Why would anyone adopt a dog or cat from Bulgaria when there are so many animals in this country looking for a home?
This is a question which we and our adopters are frequently asked, and which you may be wondering if you are considering rehoming a dog or a cat.
If you have any doubts as to whether our dogs are worthy of rehoming in the UK, please read on.
A different attitude to animals in Bulgaria
It was a stark reality when we first moved to Rudozem in 2007 that animals are not viewed in the same way in Bulgaria as they are at home. We saw random acts of cruelty and neglect on a regular basis and decided quickly that we had to do what we could to ease the suffering of animals on the street.
We’ll be the first to admit that there is plenty of mistreatment of animals in the UK, but the sheer numbers of street animals here means that local people see them as vermin to be destroyed and often take matters into their own hands. The authorities have such a problem dealing with the sheer numbers that they resort to inhumane methods to keep the numbers under control. You can read more about the situation in Bulgaria on our website (www.streetdogrescue.com).
Sometimes, the senseless cruelty can get to us, but we keep on going by remembering all the dogs and cats that are now safe in homes in the UK, Netherlands and Germany.
Brenda who is from the US agrees, “There is still horrific abuse in the US, but we don’t have street dogs just running around. Most of our dogs are taken care of.”
More help is provided in the UK to unwanted animals
The animal charity sector in the UK is very well established, some with more than 100 years of working with stray animals. Those of us working to change attitudes and save animals in Bulgaria are having to build up interest and momentum in our work. Thankfully, social media is helping us to spread the word, but we do not have the massive support enjoyed by the larger rehoming charities in the UK.
The scale of the problem here is such that we can only hope to save a small minority of the animals that need our help.
For adopter Sophie, it wasn’t important where her dog came from. “Borders or countries do not matter to me – Lola was an animal needing a home.”
Adopters may be unable to meet the strict requirements of some rescues
We check any prospective adopter very thoroughly to be sure that they are capable of giving one of our dogs a loving home. This involves a rigorous telephone interview, followed by a home visit from an experienced and reputable home checker. We also give them plenty of time to make up their mind rather than pushing people into a quick decision where a dog might be sought after.
We are far more interested in the efforts that a new owner will go to for their new dog than in imposing blanket rules across the board.
For example, Anita was turned down by an English rescue because she was retired; Sarah was refused because she had a child under five. While we understand that in certain circumstances, people may not be able to provide the care and attention that a rescue dog needs, we believe that each person should be assessed on what they can offer an animal rather than applying inflexible rules to one and all.
Sadly, people who are turned down adoption may end up buying a puppy which brings a whole set of different considerations, as well depriving a rescue dog of a secure future.
Small dogs are very popular and may be hard to find
One of our adopters visited two rescues here before deciding to adopt from RSDR. Paula lives in London where small dogs are highly sought.
“We went to a London rescue and found it was full of staffies. They said that smaller dogs get snapped up before their profiles are even posted on the website. After that, we tried a rescue in Kent and found some lovely dogs, but again they were all too big for the life we could give them in our flat. RSDR has dogs of all shapes and sizes and when we saw Ella Rose, we knew we had found our girl.”
Are you ready to adopt one of our wonderful dogs?
We do hope so. Although they may have had a very rough start to life, we give them as much love and attention as we can to help them get ready for a forever home, wherever that may be. A full list of the dogs and cats ready for adoption is available on our website.
We agree with adopter Connie when she says: “All life is precious, wherever in the world.”