Art posters charity sale 24.09-06.10

Posted on 22 September 2012

57 unique posters – in the sense that there really is only one of each in this world – are awaiting their new owners! Hurry – these really are remarkable works of art.  Take your own unique poster and help the dog that is on it!

The sale of the fabulous posters will happen at Virtu design center (thank you, Anelia!).
We start September 24 and will go on till October 06 or until we have sold out.

The poster size varies as we had to trim some at the edges after the show.
The initial size is 170×120 cm.
The photos are incredibly fascinating and all dogs on them are from the Bogrov shelter.
The photos will change their owners for a 30BGN donation.
Every donor will receive a donation certificate for their donation.

There or at Anelia’s email you can book a poster and she will save it for you 3 days if you are unable to pick it up immediately.

The posters await you at VIRTU – 113 Gotze Delchev blvd
You can also write to Anelia on if you would like your poster delivered to you in another city or abroad.

Once more we thank the phenomenal Silvia Bratanova, Elitza Nikolova and Georgi Yanchev of WINGS Creative Studio.


Please note, the owners of dogs from the show that have been adopted are automatically first in line for their dogs’ photos.

For those who couldn’t get lovely stuff from the Charity bazaar at our last party, there will also be a stander with some necklaces, bracelets, rings and other pretty stuff – all profits are of course to benefit the dogs at the Bogrov shelter:


Posted on 19 September 2012

Dear friends,
as you are aware, we have not had a single transport abroad in the last 3 months. Hundreds of dogs have lingered behind because of this, the shelter has never been so overcrowded… It really has been the summer from Hell for us. The reason for that was not the lack of homes for our dogs with our partners in Holland, Austria or Germany; but the fact that we had no vehicle to transport the animals.

Today we are extremely happy to finally introduce to you a new member of the Animal Rescue Sofia team. Meet Kalcho, our fabulous, amazing, one and only – new transport van!!!

We named him Kalcho, because he looks like a ladybug – “kalinka” is the Bulgarian word for it. He will be bringing huge loads of happiness to hundreds, and hopefully – thousands of dogs and cats! We hope he is always well and safe on the roads of Europe.

Kalcho is a used Citroen Jumper – just as good as new! He has come to aid the hundreds of homeless dogs at the Bogrov shelter thanks to some very, very special people. Without these people hundreds of dogs would linger in their cages forever, waiting hopelessly for love to find them in their loneliness.

Without further ado – here they are, the angels that brought Kalcho to the dogs of Bogrov:

Words are not enough to express our gratitude.  We only hope that the good and generosity of these amazing animal friends will come back to them triple throughout their long, happy lives!

Bon voyage, Kalcho!!! 

Sofia introduces a methodology for the assessment of aggression in dogs

Posted on 30 August 2012

Photo by

After the two horrid cases in which elderly people were attacked by stray dogs and later on passed away from their injuries, Sofia municipality decided to act and take new measures for the withdrawal of potentially dangerous dogs off the city streets. In an answer to that we and our colleagues demanded that a distinct criterion is established in determining aggression in dogs. Thus, the organizations who work on the Sofia Trap&Neuter&Return program were invited by the Municipality to make their suggestions for a new methodology.

Such a methodology has been lacking for years and the assessment of aggression and the choice of euthanasia were left solely to the subjective opinion of the shelter manager. At the same time citizen complaints about “aggressive dogs” have continued to grow. People see this as an opportunity to get rid of the community dogs that bother them in some way. There is a huge need for a working and applicable method.

Diva and Dozer are only 2 of hundreds of dogs that enter the Sofia shelters alleged to be agressive by citizen complaints – as most of the others these two are sweethearts

In order to put an end to the euthanasia of dogs based on unsubstantiated allegations and in the same time guarantee the citizens that dangerous dogs will not be returned to the streets, we, together with our colleagues from “Vier Photen” Bulgaria and The German Spay-Neuter Centre, along with the director of the Municipal company “Ecobalance” studied and discussed several methods from all over the world. We picked out an Australian method, used by the government, but developed by their Humane society. It is also used in New Zealand, Canada, Hong Kong and other countries.

To be sure the method is humane and applicable we sought the help of world-renown canine behaviorist Anders Hallgren. Our chairlady Nadia Stancheva traveled to Sweden and met with world’s most famous canine behaviorist – Anders Hallgren. The two of them discussed the method and made slight changes in it making sure it is applicable to stray dogs. Mr Hallgren approved the method and sent a letter of support to the Sofia municipality.

Anders Hallgren has been researching dog psychology since the 1960-ties and is considered a most reputable and humane expert in the field. It is interesting to note, Anders actualy began involving himself in this issue upon learning of the great numbers of dogs being destoryes for behavior reasons in Sweden at that time.

It has been 50 years since then and Anders has published tens of books in many languages; conducted tens of strategically important researches on the subject and developed tens of methodologies for humane societies all over the world.



In short – the method comprises of a 7 step test that is to be carried out in a specific environment. What was important to us was that the test be applicable to dogs living in the street.

The main goal of such testing is to prevent the return of potentially dangerous animals to the street in the course of the Trap&Neuter&Return program and in the same time introduce a proven scientific approach in determining the aggressive dogs from the citizen complaints. The dogs deemed “unsafe” through this method will be held at the shelter for the legal period of 14 days until they are euthanized. In case a dog is wanted for adoption by a citizen or an NGO the dogs will be given to the interested party.

The method has been approved by Animal Rescue Sofia, “Vier Photen” Bulgaria and The German Spay-Neuter Centre and will be introduced in Sofia by the Municipal company “Ecobalance”.

“You can’t buy a friend” – amazing photo exhibition

Posted on 13 August 2012

Dear friends, from the 01-st to the 15-th of August Sofia’s Lover Bridge hosts the dog-lovers of the city.
In this period it will be the home of a photo-exhibition by the fenomenal Silvia Bratanova, Elitza Nikolova and Georgi Yanchev of WINGS Creative Studio. The 60 photos are all portraits of dogs from our shelter – all of them homeless dogs from the streers of Sofia

We thank the amazing Creative Studio Wings for yet another wonderful project they did to help the dogs in need. As always, the fenomenal WINGS are doing it for free. You can find more of their lovely work at their website. You can also subscribe to their Facebook page.

We thank the Sofia Minicipality and Mayor Fandakova who hosted the exhibition without charge, with the intent of making dog adoption more popular. Also, see Sofia Municipality’s cultural website.

We thank the wonderful team of BULGED printing house for yet another great discount they made for us. Without their support, we couldn’t have afforded the printing of these beautiful photos. See their webpage here.

We will fill THIS ALBUM with all the exhibition photos in the next few days. After the show is finished, we will sell the photos in benefit of the dogs at Bogrov shelter.

You can also find information about the exhibition on Sofia Live.

Outrageous new rules for the Seslavci volunteers

Posted on 09 August 2012

The new head of Municipal company “Ecobalance” d-r Neykov and the Sofia Municipality present us with yet another unpleasant surprise – new rules for the visitors at the Seslavci shelter:

Reading these rules we are left with the notion that this is not a dog shelter, but a hideout where the only proof of Alien life is hidden…
We want to especially point out the following points:

  • As to keep a normal working process and technological discipline visitors or volunteers at the shelter can not be more than 4 persons at a time.
  • Visitors and volunteers are allowed to enter the shelter on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 to 13 and on Saturday and Sunday from 09 to 14h.
  • Permission from the Mayor of Sofia is required for photo- and video-shooting on the shelter grounds, as well as publishing the information.
  • It is forbidden to photograph or film animals or objects that belong to the shelter, as well as publishing the photos without the written consent of “Ecobalance”.

Any normal person would ask themselves the following questions:

  • How exactly do volunteers interfere with the “technological discipline” of “Ecobalance” employees when they are caring for the ill, stressed-out animals?
  • What is it that must remain hidden from the public attention that requires so limited open hours?
  • What in this Municipal shelter must be kept secret, unseen, unpublished, and unknown to the citizens of this city to an extent which requires and explicit permission from the Mayor?
  • Do the employees of Municipal company “Ecobalance” and Sofia Municipality have a slight notion of living in the 21-st century, on a continent called Europe, in a Democratical state that is guaranteed by something called “civil control”?

Interferance of the Technological Discipline

Important notice:
Bogrov shelter (ran by ourselves) and Seslavci shelter (ran by “Ecobalance”) are both Municipal. Nevertheless – the Bogrov shelter is open every day – 365 days a year, all day long, including weekends – both for visitors and volunteers. Every single day tens of people enter the shelter, make photos and then publish them online in social networks, websites and forums.

Now an extremely difficult question:
Where does the difference in management come from? Why are things not transparent at Seslavci? Who is trying to hide What from Whom?

Let’s try and figure out some options:
Option 1: The worst possible answer – Sofia Municipality, by the hand of its company “Ecobalance” is preparing to cover-up planned illegal activities in its shelter in Seslavci.
Option 2: As you know, a few day ago the Bulgarian state officially complained to Brussels that it’s being harassed by the non-governmental organizations. Perhaps this is a continuation of the brilliant thought that state and citizens have nothing in common and are in a state of war.
Option 3: There is no particular reason – things simply “happen” as a result of a lack of professionalism and general planning combined with an overdose of bureaucracy and authoritarism.

The volunteers are organizing a protest this Sunday at 09a.m. in front of the Seslavci shelter.
Get involved with helping the dogs at Seslavci HERE.

You have the right to remain caged and lonely

You donated 101 books to the children with hearing disabilities

Posted on 07 August 2012

Kittens Sig and Edgar help us pack the books

101 books were donated by the Pay It Forward charity bazaar. They went to the local special school for children and youngsters with hearing difficulties “Proffesor Decho Denev” here in Sofia! It is the largest school for children with hearing issues and is the only one in the are to offer specialized education to children who can not hear. The kids with hearing dissabilities mostly read, but their library needs new books.

Adventures, novels, classic literature and a bunch of the most popular vampire-saga books went to the youngsters at the specialized schools – a gift from their dog-loving friends.

The people who organized the event have brought a total of 350 books to the school. We are sure ours will be very popular with the kids – they are really good books, not just some home library leftovers. If you would like to take part in the initiative – more books will be needed for various schools in the country. Read about it HERE.

We want to thank everyone who donated books for the charity bazaar. We decided to send the books to the children without asking as we were most certain that our donors would be glad to help the kids in this way. We have plenty of goods donated, so our next charity bazaar will take place in the end of September or early October, we will keep you informed.

The school yard

A new official member at the ARS team

Posted on 25 July 2012

Alexandra Mincheva is the new volunteers coordinator at Animal Rescue Sofia!
Alex is sisters with our previous volunteer coordinator and has already been doing her sisters’ task for quite a while.

Alex has been a devoted volunteer at the shelter for over 2 years now.
Genly and quietly – that is her style – she has been fabulous help for the dogs of Bogrov!

Come rain or come shine – Alex always finds the energy to give love and care

We count on her for our “voluneers”mail; together with Vicky they write the adds for the dogs from the shelter; she maintains our DMS page on Facebook; she and Vicky make sure that there is good coordination between the shelter team and the weekend volunteers… So much to do! Thank God there are two wonderful sisters!

Thank you, dear Alex, for being so devoted and watchful, it is a pleasure to be working with you always!

Vicky remains on the team, but she can no longer take on so much responsibility. Why? Well… she decided to become a court policewoman. Yes, it’s true! We are bewildered, but beleive that Bulgaria will be a better place if there were more police officers like herself. Congratulations, Vicky and good luck!

Upper right corner – Vicky on her last day at the police academy in Pazarjk

Bogrov shelter on TV

Posted on 24 July 2012

“Give a paw” TV show was dedicated almost entirely to our shelter this week. Our kindest regards to hostess Elitza Eneva for the attention and kind words!

The show is funded through the “Safe and hеalty life throught enhancing citizens responsibility towards pets ” project of the EU-IPA cross-border program, Bulgaria-Serbia 2007-2013

BBQ&Beer party + a charity bazzar

Posted on 15 July 2012

1250 E were raised at the Animal Rescue Sofia BBQ party & charity bazaar this Saturday!
113 smiling guests helped the Bogrov shelter cover a few very urgent liabilities in this difficult summer. Thank you, dearest friends!

Special regards to the team that made this party as fun and cozy as it was:

  • Maria Dincheva and Luben Alexiev who organized the sale at the bazaar;
  • Anelia Nikolova of VIRTU design center who collected and sorted all the goods for the bazaar;
  • Silvia from SHOKOLADNITSA who brought us tasty sauces (we need more next time, yumm!);
  • Maggy Aslanska who hosted our party and helped us all day long;
  • Everyone who donated goods and trinkets for the charity sale!

The veggie BBQ concept was very successful – to our dismay – nobody brought any meat!

The bazaar was huge and of course – a lot wonderful stuff still needs an new owner – we should repeat it when people are back in the city.

The next big party we are planning is for September – if you have any ideas or suggestions – write to us. We were thinking to make it a Bake Party – with cakes, pies and cookies…

It was great seeing you!
The party felt like a dinner with friends somewhere out in the open. See you soon!
Thank you for coming, thank you for helping!!!

– – – – – – –

Dear friends, you are invited to a party and a charity bazar!

We will be having a 2 in 1 event! A charity bazaar and a BBQ party.



The bazaar starts at 4 p.m.
The party starts at 7 p.m.

Sofia 1164, James Bourchier 23 blvd

See photos from our previous event at the same venue HERE.
Вижте по-голяма карта

News from the institutions – a light at the end of the tunnel

Posted on 10 July 2012

Life goes on and despite the unbearable heat, the forest fires and the rise of the prices for electricity – the stray dog problem continues to be a priority in Bulgaria. Besides our everyday work – we are currently working on a campaign in Novi Iskar together with the municipality – as an animal welfare organization we have to monitor and work for a good legislative framework.

This is a short update on the basic matters, relating to stray dogs at the moment.

Changes to the Animal Protection Act

As you  know, we were extremely worried when the far-right wing ATAKA party proposed insane changes to the Act. Knowing this is a cheap populist move we were not expecting the governing GERB party to back these changes. We were shocked to see the Ministry of Agriculture support the changes, sending a statement to the Parliamentary self-governing commission, stating the CNVR program must be dropped. What they were thinking – we have no clue. The good news is now things are being put differently.

The governing GERB party has filed the changes they will request in the Animal Protection Act. They suggest a strengthening of the CNVR program by specific measures. All in all we can say we are satisfied to the changes that will be made with a few exceptions. The most important points are:

Strong new measures:

  • The making of a national strategy by the Ministry of Agriculture – a nation-wide regulation of the way the problem must be solved in local municipalities;
  • Microchipping of all owned and homeless dogs;
  • Raising the fine for dog abandonment to 1000BGN (500E).

Weak points:

  • Dropping of the Dog Supervisors;

A dog supervisor was a person who engaged with the deworming and revaccination of neighborhood that have dogs already been neutered and returned. Such a program has been quite successful in Plovdiv. Unfortunately here in Sofia there often are serious conflicts between the supervisors and Municipal Ecobalance company employees.

  • Creating a nation-wide register for the owned and homeless dogs.

Minister Naydenov’s last promise to the Mayor Fandakova was that the national dog registry database will start to function as of July first. Well 01-07-12 has long passed, but no database has begun functioning. It turns out the private vets are only now beginning to file their applications for an access to the registry…

Important notice! Please note that any dogs you have neutered at the Bogrov clinic are already a part of this database – we have access through our shelter account.

All suggested measures can be found HERE (Bulgarian only).

Changes to Regulation 41

We’ve already informed you that the National Food Agency blocked the approval of the text we revised. According to the executive director of the Agency, the meetings they organized with us for the Regulation 41 (how shelters look and function) were not according to the procedure.

We have now received a new invitation from the Ministry of Agriculture. The invitation has also been spread to more members than the group we had previously – it will include: Jenny Popova, head of the municipal shelter in Ruse; Margarita Peeva former manager of the Nessebar city shelter; Grigor Dimitrov, chairman of the DBTH with shelters in Dobrich, Shumen and Sofia. We believe that such an expert group will be able to produce a quality text and the risks of the creation of dog concentration camps will be minimized.  Of course, we will not be easy until the changes are made official.

Work in Sofia

As you know, after the second incident when another elderly citizen was attacked by dogs, the mayor Fandakova decided to take the matters into her own hands. As a result – weekly meetings are held at her office to coordinate and plan the work on the Spay/Neuter program in Sofia. The organizations present at the meetings with the Mayor are: Animal Rescue Sofia, Four Paws Bulgaria, German Spay/Neuter Center, Bulgarian Veterinary Union, Municipal company Ecobalance, Sofia Municipal Council, Sofia administration.  Mostly current problems and plans are discussed, schedules and plans are made and etc.

At our last meeting this Monday 09-07-12, Mayor Fandakova discussed the possibility of giving us land to build our own shelter with our Chairlady Nadia Stancheva. We were offered a few options and will be looking at them this week.

You probably have already heard that a new shelter will be built in Sofia, for 2 000 dogs. The place of the new facility is neighboring to the Bogrov shelter. You can find the specifics HERE (Bulgarian only) – the plans are published on the Sofia Municipality website.

We will keep you informed on all these important issues. Cross your fingers that the light we see in the tunnel is not the headlight of an approaching train.

Bake sale at the US embassy

Posted on 28 June 2012

It was a lovely day at the Embassy! 603BGN were raised at a bake sale for Animal Rescue Sofia.  With a huge table of muffins, brownies, cookies and cakes the children of the Anglo-American School of Sofia did their best to raise donations for the animals of the Bogrov shelter.  They had already collected 132BGN between themselves at the school, and also brought food, treats and toys for the animals. Grado the poodle was once again an ambassador for the animals in need and he became a major attraction in the fundraiser.

Perhaps the day was most important for our little kitten Tootsie! She was rehomed with a loving family at the Embassy – Cynthia and Milton. The kind couple’s elderly cat recently passed and they needed a new friend for their 5-year old Catrina Hurricane rescue – Tiger. Tootsie now has a new name – Sofi, and she has become a friend with her new “brother” already!

Our regards to the US Embassy, the AASS pupils, Mrs.Cathy Seigl and Mrs.Elizabeth Petrie for being there for the animals!

End of the Roma ghetto campaign, we start in Novi Iskar

Posted on 26 June 2012

Our campaign with the Sofia Municipality for the Spay/Neuter of dogs in the Roma neighborhoods has ended. Unfortunately, the condition of the animals was very poor – ill or full of parasites the dogs live side-by-side with people in these awful places. Regardless of that, doctors Stankova and Stoyanova managed to neuter safely hundreds of animals. We had to keep a dozen of dogs for treatment, euthanized one and rehomed another.

We are very grateful to the people who sent help and enabled us to buy flea and tick treatments for 220 dogs. The situation was really bad, we are amazed how the sanitary authorities allow whole neighborhoods to be flooded by parasites – it is unimaginable.

Special tanks to d-r Koen Cirkel and d-r Anna Weller from Holland. The two doctors came especially to help with the Spay/Neuter of dogs in the Roma ghettos. Our kindest regards for all the help, you were great!

This poor dog had been left paralyzed for weeks after being hit by a car. After we tested and treated it with corticosteroids unsuccessfully we had to make the hard decision of putting it to sleep. Too sad.

This here proud and kind dog is 4-year old Ricksy. His owners specifically said they don’t want him after he is neutered, threatening to kill him if he is returned. He must be one of the luckiest dogs ever! The next day after we took him, he was found by Stanimir Tatarov. Stanimir really liked Ricksy and offered him a loving home. Now Ricksy is enjoying a wonderful life in a huge yard together with two other good dogs.

Un-spayed yard dogs in ghettos and suburbs are the main source of new dogs on the streets of our city. A well-planned and carried out Spay/Neuter campaign can help us substantially decrease the number of newly-dumped dogs and puppies, thus making the Spay/Neuter program results more visible to the public.

Starting this week, we will carry-on a similar campaign in the Novi Iskar suburb. The idea is that with the help of the Municipality we will be neutering yard dogs on the same principle – castration, deworming, vaccination against Rabies, microchipping and returning to the owner.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: We are again open for free Spay/Neuter. The clinic will not be signing dogs up for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – those are the days we will only work with Novi Iskar dogs. We continue to use our temporary number – 0879 022 675. As before, we will give priority to pregnant cats and dogs – you can call to bring them even if you don’t have an appointment.