A few years back there were very few organisations (either Bulgarian or foreign based) working within Bulgaria to ease the plight of stray and abandoned dogs, just a couple in the larger cities such as Sofia and Burgas. However, over the last few years there have been many new NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organisations) and un-official shelters set up, as well as increased volunteer activity at municipality shelters, some of these now being run by foreign organisations. A number of ‘expats’ have also moved over and set up [usually un-official] rescues and shelters, often just taking in animals into their own homes.
Of course along with the good, comes the bad and it has also led to a number of rather dubious set-ups, with animals being collected and hoarded as a way to make money, rather than for the good of the animals. And some of the municipality shelters are known to be awful places, where dogs are kept in terrible conditions and often left to die. Clearly we do not advocate taking a dog to any of these pounds, although there are groups and volunteers that work to take as many dogs as they can from these places.
Below is a list of organisations and shelters actively working in Bulgaria, we feel very strongly that the stray and abandoned dog population could be far better dealt with by organisations working within their local areas to help animals there instead of dogs being transported several hours to a clinic or rescue space and concentrating on neutering within their own local area.
We do not personally have any involvement or knowledge for many of these, except where noted below, however, we have not heard anything negative about these organisations either. This list will be updated as needed. Contact details for the various places below can be found by visiting their website or Facebook page.
Shelters & Organisations
Pet Sisters – https://www.facebook.com/petsisters.bg/ (have worked with Pet Sisters)
Animal Rescue Sofia – www.arsofia.com (also offer free neutering)
STARA ZAGORA PROVINCE
Kazanlak Municipality shelter – backed by an Austrian organisation (http://www.tierhilfe-sueden-austria.at) and also helped by Ive (Animal Hope Bulgaria Kazanlak) and Twitchynoses. Free neutering available for street and village dogs by contacting Twitchynoses.
Karnobat – https://www.facebook.com/priutkarnobat/
Smoylan area – Little Angels Rescue Bulgaria – Facebook page [Close partners in our rescue organisation here & TheNeuterNetwork and offers free neutering for village and stray dogs in the immediate area]
Rudozem Street Dog Rescue – http://www.streetdogrescue.com/
VELIKO TURNOVO PROVINCE
There is a shelter in Shemshevo village, just west of Veliko Tarnovo – Facebook page
Animal Hope Bulgaria – Plovdiv – http://www.animalhope-bulgaria.com and offer free neutering at clinic in Plovdiv
ROUSSE REGION & DOBRICH REGION
Deutsch-Bulgarischen Straßentier-Nothilfe e.V. work with the municipality isolator at Rousse and also have a place in Dobrich. There is more information here – http://www.db-tierhilfe.de. They offer free neutering for village and stray dogs in the area.
Provadia Dogs R Us is a volunteer group that work with the shelter at Provadia, provide free neutering in the local area and help re-home dogs from their region (personally known to us).
Kavarna Animal Rescue – A small organisation working around Kavarna to help street dogs there, neuter others and re-home where they can. We have personally helped them re-home a couple of dogs and know them personally.
Foundation “Hope for the strays” – www.straydogshope.com
Animal Hope Varna – https://www.facebook.com/animal.hope.varna/
TARGOVISHTE PROVINCE & SHUMEN
Targovishte shelter is only for adult dogs as just 12 cages. They have a Facebook page here
Shumen: German – bulgarian help for animals also operate here
Other Municipality Shelters
There are municipality shelters (as far as we are aware but this does change as the councils sell off land, close shelters down through an apparent lack of funding etc) in Burgas (0889 974837) in the Poda area (situated south of Bourgas, before Kraimorie), one in Seslavtzi in Sofia which is by all accounts packed full of dogs and a relative death sentence for dogs going there, although there are various volunteer groups that help there such as Isolator Seslavtsi Facebook Group, and the Adopt A Dog From Seslavtsi page. On the edge of Varna there is apparently a shelter in Kamenar, there is currently a municipality shelter in Stara Zagora, just near Metro but there are rumours this is closing, one in Shumen, one in Montana, one in Dimitrovgrad, one in Blagoevgrad, one in Rousse and a terrible one in Kardzhali.
For help with stray cats and kittens there are the following organisations that may be able to help:
Other organisations working in Bulgaria include:
Foundation “Four paws” – www.vier-pfoten.bg
Tierhilfe Sueden – www.tierhilfe-sueden.de
FENIX – German – bulgarian mission for animal protection, Bourgas, Slavyanska” str. 35
Tel. 056/823 010, 056/821 637
GSM 0898 425 350
Tierschutzverein Scharko e.V. – Bulgarien – http://scharko.jimdo.com
Help Bulgaria Street Cats & Dogs – http://www.helpbulgariastreetcatsanddogs.co.uk
If you operate a NGO here in Bulgaria and would like your details adding here please get in touch and let us know the region you work in. We strongly feel that funds and resources would be much better spent and more good could be done if organisations concentrated on working in their own local region and dogs were not transported all round Bulgaria to find a rescue place.