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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 200 dogs this year..
Pete and myself have both had 3 Covid vaccines
We are a Reg Charity No : 1183401
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
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.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
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.
We have a house which is fully furnished and has a good standard of living accommodation, 3 bedrooms (2 with small en suite facilities) , full use of kitchen and living areas, this is away from us and the shelter, but all is within walking distance, there are some cats there which are residents and the house is usually a house share with other people, but for families we can give them soul accommodation if required.
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.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.
We have several locations where campervans can be parked.
We have a few locations away from the shelter that dogs are able to go
More than two
Maximu 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week negotiable
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