How to make a difference – volunteering at the RSDR Shelter

img_6758When you keep seeing stories of animal cruelty and appeals for help from rescues in your social media feeds, what do you do? Scroll on by, like, share, donate?

For Leanne and Henri that was not enough. They wanted to make a real difference – so they packed their bags and headed for Rudozem! Leanne takes up the story:

“We were so excited to arrive a Plovdiv airport after a good flight, and jumped in the small 4×4 we had hired to drive through the mountains. We had booked to stay at a local hotel in Rudozem, where the staff made us very welcome.

img_6807We then set off for the shelter, which was a ten minute drive from the hotel. It felt amazing to finally be there!

We volunteered at the shelter every day of our trip, normally getting there about 10am (although some days it was earlier, such as when the puppies were dumped), and we normally left around 5pm.

I loved all of the animals, they are the kindest, sweetest dogs. The care and compassion they receive from the dedicated team at the shelter is incredible to see. Nothing is too much trouble, they work so hard and they adore the dogs – they are certainly not short of love and cuddles!

The kennels are always so clean, and the dogs get to exercise in the outside exercise areas or go for a walk in the beautiful surroundings by the mountains and river which they love. We helped with walking and brushing the dogs.

The care and compassion they receive from the dedicated team at the shelter is incredible

We also took care of the new puppies, giving them their flea and worm treatments. We went with Tony to rescue the four puppies that were dumped next door. It was an honour to do this work with Tony, he is so dedicated and compassionate – he has the biggest heart.

We just can’t wait to go back!

I was so sad when we had to go home. I had spent a lot of time with Figo, a nervous boy who’d only been there a week, and I am still missing him dearly.


We gave the dogs lots of love and cuddles before we went, but I sobbed my heart out when we had to leave them. We would work there with the team every single day if only we could, they really are the most wonderful people.

We loved it so much we have arranged to go back for a week in June.

We just can’t wait!”

One of our UK team, Nicole, will be going to the shelter for the first time in early May. Look out for her story in the coming weeks!

If you would like to make a difference to the lives of the dogs at the shelter you don’t have to visit (although we’d love you to!) We always need help with fundraising, social media, admin, foster care, home checks, transport and more. To find out all about the ways you can volunteer to help RSDR please visit our web site. Thank you!






  1. Julia · · Reply

    Breaks my heart seeing dogs in such terrible condition, what an AMAZING thing you are all doing. THANK YOU FOR CARING, from the bottom of my heart, a passionate animal lover from the UK xxxx

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Julia

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