Khaleesi’s story – from street to safety

Khaleesi 1Thousands of people have been captivated on Facebook and Twitter by the unfolding story of little Khaleesi, the young dog found wandering on the streets of Bulgaria in an appalling condition.  Happily, her fight for survival on the streets is now over – she is being cared for by Diane and Tony at the Rudozem Street Dog Rescue.

Diane takes up the story….

“On the morning of 12th May 2014, Tony noticed that someone was asking on the RSDR Facebook page if we could help a dog from another town. The animal was in a terrible state – extremely thin and suffering from severe demodex (a parasitic mite which causes the condition known as “mange”).  There was a link to a local news article which was calling for her to be caught and destroyed in case she was diseased.  The pictures of her showed the extent to which she had been mistreated and neglected.

We have seen the abuse that even healthy-looking street dogs suffer – they are routinely kicked, chased off and have things thrown at them.  We could only imagine what this poor dog might be going through.

Why bother rescuing a dog in that state?

Odinb“The majority of comments on our Facebook page have been overwhelmingly supportive – a few have questioned our decision to rescue this dog given her appalling condition.  We can only rely on our experience with any of the animals that we meet.  In this instance, we thought back to a dog who came to us several years ago, a pup from the same town, who we named Odin.  He also had severe demodex, but after a lot of nursing, Odin became a happy, healthy boy and was adopted by one of our team members in Holland.

We felt that, if we could find this dog, we could help her and give her a chance of a happy future.

Locating the dog

“When we set off on the 70 kilometre journey, we only had a rough idea where the dog might be and, since we didn‘t know anyone in the area, Nikolai, who works with us at the shelter, came along to ask for directions and to speak to Bulgarian contacts. While we were driving, Anita our RSDR co-ordinator got busy looking for someone in the area who could help us locate the dog.  We kept in constant touch via text messages and eventually were contacted by two local ladies, Slavena and Meral, who offered to meet us to help find the dog.

Khaleesi 2Two hours later, we arrived at the place where the dog had been reported and waited for Slavena and Meral to arrive.  Before long, I spotted her on the other side of a roundabout.  All I could think about was getting to her and I didn’t even hear Tony shouting at me to take care of the traffic.  As we reached her, Tony called her and she came straight over, cowering as she approached us, but desperate for contact.

What did we find?

“This dog has to be one of the saddest cases we have seen.  She is so thin and has no hair. She is covered in fleas and tick; her ear is torn and her skin so sore. It also looked as though her front leg had healed badly after being broken.

Khaleesi3Tony scooped her up and carried her to the car. If it weren’t for the fact that we were in a busy town with so many people watching, I think I would have broken down and cried. The poor girl had suffered so much and yet was still so loving and trusting.

I phoned Slavena to thank her and let her know that we had found the dog. Meral was already on her way to meet us and arrived just as we got her in the car. We are really grateful to both of them for their help.

Khaleesi 4

Finding a name she deserves

“On the way home, we thought about what to call her. We wanted a name that meant something because we knew that if she was to make it she had to be strong. I decided to call her Khaleesi after the character from “Game of Thrones”.

Pain-relief first, then comfort

“There is no room at the shelter right now so, when we arrived home that evening, we put her in our kitchen where it would also be easier for us to check on her through the night.   Some of the lads who work at the shelter came to the house after work and were visibly upset by her condition, but this didn’t stop them giving her a fuss and reassuring her. By this time, it was 8pm, but they still went back to the shelter to get some meds that we needed for her.

Our first priority was to make her as comfortable as possible.  We gave her a pain-killer and antibiotics, as well as a worm treatment.  Then we bathed her.  She shed a lot of the dead skin during her bath and this will allow the treatment for demodex, ticks and fleas to work more effectively.  Over the next few days, we expect all the dead skin to come off and – with the treatment she is getting – her hair will start to grow back.

After such a long and eventful day, Khaleesi settled peacefully on her blanket and slept all night.

Next morning, she greeted me with a lick and allowed me to stroke and reassure her.  She has a good appetite and, despite her abuse and neglect, and the discomfort she is in, she is so happy to be around people and manages to wag her tail.

Khaleesi 1

Where do we go from here?

“What we at first suspected to be a badly-healed broken leg may in fact be a deformity, which is apparent in both front legs.  This could be congenital or the result of malnutrition so we have put her on additional medication for this. Once she is a bit stronger and her skin is giving her less discomfort, we will have her front legs x-rayed and full blood works done.

And it hasn’t taken her long to get used to her surroundings.  She lets us know when she needs the toilet by standing at the door. After she has done her business outside, she quite happily goes back to the kitchen and her bed.

It is early days yet, but it looks so far as though she is on the road to recovery.  We don’t know how long it will take, but we won’t give up on her.

Thank you for your support

“We are very grateful to everyone who helped us yesterday and to everyone who has donated towards Khaleesi’s care and medical treatment.  If you would like to help us to help her, you make a one-off or a regular donation via PayPal or our YouCaring page.

Is Khaleesi up for adoption?

“A number of people have asked whether they can give Khaleesi a home.  When she is fully recovered and has completed all the medical tests, we will then assess her to see whether she is suitable for adoption.  We are very grateful for your interest and will of course update you on her progress.

Khalessi truly is a beautiful girl and fully deserves her name.”

Click here for more information and updates on Khaleesi.




  1. Thank god for people like you, x

  2. Judy Petitto · · Reply

    Just have to follow this wonderful rescue of Khaleesi!

  3. jami hutchinson · · Reply

    I love her.. thank God for u…

    1. Judy Petitto · · Reply

      I think we all have fallen in love with the sweet soul of this little girl.

  4. Manuela Körner · · Reply

    ❤ ❤ God bless you all.. for help Khaleesi.. ❤

  5. Thank you for rescuing this beautiful kind gentle soul!

  6. kristy · · Reply

    U guys are heros

  7. lucien · · Reply

    Wat jullie doen is helemaal top .geen worden voor

  8. Lindsey Turnbull · · Reply

    Please can you let me know if you have found a home for her yet?

  9. angela · · Reply

    Diane and Tony, thank you so much for this amazing dog you now have, she is awesome and so are you guys, have donated for her care. Will want to know how she progresses of course, and thank you – I am in uk x

    1. Thank you very much, Angela. Your help means a great deal.

  10. Thank you for saving all the animals you do. We have all fallen hard for Khaleesi and cant wait to see her progress. So many people now following her too. Thank you. Krissy

    1. Judy Petitto · · Reply

      She has captured our hearts and souls.

    2. Thanks, Krissy. We’re doing our very best for her.

  11. Lindsey · · Reply

    Please can you let me know if you have found someone to adopt the beautiful princess. My email is

    Many thanks

    1. Hi Lindsey

      We will have to wait until Khaleesi is fully recovered before we can assess whether she is suitable for adoption. Unfortunately, owing to their history on the streets, not all street dogs can manage to settle in a new home. There are some permanent residents with us for this very reason.

      You can read their stories here:

      I will pass your email address on to our adoption team – where are you located? UK, Netherlands or Germany?

    2. Just spoke with the adoption team who advise that you complete an adoption form to register your interest. Then if Khaleesi is put up for adoption, they will be in touch.

  12. Senthil · · Reply

    Love you guys…you are God.

  13. I have no doubt God will give you guys everything you ask of in return, whether in this lifetime or the next. You guys are true ANGELS.

    I will be making a donation in the coming days.

    Never give up what you are doing. You are truly appreciated by everyone around you, believe me.

    I have no doubt that this pretty pup will make a full recovery and make a great pet!

    God bless the whole family!

    1. Thank you, Jim. You’re thoughts mean a lot to us.

  14. We are rooting for Khaleesi here in Washington state, USA. Thank you for taking excellent care of her and all your animals.

    1. Judy Petitto · · Reply

      We have all fallen in love with this very sweet soul and your wonderful rescue.Palms up and all paws crossed for all you do.We our ever thankful.

  15. Es algo maravilloso lo q haceis ,desde q vi las fotos d esa personica no puedo dejar de seguirla y ver cono evoluciono,siempre lloro por ella,aqui teneis una persona q estaria encantado de recibirla y cuidarla y darle una vida feliz llena de mimos y felicidad.
    Soy muy grandes
    Un abrazo fuerte
    Sois geniales

  16. I’m in tears! You’re all amazing, thank you for all you do xx

  17. You guys are so wonderful. Wishing Khaleesi a speedy recovery.

  18. I wonder if we will ever live in a world in which compassion is expected rather than an oddity. I am losing hope that will happen. Thank you for making a difference in this dog’s suffering so that it will know love. I can’t help but be sad for us all when I think of all those people who walked by this dog daily and did nothing. What kind of soulless society are we that we never learn from those who come before us, such as Elie Wiesel, who spoke of the cruelty of indifference? Living in a world in which people allow this type of pain to continue has to be one of the most frightening challenges facing us and our future.

  19. Sanjay S · · Reply

    Cant pay using this from India 😦 It asks for a county and shows only UK counties). I am so sorry … Really wanted to help. You guys are real angels. God Bless you all. Pl keep posting Khaleesi’s progress on here.

    1. That’s odd, Sanjay. I will look into that for you. Thank you for your support 🙂

    2. Hi again, Sanjay

      It seems that your country settings are not loading correctly in PayPal. Try choosing a different country from the drop down list, waiting until the settings load, then changing back to India. It should load then.

      If you have any problems, email and I can show you what to do with screenshots.

      Thank you.

  20. Belinda Kritzinger · · Reply

    I’m sobbing uncontrollably at the state of that poor innocent animal and for the angels that rescued her. Much love to you all

  21. […] Read the first part of Khaleesi’s story – from street to safety. […]

  22. maresa · · Reply

    I used to work in welfare, so I know exactly what you guys put in to heal that dog. Due to finances, I had to go into private practice, but my heart yearns to go back to welfare! I became a mobile groomer, so I still work with dogs, but oh, the satisfaction is not the same!! It takes very special humans to do that work, we are the real angels of this world, there’s nothing quite like it. The satisfaction and joy when you work with a dog and you see them heal and beautifull personalities appear, but the devastating heartache that also want to destroy you sometimes… love what you guys are doing, may God keep on blessing you with everything He’s got!!

    1. Thanks for your good wishes, Maresa x

  23. […] we took Ragnar to the Provet Clinic (where we took Khaleesi when she first arrived).  Even before we go there, the poor boy was having trouble breathing with all the mucus coming […]

  24. lizandlifestyle · · Reply

    This is too sweet! I kind of wonder how animals are treated in Europe based on what a friend of mine from Poland told me.. she thought it was odd we allowed animals inside our homes. Its nice to know that some people aren’t scum and have compassion.

  25. It’s remarkable too go to see this website and reading
    the views oof all colleagues about this piece of writing, while I am also zealois of getting

  26. […] “We know the abuse that even a healthy looking street dog will suffer, getting kicked, chased off and having things thrown at them, so we could imagine what might be happening to this poor dog,” staff member Diane Rowles wrote in a blog post. […]

  27. Alejandra · · Reply

    Wow! This is amazing, great job.
    Love for all the angels that take care of them. ❤❤❤❤

  28. Emanuela · · Reply

    What you do is incredible. I wish there were people like you everywhere in the world.. i’ve lived in Egypt for instance, and there are so many dogs and cats that need help just like family and i have always had animals at home, always saved from the street. Unfortunately people over there don’t understand that animals have a heart and feelings just like humans (probably even more) and often treat them like objects.

    1. Thank you for your kind works and for caring 😃

  29. Hi, am from Costa Rica, I really appreciate have people like you on earth. So, I don’t have words to describe what I did feel when I saw that pictures. Really thank you you guys.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words 😃

  30. God bless you all. Earth become better place by your hands…

  31. God bless you ppl of RSDR, I’d love to donate but donate but I don’t have PayPal, is there another way?

    1. Hi Roman, sorry for our late reply. You can make a bank transfer if you prefer. Just click here and scroll down for details:
      Thank you!

    2. Hi Roman! I’m not sure how we missed your message, but thank you for getting in touch. If you would still like to donate, you can send a donation to our bank account in the UK, Bulgaria or Netherlands. The details are on Thank you again!

  32. I’m so glad to know that there are still people who so much for these creatures. They deserve to be treated like a family not anythig else. I thank you so much for taking care of them. Godless you all

    1. Thank you for your support 😃

  33. […] and destroyed in case she was diseased,” Diane Rowles, one of the founders of RSDR, said in a blog post. In the photos provided, the rescue saw just how mistreated and neglected she […]

  34. I adopted a tiny black female cat, she was 5yrs old & in pathetic shape when I met her on 5-3-14. She had been living on the street and was found by an animal rescue group, they shaved most of her hair off, she had a complete blood transfusion & nearly died, had been fixed, so no babies, & has an I.D. chip in one ear. She was a bit temperamental when she first came to live with me. Weighed about 7 lbs. & everyone around me said ” you ‘ be sorry”. Here we are 20 months later & she’s the love of my life. I thank God for my precious “Dorothy “. She’s a beautiful little angel & very well behaved. All I did is give her lots of LOVE & patience & the best food I can afford. Plus I take her to vet once a year. I’m grateful to all those who rescue the precious babies no one else wants. Give them a home & TLC. They are worth everything u may have to invest. 😊

    1. What a wonderful story! So glad you have found such a lovely friend 😃

  35. […] To learn more about this amazing dog, read her whole story here! […]

  36. […] To learn more about this amazing dog, read her whole story here! […]

  37. […] To learn more about this amazing dog, read her whole story here! […]

  38. […] To study extra about this superb canine, learn her entire story here! […]

  39. Thank you everyone who helped this precious dog. God Bless you!💜🐩

    1. Thank you for your support 😃

  40. Belinda Gross · · Reply

    God bless you all. Im from the states(S.E. Kentucky) There is also a stray problem in my area. We finally have some good people who run our local shelter and a vet who donates a LOT of his time and services to them. Ive always had a dog or cat in my home. I just want to thank all your people who give their time, money and most importantly LOVE to the animals my God shower blessings upon all of you.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. We appreciate your support 😃

  41. You vaccinated that poor dog in that condition??? Shame on you.

    1. No, we never vaccinate any animal until they have been given the all-clear from the vet. How did you get the impression we did?

  42. […] Se volete conoscere altre notizie su questo fantastico cane vi invitiamo a visitare il sito dell’associazione che si è prodigata nel suo recupero QUI. […]

  43. […] Se volete conoscere altre notizie su questo fantastico cane vi invitiamo a visitare il sito dell’associazione che si è prodigata nel suo recupero QUI. […]

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