First things first – keep calm and be cool-headed.
IN CASE YOU HAVE FOUND A STRAY PET, THEIR LIFE DEPENDS ON YOU!
If you find a homeless animal, that has been hit by a car or overall looks very sick, please take it to the nearest pet clinic. If you rely on someone else to do that or if you think about coming back the next day, it might already be too late, so please act as soon as possible.
Even if you are concerned about not having the financial means of covering the whole treatment now, there are plenty of clinics that treat homeless animals and would give you a discount or the opportunity to pay in installments.
Up until this point, there isn’t an institution in Bulgaria that takes care of homeless or injured cats. There are a couple of governmental dog care centers but often they are with limited capacity and resources. THERE ISN’T GOVERNMENTAL SHELTER that castrates or takes care of homeless cats.
If the case is urgent, you might call the police (112) or the fire department but keep in mind that if they are busy, they might not make it in time. We advise that you act immediately.
FOUR PAWS is a global animal welfare organization and has a pet clinic that provides FREE OF CHARGE treatments for homeless animals. The clinic is in the Bankia neighborhood.
The number of homeless pets in Bulgaria that need help every month is much higher than the resources of all NGOs and volunteers that want to help with their own resources and time. Many people that are involved, including us Dare 2 Care, are volunteering while having their normal jobs and are balancing their stressful daily routine and saving animals.
Yes, there are some governmental shelters (only for dogs, none for cats!) but sometimes the conditions there aren’t good, especially in cases where the animal is injured, stressed, or a baby. Its condition can worsen instead of improving. Furthermore, there are hundreds of animals in those shelters and the chances of getting adopted are small (you are dooming the animal to years of living in a cage). If you can’t shelter the animal, the best solution is to find a temporary shelter (at a friend, hotel, house, etc.) and then look for a permanent adopter, which can be difficult but not impossible.
Our mission as an NGO and volunteers isn’t limited to sharing and taking care of injured animals after a signal (because we don’t have that many resources), we also aim to give valuable advice, information, and moral support to people who take care of stray animals. Not only this, but we also want to raise awareness within our society towards the situation with the homeless animals in Bulgaria, many of whom used to be domesticated pets, thrown away. We don’t have a physical shelter and our main goal is to share information, raise awareness and castrate so we can decrease the numbers of stray animals. WE DO RELY MAINLY ON DONATIONS FROM PEOPLE THAT CARE. The rescued and adopted animals from us are only the ones in the highest need with the biggest injuries, just because of the lack of further resources.
We strongly believe that each one of US and each of YOU can help with whatever they can and by setting a good example. TOGETHER WE CAN ACHIEVE much more than any small organization with a small team and limited resources. Homeless animals are a problem to our whole society and all of us have the responsibility and the ability to help make a change.
We’ve noticed that MOST PEOPLE CAN HANDLE helping a stray animal, but often they need help and advice regarding – how to capture the animal, how to take care of the animal, where to seek medical help, how to find financial aid, how to train and socialize the animal, how to find a temporary and then permanent home for the animal. This and many more questions arise when there is a situation with a stray animal.
WITH THIS WE CAN HELP – THERE IS NO DOUBT ABOUT IT! To take care of a homeless animal is hard, time-consuming and you need patience, but it is not impossible, and the outcome is great satisfaction and the gift of life.
Furthermore, we do realize that there is a need for financial aid as well, especially if the animal is sick/injured, but with the help of acquaintances, friends, and family, discounts in clinics, or fundraising everything can be achieved.
Advice for seeking help and adoption:
If you post on social media, please make all information and pictures public with the possibility of sharing. Also include photos of the animal, as much information as available to you such as – gender, name, age, history (if known), character, is it castrated, whether it is dewormed and whether there are hygienic habits. Please include a short description of what are the animal’s needs and yours to provide the most efficient help, things such as but not limited to: money, transportation, temporary or permanent home or something else. Finally, make sure to leave a contact by which people can reach out to you.
We strongly recommend including high-quality photos: photo with cute face, photo with the full body of the pet so people can see its size. Make sure all photos are made in a clean and bright background in broad daylight (this would increase the chances of getting adopted and the social engagement with your post). Finally, make sure that the animal is clean and calm when you take the photos and ensure the quality is good because pictures with bad quality would probably get ignored and decrease the chances of getting adopted or achieve results. If you don’t have a good camera/phone or aren’t sure how to post online, please ask a friend for help or reach out to us by our contacts.
A list with all pages and groups on social media where you can post an ad for the adoption of a homeless pet: http://bit.ly/2FOeG2A
Pages like bezdom.info and Facebook groups like “Osinovi me” and “Tsarstvo na kotkite”, “Kotkite na Sofia”, usually lead to great results so we would recommend using them. Additionally, when you find a potential adopter make sure to do a solid background check and ensure that you are going to leave the pet in a safe environment.
Not all people that want to adopt are serious and pets or their children might end up on the streets again. That’s why we recommend first castrate the pet and then you might consider signing a contract for adoption with the future adopters.
Helpful link with an example of adoption contract:
Publish the post/album with pictures and all information REGULARLY AND OFTEN (at least once a week or more) in pages and groups dedicated to helping and adopting stray animals.
All the tips and information we have described above are being applied in practice by us and our volunteers, so do take it into account. And remember when there are more people who want to help, more animals will be rescued and saved.