Help at an animal rescue near Yambol, Bulgaria

  • 33 “me gusta”
  • Última actividad: 8 abr 2024



 Estancia mínima:  Sin mínimo



  • Descripción


    The Animal rescue was founded by Pip and Steve in 2022. After spending a lifetime dreaming of building her own rescue, Steve made that dream a reality after Pip moved to Bulgaria to start a new life with him.

    Pip has always been an animal lover. From growing up with multiple dogs and cats and riding horses as a child, to running around her local estate from the age of 8, knocking on doors and asking to take people's dogs for a walk! Animals have always been a huge part of Pip's life. Pip and her mum adopted their first rescue dog when Pip was in her early teens. Cassie was a border collie/retriever cross and, in spite of everything she'd been through, showed the most incredible capacity for forgiveness and unconditional love. From their first meeting Pip was smitten and her passion for rescue was born.

    After leaving home and watching her own (2 legged) children grow up she adopted Dolly. A neurotic 3-year old border collie/corgi cross. Then came Django; an 18-month old blue merle collie/staffie cross. Django had suffered a head injury as a pup and so has no short-term memory, and was diagnosed with CEA, a congenital eye defect common in border collies which causes blindness. In spite of their various issues and with a lot of hard work and patience, Dolly and Django are confident, loving dogs living an amazing life.

    Pip's rescue obsession stepped up a gear when she was introduced to Dogbus, Transporting Paws Saving Lives in 2020. Dogbus was a small, local rescue based in Coventry, UK and Pip applied to be a volunteer. Within a week of signing up she was driving to France with Kris, the rescue founder, to collect 4 dogs rescued from the Chinese meat trade...and so her fate was sealed. From then she lived and breathed rescue. When Kris opened The Barn Pip stepped in to manage it and this was where she met Rummie. Rummie had been adopted from a shelter in Romania at the age of 5 months. He had spent 3 years in a loving home but, when his adopters decided to start a family, they decided to return him to rescue. An amazing couple, Anne and Nick, who had known Rummie whilst he was with his first family and had grown to love him, couldn't bear to see him go back into rescue and so adopted him. They worked extremely hard with Rummie and did everything they could to give him the best life. However, because of Rummie's anxiety, it just proved to be too much for him and he bit Nick several times and started to guard Anne. It was at this point that, heartbroken, they returned Rummie to us at The Barn. It took weeks and weeks of being completely hands off and not making eye contact, but then one incredible day Pip leant down and unclipped Rummie's harness that he'd arrived in. He stood next to her and leaned into her legs. With a (very) tentative hand Pip stroked him gently. Rummie looked up at her and put his head against her. From that day Pip and Rummie were inseparable...soulmates. Rummie became Pip's third rescue kid. He had to be highly medicated with anti anxiety medication as his stress levels were sky high whilst in kennels.It broke Pip's heart that she couldn't take him home but, with a daughter still living at home and a young grandson who stayed over 4 days a week, she could not take the risk of taking an unpredictable dog with a known bite risk home.

    In February 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine, it didn't take long for Pip and Kris to spring into action and, on 8th March they set off with 5 volunteers, 3 transit vans and a horse box packed with animal and humanitarian aid, and drove 3 days to the Romania/Ukraine border. They dropped one van and 2 volunteers at the border and then continued the 5 hour drive into Ukraine. The plan was to spend 2 weeks helping rescue animals and transport them to safety.

    It was here that Pip met Steve...

    Steve, an army veteran of the 1st battalion Royal Anglian regiment, had arrived in Ukraine 2 days after the war started. He and a friend had packed up his camper van with crates and basic supplies and driven from his home in Bulgaria. The plan was to spend a couple of weeks helping animals and people to get safely across the border into Romania...that was the plan, anyway! 3 months later Pip and Steve left Ukraine together, having rescued 100s of animals and transported them to safety, to start their new life in Bulgaria. They drove to the UK, loaded up Pip's 3 dogs and drove the 3 days home to Bulgaria. After giving Dolly, Django and Rummie a few days to settle down and get used to their new surroundings, they collected Steve's 4 dogs Boris, Molly, Zookie and Serbi, and introduced them to their new brothers and sister.

    When Pip arrived in Bulgaria she was left speechless (literally!) by the breathtaking beauty of where she now lived. The idyllic surroundings and the home that Steve had brought her to were what she had always dreamed of. She fell in love with the place instantly. Steve took her to the places he had grown to love. The beaches, the countryside, the woods. As they travelled around Pip started to see the ugly side of life in her new paradise too. House after house after house with chained up dogs. Skinny dogs. Sick and injured dogs. Dogs wandering the streets and being chased away just because they were hungry. She started keeping bags of dog food in the car and would make Steve stop at random moments so that she could feed them. They would see female dogs who had clearly had litter after litter of puppies and now had joint problems and obvious hip dysplasia from continuously being pregnant and giving birth. Dogs covered in mange, fleas and ticks. Cats and kittens, allowed to breed uncontrollably, skinny and dirty and climbing through bins looking for food. One day Pip and Steve were walking down a street in a large town. A tiny kitten was sitting next to a cardboard box on the pavement next to a wheelie bin. As they got closer they saw that the kitten’s dead mother was in the box. Thrown out onto the pavement with the rubbish.

    It was all too much for Pip and she needed to do something to help. She wanted to rescue, yes of course, but she also wanted to help educate. It needed to start with the next generation. With the children in school. They needed to understand that animals could be so much more than a noisy thing on the end of a chain. They needed to do more than simply rescue. Unfortunately Pip didn’t get the chance to start anything before she had to leave Bulgaria when her 3 months were up. She returned to England devastated at having to leave Steve and her own dogs, but also that she didn’t get the chance to do more whilst she was there. So whilst Pip was in England for 3 months at the end of 2022 Steve got devious! For a man who is simply unable to keep a secret, he sneaked around behind Pip's back for over a month and, with the help of some incredible friends, made her dream a reality. On Christmas morning, whilst Pip was back volunteering in Ukraine, he sent her a video message introducing her to her new rescue. He had built indoor bedrooms in their barn for all of the kids to sleep in at night, a mezzanine floor to use as a storage area, and 4 huge outdoor areas for the kids to play in and have zoomies all day. A name that Pip and her friend Kris had come up with for the pet transport business they had started to set up just months before Kris tragically passed away. By keeping the name it was as if a little part of Kris was still with them.

    Since launching less than 12 months ago Pip and Steve have rescued over 60 dogs and 20 kittens. Since gaining their non-profit NGO status in Bulgaria, they are now in the process of registering as an animal shelter with the municipality. The couple hope to achieve this soon and have further plans for building and improvements to the site.

    The highest priority is the building of a vital isolation unit. With nowhere for them to currently quarantine new arrivals they have to rely on tests conducted prior to admission being accurate and then quarantining the dogs for 21 days in their guest bathroom! If the dog tests positive for anything contagious or potentially harmful to those already on site, they have no choice but to refuse to take the dog. This is always a heartbreaking decision for Pip and Steve but their priority always has to be for those animals already in their care.

    A purpose built isolation unit would mean that the dogs could be tested on site by Pip and then treated accordingly. They could also complete their quarantine period in much more comfortable and suitable accommodation! It would also mean lower vet bills as much of the diagnostic testing and treatments could be carried out on site. The isolation unit is vital for all of the dogs at the rescue but mostly for those who have not yet been allowed on site.

    Rocky is a 3 year old male. Pip and Steve accepted responsibility for him and his sister Elsa in November 2022. A month earlier their elderly owner had died. Pip and Steve were asked by the mayor of the village if they could take the dogs but as the couple had no room a neighbour agreed to put them with his dogs. Both Rocky and Elsa were incredibly underweight and had had little to no human interaction. They were scared and confused. They didn’t understand what had happened or where their ‘person’ had gone. They were moved, by the family, to the neighbours garden and remained on heavy chains with overturned metal barrels for shelter. Pip and Steve watched as the dogs got thinner and thinner. They would take bags of food to their neighbour and supplied straw bedding to give them a little warmth. At first the dogs were terrified of any kind of human contact. Elsa especially would run and hide in her barrel at the first sign of someone approaching. With time, patience and consistency Pip and Steve started to gain her trust and were able to touch her from arms length. They would take leads over and take the dogs out together for walks in the hills. They advised their neighbour on how much and how often to feed the dogs to get weight back onto them slowly. Nothing worked. Eventually, after weeks of asking and with the bones of the rescue completed, the neighbour agreed to the couple’s request to take Elsa to see the vet. So on 3rd February they lifted her into the van and rushed her to the nearest town. She had a multitude of blood and faecal tests which, surprisingly, were all clear. Elsa weighed 19kg. Every bone in her body was visible despite her thick winter coat. Why? Because she simply wasn’t fed enough. Pip and Steve transferred her directly from the vet clinic to the rescue and commenced her on a diet of tiny meals every 2 hours. After 2 weeks, when the risk of refeeding syndrome had passed, Elsa was commenced on a graze feed. She gained weight slowly and steadily and is now a happy, healthy girl who loves affection and does zoomies at meal times. The same cannot be said of her brother, Rocky.

    Rocky’s body condition was slightly better than Elsa’s so, at the time, she was the priority. In spite of this his condition has since deteriorated and so, on a day when the vet attended the rescue for vaccinations, Pip asked her to see Rocky and take a blood and faecal sample for testing. This was done and then Rocky was returned to the neighbour’s garden. His test results were not as expected. He was anaemic and tested positive for a highly contagious gut infection, Giardia. Because of the lack of quarantine space, bringing Rocky on site was simply not not an option. Treating him where he was living was also not possible as he would simply continue to reinfect himself due to the living conditions. Rocky had to be returned without treatment. Had the rescue got an isolation unit he could have been quarantined, treated and then introduced into one of the packs. Instead he went back to his chain and his filthy garden. A decision which devastated both Pip and Steve. They continue to monitor Rocky, provide food, advise their neighbour on how to feed him and, since Pip noticed the degree of tracheal damage he had from being on a collar and chain, they have fitted him with a harness in the hope that the damage will not be permanent.

    A last word from Pip:
    The Animal Rescue was built out of love and in memory of a very special friend, Kristy of Dogbus Rescue. I miss Kris every single day but seeing the rescue grow and thrive reminds us of what we learnt from her, and that something good can come from something so tragic. Kris will never be forgotten and will live in our hearts forever. In times of indecision I ask myself "what would Kris do?" Kris was my inspiration and through the animal rescue her legacy will live on.

  • Tipos de ayuda y oportunidades de aprendizaje

    Tipos de ayuda y oportunidades de aprendizaje

    Trabajo de caridad
    Cuidado de animales
    Mantenimiento general
  • Intercambio cultural y oportunidades de aprendizaje

    Intercambio cultural y oportunidades de aprendizaje

    Our work is not all about the animals, although they are the primary focus! We are also passionate about educating the locals on new ways to care for their animals. We have a number of local residents who we support in this way, as well as with support with food and medical care for their pets. Our ultimate aim is to educate Bulgarian children by going into schools to teach them that their are alternatives to keeping animals on chains etc.

  • Ayuda


    A love of animals is essential when helping at our Rescue. You will be involved in the day to day care of the animals on site. You will help with cleaning, feeding, walking, socialising and training. There may be simple maintenance that needs doing as well as being involved in the upcoming improvements and remodelling/building of the dogs' areas.

    Anyone helping at the Rescue will need a patient, caring nature; work well under pressure; be able to follow instructions but also to work on their own initiative. The majority of our dogs are well socialised and quickly accept new faces. However there are some who need more time and patience and so volunteerfs need to be in tune with the animals and have an understanding of how to listen to them and read their body language.

  • Idiomas hablados

    Inglés: Fluido
    Bulgarian: Intermedio

  • Alojamiento


    Our current workaway accommodation is within our own house. The bedroom consists of a double bed, wardrobe and open fire. They will also have their own toilet and shower room. They will have access to washing/drying facilities for clothing. We have recently undertaken the purchase of a second property within our village which, when completed, will become the workaways' fully self contained accommodation.

    We provide 3 meals per day if workaways commit to 4-5 hours per day, 5 days per week

  • Algo más...

    Algo más...

    Workaways will be expected to commit to 2-3 hours work in the mornings plus 1-2 hours in the evenings. Outside of these times their time will be their own. We are surrounded by the most beautiful countryside with stunning walks and views. Our home is the perfect base for those who enjoy hiking, cycling, or wild camping. We have a breeding pair of extremely rare Eastern Europen eagles just behind our house, along with a host of other stunning wildlife.

    The nearest town is a 15-20 minute drive where there are plenty of shops, supermarkets and cafes/restaurants. There is a swimming pool on site and a bar area. There is also a beautiful outdoor poor in town. The town of Yambol is approximately 45 minute drive away with a wider variety of shops and facilities. We are approximately 1 hour from the nearest beach.

  • Un poco más de información

    Un poco más de información

    • Acceso a Internet

    • Acceso a Internet limitado

      Acceso a Internet limitado

    • Tenemos animales

    • Somos fumadores

    • Puede alojar familias

  • Puede acoger a nómadas digitales

    Puede acoger a nómadas digitales

    We do not have a designated office space. However our workaways are welcome to work online either in their bedroom or at the dining room table.

  • Espacio para aparcar autocaravanas

    Espacio para aparcar autocaravanas

    We have land that we have not yet developed for workaways to park their vehicle(s)

  • ¿Cuántos voluntarios puedes hospedar?

    ¿Cuántos voluntarios puedes hospedar?

    Más de dos

  • ...

    Horas esperadas

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Número de referencia de anfitrión: 695398852959


Welcome to our large-yard dog rescue sanctuary near Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria
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