We are looking for workaway volunteers to help us on a very practical level at our animal rescue centre.
We are a couple of retired civil servants who came to Bulgaria to relax. However, it didn't take to long to realise it was never going to happen. The mistreatment of animals is appalling. In an effort to do what we can to bring some relief and despite the typical East European bureaucracy, we have managed to set up an animal rescue centre (mainly dogs) in our village of Staroceltsi near Pleven. With donations from unbelievably generous people and equally, my own unbelievable bank overdraft, we have built a kennel block with tiled floors heating and lighting. We have applied for charity status with the UK charity commission.
STOP PRESS. UK Charity status has now been granted - charity number 1183401. We are also in the process of moving to a much larger property in the village and, in order to tick all the authorities boxes, there is much work to do.
In brief the idea is to find dogs a home in UK, Germany and other parts of Europe and deliver them to their new homes, usually every month. Before travel every dog is neutered (if old enough), fully vaccinated, wormed and micro-chipped Of course, it's not quite that simple. Killer diseases like parvovirus, distemper, tick fever and mange is rife, especially in the summer months. However, having built up a great relationship with our local English speaking vet we have managed to bring animals from what used to be certain death to about an 80% survival rate. We also have a reputation with the local villagers who have started to come to us for advice or help with there own pets. On the down side though some also see us as a dumping ground for their unwanted puppies - it is not unusual for them to be found at the gate in a sack or box. No healthy animal is turned away or destroyed which, of course, means our numbers are far higher than they should be - we peaked at around 120 dogs this year.
Forgot to mention we have chickens, ducks, several cats, a donkey and a young horse.
Please check us out on our facebook page Santerpaws Bulgarian Rescue : Reg Charity No : 1183401
There is a web site but it is currently being updated.
Betreuung von Tieren
Up until fairly recently Bulgaria was a 'no go' Eastern block country and whilst many of the old ways still exist it now strives to be recognised as a modern member of the European Union. (I often describe our own village as living in the 1950's with internet connection). Of course this is an over simplification.
Bulgaria offers a wealth of history and culture as well as differing scenery from the mighty River Danube in the north to the central and southern mountain ranges. To the East there is the Black sea coast which offers the night life of Sunny beach to the gentile fishing ports such as Nesibar. The capital city of Sofia is around 2-3 hours to the west and is easily (and cheaply) reached by bus or train.
Firstly we need help from people with a genuine love of animals probably more in a pragmatic than professional way - although clearly professionals are welcome the main work being generally cleaning and feeding. We find that we start early (around 6 or 7 am) depending on time of year. This normally takes around 2 hours. Then the process is repeated in the late afternoon.
Secondly, because most of our time is taken up with the animals our own living area after 4 years or so is still not finished. So to this end we are looking for help from people with general good DIY and building skills.
Following on from this we are looking to renovate an old house we've bought in the village to use as a volunteer base/self contained accommodation. This is 'start from scratch' work and is not for the faint hearted, Hence the need for people with basic gardening as well as building skills.
One or both of us is usually here full time. Our one break away comes at the end of June till early July when we go to a rock festival in Belgium - yes aging hippies and all that! At this time we ask you to hold the fort but local help is always available - all will be explained on application.
English and very poor Bulgarian
All we have at the moment is our own basic accommodation. Couples or good friends can share a bedroom. there is a kitchen and shower/bathroom. However , as mentioned we are looking in the long term to renovate an old house and use it exclusively for volunteers.
We are very relaxed when it comes to eating and are quite happy for you to eat as we do - the bar B is used a lot in the summer (I'm a veggie but the other half is not so any diet is catered for). If however you wish to 'do your own thing' you are welcome to do so. Eating out is cheap but not overly local and you will have to travel at least 45 minutes to the nearest restaurants.
Summers are very hot and is a good time to see the country. There is a limited bus service to Pleven but we do go there several times a week. If we have an available vehicle you are welcome to borrow it to travel further afield. We can always suggest places of interest. For those who so wish our local bar is 'different' and worth a visit. 'Baroclock' is at 5pm with beer at around 45p a half litre. There are plenty of walks in the immediate area and there is always a dog (or six) available to show you the way. Winters can be harsh (minus 20 is not uncommon) and whilst building is restricted the animal rescue continues 365 days a year so to paraphrase Moulin Rouge, we never close.
Eingeschränkter Internet Zugang
Wir besitzen Tiere
Wir sind Raucher
mehr als zwei
Maximu 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week negotiable