Thanks to the generous help of many donors and supporters, in the period of March 12th – June 12th, 2022 our veterinary clinic admitted for treatment 126 dogs and cats, while also looking after all the animals placed in the shelter. Our vets were able to perform 3 855 manipulations, treatments and surgeries. We managed to rehome in good families 50 rescue dogs and cats.
Here are just some of the stories of the many dogs and cats that we helped in the three-month reporting period:
Todor was trashed on a public dump site and left there to die, completely paralyzed. When some people found him, they were not able to help him immediately, but returned to the spot two days later. Todor was still there, lying immobile and lifeless. When he came to our shelter, he was in critical condition - fully paralyzed, shaking with pain, unable to urinate or defecate by himself, severely dehydrated. At ultrasound it became clear that he had an enormous testicular tumor that needed to be urgently operated. Luckily, later on it turned out that the tumor was benign. Todor also had anaplasmosis, a tick-borne disease that could have been the cause for the paralysis. After the tumor was removed, our vets started treating the anaplasmosis, but even after a continuing treatment, there was no improvement in his condition. Todor was still immobilized and unable to even raise his head. We also took him for extensive X-Ray and MRI examinations, as well as for analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid. Nevertheless, there was no diagnosis that could explain his continuing tetra-paralysis. It was possible that a severe trauma to his spinal cord had caused ischemia and now the swelling along the spine was gone, but the consequences were still there and that was the reason why Todor was completely unable to move. For many months at our clinic, he received comprehensive antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and immune supporting treatment, combined with daily passive rehabilitation, but he remained motionless for a very long time. We started to worry that we will not win the battle for him, but Todor proved us all wrong. He first started raising his head a bit, then managed to move his front legs, then a little bit of his hind legs and one day he suddenly started crawling. We could not be happier for him and immediately signed him up for physiotherapy in an outer specialist clinic. The combination of physiotherapy, electrostimulation, everyday massages and hydrotherapeutic procedures all strengthened his body endurance and improved his muscle tonus. They also further stimulated his legs and ability to carry on his weight and to keep his neck and head upright. One day after several months, a colleague saw Todor standing up and remaining on his four feet for several seconds. The happiness and excitement along our team could not be described. From that day we started taking him out on short walks, originally with belts to support him in carrying his own body, and with the help of a lot of stimuli with food, toys and other dogs, Todor gradually learned how to walk again. He is now a happy and lively dog waiting for his adopters at the shelter, with no traces whatsoever of his past misfortunes.
We first saw the X-rays, not Sever herself. We could see multiple fractures, pretty old and that have healed wrongly. We hoped it was a small dog? Maybe the dog was not in pain? Maybe it would not be necessary to break the bones, so as to adjust them in the right position. Then some people brought Sever herself – a large-breed dog, almost 40 kg in weight. Our next question was – is it possible to fix her at all? The operation of a dog that size meant a more difficult operation and far more expensive implants. There were not many options that we had for this dog. We could not have refused to admit her and return her on the street in the neighborhood where she was found, letting her drag herself there in pain, while she eventually dies of anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis, the two tick-borne diseases that she also had. When more extensive orthopedic examinations and X-rays were conducted, it became evident that Sever had old fractures of the femur and tibia, as well as severe patellar luxation in both of her hind legs. Most probably that was the reason why she was abandoned on the street. Sever went through several corrective orthopedic surgeries that fixed the old fractures and the luxations. The operations were extremely challenging not only from surgical point of view, but also in terms of recovery. Sever received daily rehabilitation and a lot of care in our clinic. She herself had a huge desire to overcome the difficulties and put a lot of efforts into the rehabilitation process. After a long period of recovery, we could finally see what a cheerful and energetic creature Sever was. She still has laser rehabilitation to go through before she is fully recovered. In the meantime, she is already waiting for adopters in our shelter.
Ronny was only five months old when he became one of our most wretched patients. He was run over, not hit, but literally run over, and the car tires had not only crushed his bones, but also taken off almost all of the skin from his back. How the tiny puppy had survived the first hours on the street in such excruciating pain, we cannot understand to this day. As the incident happened in a remote town in the country, colleagues from a local rescue organization sought help for Ronny in a nearby clinic. However, the vets there could not do a lot to help the puppy and they referred him to a larger clinic in Sofia, the city where our shelter is located. As a daily commute to Sofia was not possible for our colleagues, we decided to help them and took Ronny in our shelter.
After the terrible road incident, it was as if faith compensated Ronny for his misfortunes. He came to Sofia exactly at the time when a renowned orthopedist specializing abroad came back to Bulgaria. As Ronny’s injuries were complex ones, the surgeon had to see him as an emergency patient, with a priority over the many other patients waiting for examinations or operations. Ronny’s two operations – one for stitching back the skin and one for fixing the fractures on his pelvis and the hind legs were extremely challenging, but conducted perfectly by the orthopedic surgeon.
Ronny is now fully recovered and not only walks, but also runs. He is gaining weight and strength and is waiting for his adopters at the shelter.
It is extremely difficult for all of us when we hear from our vets that there is nothing that could be done to help an animal. Especially, if the patient is a tiny, energetic, lovable little creature such as Hayley. Hayley was hit by car and her spine had been irreversibly broken, so she did not have any deep sensitivity on her hind legs when she came to us. Even though we knew that finding cat adopters in a dog shelter is not at all an easy job, especially if the cat is a handicapped one, not helping Hayley was not an option for us. We believed that even though she would most probably stay with us forever, she would at least be loved and taken care of, as the little kitten would not have survived on the street with a broken spine. When she became a rescue animal at our shelter, 3-month Hayley was the most lovable and cuddly of all our cats. What a happiness was for all of us when she stole the heart of an animal behaviourist visiting our shelter from abroad! Hayley is now the proud member of a large family where she shares a life with her beloved humans, two dogs and another cat.
Reporting Period: 11.12.2021 – 11.03.2022
Thanks to the generous help of many donors and supporters, in the period of 11.12.2021 – 11.03.2022 our veterinary clinic admitted for treatment 131 dogs and cats, while also treating and taking care of all the animals placed in the shelter. Our vets were able to perform 3 638 manipulations, treatments and surgeries. We managed to rehome in good families 33 rescued dogs and cats.
Here are just some of the stories of the many dogs and cats that we helped in the 3-month reporting period:
Krispy came to the Farm shelter from a small city in south-west Bulgaria. He had been neutered by the local municipal facility and returned to the street, with no attention whatsoever to the deformity of one of his front legs. It was this deformityand the sight of the poor crippled dog that became the reason why he found shelter in the Farm. Catching him on the street was quite an adventure, as Krispy didn’t trust people back then and was very fearful of them. Once in our shelter, he found out that humankind could also be different, he blossomed and soon there was no trace of the shy and insecure boy.
The specialist orthopedic examination confirmed that it was a growth deformity that had heavily twisted Krispy’s leg and made it completely unusable. However, exactly because it was a growth deformity, there were pretty good chances for successful correction. Krispy went through a corrective orthopedic surgery and recovered completely. He is now a jumpy and playful gentleman that enjoys his new life immensely, with no pain and on all his four legs.
His time under our care turned him into a sociable and loving dog whose company is equally desired by both dogs and humans. He is now completely healthy and waiting for his adopters in the shelter.
Noir was found running disoriented along a busy highway. He was noticed by the people in a car passing by and was very relieved to get into the car when the car stopped. When his rescuers brought him to our shelter, Noir was dehydrated, slightly anemic and with a trauma on one of his front legs that was at least a week old. We can’t even imagine what he had gone through in this one week – hit by a car, in pain, hungry and thirsty, not being able to find a gap in the fence, so that he can escape the automobile hell. Noir got fluid therapy and treatment for his anemia and was referred for an orthopedic consultation. It turned out that he didn’t have deep sensitivity in the fractured leg and there was nothing we could do to save the leg. After a short stabilization period, Noir had to have his leg amputated. This was a sad perspective for Noir, as three-legged dogs find adopters more rarely.
Noir is now waiting for his forever home in our shelter, but luckily, is so sweet and kind that we are all full of hopes. He is now fully recovered, although he is missing one leg, and we are more than sure that he has a wonderful future ahead.
The people who brought Monica to our shelter told us a horrifying story. They were driving across the city when a car in front suddenly stopped and threw out a tied black bag. As abandoning puppies and kittens is still something quite common in Bulgaria, the people’s first thought was that it was exactly a puppy or kitten that was inside the bag. Unfortunately, they proved absolutely right. Opening the bag, they found a young puppy, not more than 3 months old, its body all covered in blood and with face heavily twisted and swollen. We didn’t need an X-Ray to know that the puppy’s jaw was broken in several places. Obviously, Monica had received a heavy blow in the head. If we wanted her to be able to eat by herself and to prevent the wound from getting heavily infected, she needed an emergency operation. Our vets took care of the initial medical stabilization and she was quickly sent for an operation in a referral clinic. As she was a young puppy, Monica recovered amazingly quickly and it wasn’t before long that she was able to eat by herself. Gradually, she became a cheerful and jumpy puppy, no different from the other pups in the shelter.
Monica is already 6 months old and absolutely lovely. She didn’t have a good start in life, but we all together managed to correct the injustice. Monica has recently been adopted in Austria where she found a family that would love and spoil her the way she truly deserves.
Reporting Period: 10.08.2021 – 10.12.2021
Thanks to the generous helpof many donors and supporters, in the period of 10.08.2021 – 10.12.2021 our veterinary clinic admitted for treatment 323 dogs and cats, while also treating and taking care of all the animals placed in the shelter. Our vets were able to perform 3 912 manipulations, treatments and surgeries. We managed to rehome in good families 134 rescued dogs and cats.
Here are just some of the stories of the many dogs and cats that we helped in the last months of 2021:
Mushmula is a 4-year-old female dog that was found roaming on the streets of a small village in western Bulgaria. When she came to our shelter, she was suffering from a severe skin condition that had caused large areas of coat loss. Life on the street must have been miserable for Mushmula, as big-sized dogs with skin diseases are particularly unwanted in many towns and villages of the country, since people are very afraid of them.
The initial tests did not find any of the typical skin diseases associated with coat loss. Mushmula did not have a hormonal problem or a bacterial infection either. Test-wise she seemed completely healthy, but her skin condition was so bad that it was giving her terrible itching and soar wounds. Obviously, life on the street and the insufficiency of food for a dog as big as Mushmula had compromised her immune system and her body had reacted in that way. Our vets treated her with anti-parasite medications, specialized good-quality food and healing baths which gradually cured her skin disease completely. Mushmula turned into a fluffy cheerful giant that nobody could recognize was the same miserable and irritated dog that originally came to our shelter. Mushmula will be soon meeting candidate-adopters in Germany.
Jerard is a lovable small-sized dog, probably not more than 5 years old. He was found on the streets of a small town in the country, far away from our shelter.When he came to us, he was completely paralyzed and could only raise his head and just follow us with eyes. We expected that he had been hit by a car. It was with amazement that we found out after the X-rays that Jerard’s bones were not broken. It was true that he had patellar luxation, but this was not the reason why he could not stand or walk. We were hoping that a CT scan and a cerebrospinal fluid check will tell us why Jerard was in the state he was. When the results came out, it became clear that he was suffering from granulomatous meningoencephalitis, an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system with very bad prognosis for survival. The chance for successful treatment was as tiny as Jerard himself, as chemotherapy could or could not influence the condition. Still, the only chance we had was to fight for Jerard’s life. Several months after the start of the chemotherapy, Jerard was not only in remission, but also walking and running happily around the shelter. Although he could do that just on three legs, as the fourth one was so heavily luxated, with muscles so severely atrophied, that it could not be properly fixed. Additionally, a dog in his state would not have born the many months of recovery, following a heavy orthopedic surgery. Although one of his front legs also has a little instability because of a neurologic deficit, Jerard is now so happy that he can walk again that details about his leg deficiencies do not interest him. He is currently enjoying all the little things of life in the shelter.
Dogs with bad survival prognosis are very rarely adopted and Jerard will most probably stay with us until he lives, but we will love and take good care of him, as he is such an adorable, sweet and deserving dog.
Albo came to our clinic after he was shot in a residential area. The bullet hit his shoulder, broke the bone in many pieces and tore the nerves around the bone. Bullet particles migrated in all directions of Albo’s body. The bullet itself passed through the lungs, leaving residues there as well, and finally went out after also damaging Albo’s ribs.
A passer-by saw Albo lying on the street and brough him to our shelter. When he came, Albo had rapid breathing, severe blood loss, and was in serious pain because of the broken bones. Nevertheless, he welcomed our vets with purrs and caresses, as if he knew we were there to help him.
Albo was referred to an outer clinic for an emergency and long operation which handled simultaneously the lungs trauma, the fractures on the leg and the reconstruction of the nerves. Albo’s recovery period was not an easy one. There were good and bad days, days that gave us hope that he will make it and days when we lost all hope. An intracellular parasite that was causing him severe kidney infection made his recovery even more difficult and uncertain. Our vets had a true battle treating the parasite and the kidney failure and gave him the best post-operative care they could. Still, Albo did not seem motivated to live. Until the day when a candidate-adopter read his story online and knew immediately that Albo was the cat she wanted to take home, no matter how many days he had left. Unfortunately, once in his home, Albo also developed an infectious disease which sent him to hospital for a second time, but he was back home just in a few days. He liked so much to be in a family and the love for his owner did miracles for his recovery. He got stronger and better each day, until we saw him up and playing with the other cats in his big family. He is now attending physiotherapy and is the favorite cat of all 4 kids in the family.
Zora is a very young dog, probably just a little bit over a year old. A beautiful, energetic and intelligent dog that would obey every command, as long as she finds meaning in it. She came to us at the end of the summer after she was abandoned in camping by the sea. Zora was left behind there at the beginning of the season and lived through the summer thanks to the mercy of guests of the camping. But when a car hit her, it was long before someone even noticed the injured dog. Zora came to us limping, because a broken heel was giving her a lot of pain and discomfort. As the trauma had taken place long ago, the operation was not an easy one, but Zora was young and her heel recovered well and quickly, and she was soon running and jumping around the shelter. Now Zora is playful and extremely kind with both people and dogs. We are sure she will make the perfect companion. Zora will soon meet her candidate-adopters in Germany.
We first met Tangerine in early December when her owner left her in our shelter, because she was limping. While she still had an owner, she was often left roaming outside her home alone and she had traffic accidents more than once. Additionally, as many small-sized dogs, she also had patellar luxation.
When Tangerine was seen by an orthopedist, it became clear that her limping was not related to the luxation, but to a problem with orthopedic plates from a previous operation. We thought that fixing her problem would take a complex and expensive operation, but it turned out that it could easily be fixed by removing an orthopedic pin from her leg. Soon after the operation, our sweet little Tangerine was enjoying her walks in the shelter. She was very shy when she first met her candidate-adopter, but fascinated and stole her heart forever. Tangerine is now with her true family and shares a happy life with three cat siblings who are convinced that Tangerine is an animal of their kind .
Reporting Period: 09.05.2021 – 09.08.2021
Thanks to the generous help of many donors and supporters, in the period of 09.05.2021 – 09.08.2021 our veterinary clinic admitted for treatment 248 dogs and cats, while also treating and taking care of all the animals placed in the shelter. Our vets were able to perform 3 367 manipulations, treatments and surgeries. We managed to rehome in good families 77 rescued dogs and cats.
Here are just some of the stories of the many dogs and cats that we helped in the three months’ period:
Lina is a young female dog that had been living on a chain all her life. The chain was tied around her neck so tightly, and for so long, that the wound became a tied mark of tissue, not allowing the normal flow of the blood and lymph fluid. The condition is called circulation cicatrix and led to a severe swelling of Lina’s head. Lina came to our shelter when a passer-by noticed her wound and how soar it was. When she was admitted to the clinic, our vets had to perform two successive operations, as a long stay under anesthesia was dangerous for Lina, since she also had anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis. The two parasite diseases were transmitted to Lina by tick bites and, as they increased the risk for blood loss, the circulation cicatrix had to be removed in two times.
After the operations, Lina’s head was no longer swollen, as the blood and lymph flow was gradually restored. She also received treatment for the two vector-borne diseases and quickly turned into a sweet, adorable and grateful creature, loved by everybody in the shelter. As all the hardship in Lina’s life was already in the past, we could now work very hard to find her true people. People that would put a leash on her only when she needed to go out for a walk. People that would treat her as a member of the family, and not as a mere extension to the hut. Most importantly, we were looking for people that would love her as much as she deserved. Lina will be soon joining her adopters in Finland, where she will share a home with another dog rescued by Animal Rescue Sofia.
Roma was found in a small city in north-east Bulgaria. She had been lying on the street, close to a petrol station, for quite some time, probably after being injured in a traffic accident. Some local people made a video of her where it could be seen that her wounds were so old and deep that they had already developed worms. When Roma was X-rayed, five severe fractures could be seen on the pelvis and her hind legs. Apparently, at least a week had passed since the car accident that left Roma dragging herself on the street. A week which she surely spent in pain and agony and also a period that further diminished her slim chances for recovery.
When Roma came to our shelter on the next day, the vets catheterized her as the broken pelvis had disturbed the urinary tract and she was not able to urinate by herself. She received antibiotics and pain-killers and the open wounds were urgently treated. Over the next days, Roma survived two emergency operations, as the puzzle of broken bones could not be solved in one single operation. Both orthopedic surgeries were very long and extremely complicated, not only because of the multiple fractures, but also because of the long period of the traumas.
It took some time for Roma to recover. There were times when we thought we would not succeed and that eventually we would have to order a wheelchair for her. Then a word spread among our team that she was able to stand up just for a short while the previous day. Then with little steps, day after day, we finally saw her standing on her four feet, making slow, but stable steps ahead. Roma had to go through further rehabilitations, as one of the hind legs also had a neurological deficit that needed attention.
The sight of the fully walking Roma cannot be easily described. The joy, the excitement, the pride with a job well done that made it possible for Roma’s miracle to happen!
Now Roma has a loving home with a caring person who did a lot to help her completely recover. She is now named Dara and can’t make her adopter happier. They both enjoy autumn walks and Dara’s adopter believes that she is the most beautiful and deserving dog in the world.
Coco and Marty
Coco and Marty are siblings that came to our shelter when they were only two months old. Instead of taking care of them, the owner of their mom put them in a carboard box and left them in front of our shelter. It could be seen at a first glance that the puppies were sick and this was probably the reason why they were abandoned. The two brothers had juvenile cellulitis - an autoimmune condition that is only typical for puppy age. Luckily, it is a condition that is very easy to treat, as it is not contagious and does not require expensive medications. Coco and Marty are now almost 6 months old,with no trace of the disease they had. They are eating very well, enjoy playing together and crave for visitors‘ attention. The two boys are currently waiting for their adopters in the shelter.
Ever since he was born, it was clear that something was wrong with Super Mario. He didn’t have a home. He had a hut and a chain on a parking lot, instead. As he grew up, it became more and more evident that he was not a healthy dog, but the chain was all he had. Super Mario’s condition was surely very painful, as it was very difficult for him to walk. One day a visitor to the parking lot decided he would look for help for Super Mario.
When he came to us, Super Mario was nine months old. Specialist examination revealed that he had medial patellar luxation, in the most progressed stage possible. Operating his both legs that were affected by the condition was an extremely difficult orthopedic endeavour. Postponing the operation, however, would have only made his deformity progress even further, while eventually a time would have come when it would not be possible to help him. Super Mario went through two successive corrective osteotomies that significantly improved his condition, made it easier for him to walk and surely relieved him of the pain.
He celebrated his first birthdate in the shelter, running and enjoying the attention of both staff and volunteers. When he fully recovered from the operations, we were able to find a lovely home, not for a handicapped dog, but for a healthy and running gentleman, enjoying the love of his adopters. Super Mario now shares a happy home with another dog and adds much meaning to the days of his family.
Reporting Period: 08.01.2021 – 08.05.2021
The beginning of 2021 was clearly an attempt of people in Bulgaria to slowly get out of the grip of COVID-19. Though really focused on their own health and concerned about the safety of relatives and friends, people in Bulgaria did not turn away from helping stray animals. Many dogs and cats in need were brought to our clinic by people looking to help them.
The loosening of travelling restrictions had a clear effect on the number of cases admitted to our clinic, as now it was easier for people to find abandoned dogs. Part of the post-COVID reality was also that some of the people, who lost their lives in the pandemic, left behind animals that nobody could take care of, so organizations such as ours had to step in. There were such cases in our shelter as well.
In the four-month reporting period, our veterinary team had new additions and two highly-experienced vet specialists joined our team. There were also important improvements in terms of equipment and methods of treatment.
Thanks to the generous help of many donors and supporters, in the period of 08.01.2021 – 08.05.2021 our veterinary clinic admitted for treatment173 dogs and cats, while also treating and looking after all the animals placed in the shelter. Our vets were able to perform 4 519 manipulations, treatments and surgeries. We managed to rehome in good families 130 rescued dogs and cats.
Here are just some of the stories of the many dogs and cats that we helped in the past four months:
Schnitzel was a yard dog, chained next to the fence, so that he could guard the house. He had been living like this for 2 or 3 years, when his owner died. A week later, when the neighbours found out that apparently no relative would look after him, they brought him to our shelter. Schnitzel looked terribly neglected and depressed. The original information about him was that he was a mean dog that had been chained for all his life, because he was biting. We were very surprised when soon after his arrival, he started giving us hugs and kisses. He was simply a dog that thrived under our good care.
We had to bathe and shave Schnitzel completely, as the neglected condition of his coat was giving him terrible skin problems. He also had anaplasmosis that we treated and a problem with the inner ear that needed specialist consultation and treatment.
Schnitzel is now eating very well, loves walking times and enjoys the attention of staff and volunteers in the shelter. He will soon be ready for adoption and will surely have no problem finding a home, as he is such a lovely dog.
Johny’s story cannot be told without opening the door to the reality of human cruelty. When Johny came to us in January, he was an eight-month-old youngster, very lovable and joyful, despite all the pain he had been through. Probably he approached his attacker without any fear, wagging his tail and expecting the attention, but he received a blow with an axe instead. It was not difficult for the person to hurt him, as Johny surely did not resist – in the same way in which he allows all his vets to do whatever they want with him, even if it is painful. We got the emergency call for him late in the evening and we placed him immediately in a referral clinic, as his condition was extremely serious and he needed 24-hour intensive care.
It turned out that the axe blade had cut through the scull, but had not damaged the brain. Johny stayed in the emergency care unit for a week, before he could be placed in the clinic of our shelter where post-trauma care and treatment was ensured.
Johny recovered amazingly, made all the staff of the shelter love and pat him and he is now happily adopted by a wonderful family in Austria.
Mama Dara and the Pups
Mama Dara was just one of the many mothers with pups that came to the shelter in the past year. At some point of her life as a stray dog, she lost part of her front leg, but this had not changed her joyful character, neither did it prevent her from raising her seven pups on the street. This was when a young woman found all of them and brought them to our shelter. The mama and her whole litter stayed with us until fully vaccinated and it could be possible to offer them for adoption.Other than the amputation of the remaining part of the leg, the mama was healthy, but one of her pups was also found to have a broken leg at admission, which was operated on. Two of Dara’s puppies had behavioral issues that had to be worked on with foster care and proper training. Eventually, all the pups grew up to be wonderful pets. One of them found a home in Bulgaria, two were rehomed in the Netherlands and four of them are already happily adopted in Austria.
Blago came to our clinic and shelter after getting injured in a car accident. Apart from a broken pelvis, he also had a torn bladder which was an emergency, life-threatening condition. The people who witnessed the car accident, took him to a clinic where an emergency operation on the bladder was performed. The vets from the referral clinic contacted our organization, asking us to admit Blago for post-operative care, until he is stabilized, so that the second, orthopedic, operation on the broken pelvis could be performed. Blago was cared by the vets in our clinic until his condition allowed the orthopedic operation. The pelvis recovered successfully and Blago was able to walk very quickly.
He has just travelled to our partner organization in Germany where we hope he will very soon find a loving home.
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