happy to have met you!

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Friends, your generosity is absolutely amazing, there are no words to express our gratitude…
We wish you great happiness!

Special regards to the volunteers who worked whilst we were all having fun: Jasmina, Sofia, Martha, Anelia, Victoria and Alexandra.


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It will be a Halloween charity party with great Bulgarian musicians in help of the ARSofia animals.

As you know, we must leave the Bogrov shelter along with our dogs by the end of this year. For that purpose we must raise the money to buy a new place to continue saving lives. Come, bring your friends, your help is of the upmost importance!

The party has a charity ticket of 10BGN that will go to the ARSofia.

We will have t-shirts, mugs, calendars and plenty of beautiful stuff for sale – all for the dogs, of course!


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With COSTUMES, of course!

The three most original costumes will get special rewards, please think carefully – it will be a severe competition!


On Halloween eve – 31.10.2013, after 19:30 (the live music starts after 10)


At the BACK STAGE club
Just next to the musical theatre
100 Levski blvd, 1527 Sofia

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1000 leva from the kids at the Anglo-American School!

Posted on 29 October 2013

Huge thanks to the teachers and students at the Anglo-American School in Sofia for their help. 1000 BGN more for our dogs were collected these past few months by the kids at the school!


Stella went to meet the kids along with two of our most prominent good-will ambassadors – Grado & Penny – the poodles. They are often helping out the poor souls at the Bogrov shelter, making it possible to talk both to people who like and dislike dogs.

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One of the many fabulous fund-raising ideas that the AAS teachers put to work is the so-called “Stotinki Wars”. A few big jars are divided between the classes – each one is labeled. Then, each class is encouraged to put stotinki into the jars of the other classes, the goal being that your class should have the least possible amount of donations. The emptiest jar wins – a brilliant idea!

We are grateful to the wonderful staff at the AAS-Sofia for making sure their pupils grow up to be reasonable, compassionate and responsible people.


Regarding the cases of rabies in the Netherlands

Posted on 24 October 2013


In relation to the cases of dogs with rabies in Holland we state the following:

ALL our dogs travel in good health, carefully and fully vaccinated in according to all EU requirements, along with the requirements of the sending and receiving country. Accordingly – the dogs that leave the Bogrov shelter are vaccinated for rabies minimum 21 days before the date of departure.

We are in touch with ALL the organizations that accept and re-home animals for us in Holland, we have the following information: none of our animals have been affected or anything of the sort; the colleagues are calling EVERY single adopter who has taken in any of our dogs in the last 12 months for information and support.

Regards for d-r Ilieva

Posted on 05 October 2013

A big hug to our young veterinarian doctor Ilieva for successfully finishing a clinical pathology course at the Central Veterinary Clinic!

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Being a vet in a shelter is very heavy work that has little to do with working in a typical private clinic. Despite her young age d-r Polina Ilieva has proven to be a very serious and hard-working doctor in the very first weeks of our acquaintance when she started her internship under d-r Stankova. We are happy to have vets who are so devoted on our team and we hope they will become more and more qualified in time.