The Bulgarian National Animal Rescue Platform
The Bulgarian National Animal Rescue Platform (BNARP) started off as a single Facebook group called ''Подай лапа-Осинови ме!'' (translates to: Give a paw - Adopt me!) back in 2010. Leah Antonova Spasova (aka Lisa Antonova) created the group in order to help animal lovers connect with each other and help rescue and rehouse pets at risk or in need.
A decade later our name is the best known in the field on a national level, we have 3 networks and an educational blog with a total of 40k followers. Our team has always been made of volunteers and all expenses have been covered by the founder (Leah Spasova) and volunteers who have wanted to support our work financially too.
Yet we simply are a well organised non-organisation, which means we are not a registered charity and we believe it is time to change this and be able to begin work outside of the online world, and to create and engage in community projects. This fundraising campaign led by the founder aims to raise the funds that we need in order to register, cover our legal and accounting expenses and begin work in the community - thus pushing for cultural change and animal well-being and welfare on a national level.
Why expand our work into the community?
This far we have provided the supported space online for animal activists and lovers that enable them to do good and save lives, but we want to start doing in-community projects and campaigns in order to address the actual problems that lead to the countless population of strays and even the suffering of housed pets not receiving the care they need. Some of these issues are:
* Lack of knowledge and understanding of neutering practices
- at present most people hold negative beliefs that are based on myths about neutering and the health of an animal, this results in few people neutering their pets and abandoning the babies when there's an unintended pregnancy.
* Lack of knowledge and understanding of animal well-being and care as well as welfare and rights
- at present many dogs live their whole lives chained on a leash that extends no more than 2 metres, spending harsh winters and very hot summers outside - often without having proper shelter. The law forbids such treatment, but there is no wider knowledge of it or enforcement.
* Lack of understanding of animal needs and care requirements.
- At present an overwhelming percentage of pets suffer even at home as pet owners are not as educated on the animal's needs and care. Many people will not recognise the signs of an illness in their pet and prophylactic veterinary health checks are not a norm and few people do them.
* Animal abusers are rarely sanctioned fairly
- The animal welfare community in the country is shaken by extreme acts of cruelty against animals on a regular basis. Despite good legal framework, few abusers end up in serious trouble - since persecution even in the face of strong video evidence is not carried out for various reasons- from lack of legal resources to lack of pressure from members of the animal welfare community for fear of retribution against them.
* Shelters with awful killer conditions
- Dog shelters cannot kill pets, as Bulgarian law states clearly that euthanasia is only applied if an animal is gravely ill or dangerous to other animals and/or people. However the conditions they provide for the animals often turn more dangerous to their health than living on the streets.
To start addressing all of these issues, we need to fund-raise enough funds in order to register and begin our work on project that will stretch us to the wider public and in the community. We would like to outline what we can achieve by reaching higher fundraising milestones.
Our Fund-raising Goals &
What Campaigns and Initiatives We Can Achieve
If we fund-raise:
£2k can get us started in terms of legal registration, trade mark to prevent the use of our name for campaigns that are not linked to us in any way (which has been happening a lot in the past decade), accounting services etc.
- This will help us sustain ourselves as an organisation, paying for the yearly services and taxes at least for the first few years of incorporation.
If we raise another £2k, reaching £4k this can enable us to start our podcast, ensuring we get the necessary equipment and have budget for producers. Our podcast will cover our blog's content, as well as have interviews with leading vets, activists, lawyers and organisations working for animal welfare causes in the country.
- This will enable us to convert over a hundred posts into audio formats and record interviews with the help of professionals. It will also ensure we are able to market it and (fingers crossed) we would look to monetise the podcast down the line, so that the income can cover our yearly expenses in the long run. As podcast is not as popular in Bulgaria yet, we anticipate that it will take us at least 2-3 years to build sufficient following to be able to monetise it.
If we are successful in fundraising and reach £7k we will also launch our in-community awareness-raising project on animal care, welfare and rights with the distribution of leaflets, posters and more.
- This will include design, print and distribution to bigger towns throughout the country with the help of our volunteers, activists and through partnerships.
With only £1k more, reaching £8k we will create our own publication of a booklet with authored articles on animal care, welfare and rights which can reach the older population that doesn't use the internet as much.
-This booklet will be designed and printed for free distribution at places often visited by the elderly population. It will also be available for purchase (not for profit) by folk who want to gift it to their older parents and grandparents.
If we raise to £10k, this will enable us to buy the materials needed and travel for a month around Bulgarian schools that may be open to and want us to engage their students in charitable activities, such as the making of small portable shelters for stray animals and ensure we place them at the right and safe spaces. This will encourage and foster caring behaviours in young pupils, empower them to act as well as help them practice hands on skills.
-This project will empower the next generation to become socially-conscious and turn to activism as a form of uplifting themselves and society. Activists are not born, they are made - and this is our initiative with this project.
Should we add another £3k and raise £13k this will enable us to create a national campaign to get resources and travel across the country to shelters that need improvement and deliver well needed goods like blankets, warm beds, toys and bowls and work to improve the living conditions; for instance by cleaning, insulating or furnishing animal enclosures. As part of this campaign, we will take great pictures of all the pets in the shelters we go to and upload them online to advertise them for adoption - attention they don't get online, since they are often removed and invisible - in contrast to strays that wander the streets.
-The longer term effect of this project is that we will also collect data that will help us push for legal change of the requirements for shelters and enforce 'minimum living standards' .
All additional funds we raise can help us ensure our security as a charity and make sure that we have budget to cover our expenses for the general running of our charity and for future such campaigns and causes.
Participate, Donate and Give Away
There are so many ways people can help us to achieve our goals and rescue and help the strays in Bulgaria. We would appreciate all the help we receive and we wish to share some ideas of how people can help us in this fundraising campaign.
Share about our campaign on your social media
Donate directly to the cause via GoFundMe or PayPal
Give away or sell your product(s) and donate the profit from it - only authorised people and organisations. A list of authorised people and organisations will be available on our website .(www.bnarp.com). Contact Leah to discuss options.
If you run a popular online page, a podcast, a magazine or else, give us a shout out on it and help us reach more people with publicity
Connect us with potential sponsors that may be happy to sponsor our work.
Donate via PayPal
The funds raised for The Bulgarian National Animal Rescue Platform will be accounted and filed by independent of the organisation Accountancy firm. Reports of the spent funds will be provided to the general public on our website, these will be outlining how the money has been spent for each of the projects and causes. We wish to be as transparent as possible and continue to deserve the trust people put in us for the work we do.
The funds send to us via PayPal will be visible on this page, scroll down.
Please note we are using two platforms for the fundraising - GoFundMe - suitable and mostly use in the West and HelpKarma which has a Bulgarian language version and is used successfully in Bulgaria.
We will keep updating our total funds raised via the different platforms and PayPal on our website.
Get in touch:
Since PayPal funds cannot be as visibly traced as through the fund-rasing platforms, we shall publish here the dates, names and sums donated by folk via PayPal.
We have had a few donations via PayPal and have currently reached to the detonators to check if they would like their names to remain anonymous or be published here. Updates will be made as often as possible.