About the Bulgarian National Animal Rescue Platform
In 2010 horrid cases of animal cruelty shook up Bulgaria and the community of animal lovers and activists started forming as a real and organised unity against animal brutality. Many organisations for Animal Rescue were formed in response to the increasing numbers of stray pets, abandoned unlawfully and suffering and dying on the streets.
On 18th May 2010 the Bulgarian National Animal Rescue Platform started as a simple Facebook group titled ''Give a paw - Adopt me!''. In response to the newly forming communities of activists its aim was to enable peer to peer support for people who wish to rehouse pets they have rescued from the streets of Bulgaria.
Nowadays the Bulgarian National Animal Rescue Platform is the umbrella name standing over our different activities, namely three Facebook groups and a blog. Our platforms are serving on a national level, we have over 30 000 followers across our networks. We are an all volunteers team, and we work hard to maintain our groups, grow our presence online, educate on animal welfare and care and more.
The suffering of pets in Bulgaria
The problem with abandoned animals in Bulgaria is difficult to even outline, but rough statistics estimate millions of pets living on the streets in extreme conditions for years, millions being killed in awful accidents, thousands being murdered by people who throw them out on the streets in the first days of birth when they are helpless and have zero chance of survival unless found by kind people and taken care of well; many more newborn kittens and puppies are thrown in the rivers alive - with no chance of luck for survival. Millions pets suffer and die from curable diseases, both homeless and owned - due to poor knowledge, understanding and consideration for animal care, welfare and the law.
Animals in Bulgaria suffer the daily cruelty of neglect and abuse. Many cases show dogs chained in the yards of their owners, on a 2 metre (6.5 feet) chain - not provided with adequate shelter, left without food, fresh water and sometimes, left to die due to neglect. Too many have been the cases that make national news of animal cruelty, where children torture animals, where adults kick pregnant cats and chained dogs, where they tie them with ropes to their cars and drive at full speed killing the poor animals by inflicting horrific stress, pain and slow and torturous death. These people face little to no justice, and the abuse is even normalised.
Other issues animal rescuers and activists face is having to overflow their homes with rescued pets. Finding safe and caring homes is not easy. Many baby kittens and puppies have been adopted by abusers who feed their pet snakes with them. There are hidden facebook groups for hunters who organise themselves to go shoot the strays in the streets in cruel attempts to ‘clean up’ the cities. According to Bulgarian law, animal killing is not permitted unless due to: incurable disease and doctor recommendation for euthanasia, or violent and dangerous aggression of the animal towards other pets or animals. Yet, even councils and politicians have been alleged to have killed strays in many counties in the country - often the chosen method is odourless poison soiled bread that the hungry strays eat and die from. People in many cities and villages have woken up to find dead bodies of dogs all over their streets, parks and city centre squares. Many pet owners have also lost their own dogs for they have found and eaten poisonous food on their routine walks.
Animal activists almost always cover the expenses for the rescue of a pet out of their own pockets. Animal activists are also often threatened with violence, abuse and even death for fighting for animal rights and rescuing pets at risk, in danger and from extreme conditions.
The law regarding animal rights and owners' and the government's responsibilities is simply not enforced and disregarded. Few cases of animal cruelty ever reach the courts and even fewer are the people who face true justice and are given adequate sentences and fines.
It is heart breaking and soul destroying to walk the streets of Bulgaria and see the suffering of pets, the lack of concern by those in power and to listen to the ill educated folk who often throw in proposals of mass killing of the strays ''to resolve the issue''. Yet, it is illegal to inflict suffering on and to kill pets, it is also illegal to spread propaganda and encourage the killing of pets as a means to control their population or otherwise. The truth is - the Bulgarian law for Animal Protection is fairly comprehensive and morally and ethically sound, but it's following and implementation is nowhere near good.
What do we actually do to help change things for the better?
We are and have always been a team of passionate and determined volunteers who work to help people help animals and to also educate and eradicate bad behaviour and inadequate care.
We take care of our Facebook platforms and enable people to seek help and receive such via our channels. Our name is well known on a national level and our platforms are used by tens of thousands of people daily.
We also publish articles on animal welfare and care, hoping to rise awareness about the important issues animals and people in Bulgaria face.
If you want to know more or wish to support us, please email us here or at:
We are currently fund-raising for our work.
Find out more here