European Union Mess is Bad for Animal Rescue in Bulgaria


Bulgaria shouldn’t be in the European Union (EU) at this time, and neither should a number of other countries such as Romania. They were allowed to join before they were compatible with existing EU countries. They were allowed to join too early because the empire-building, bloated bureaucrats who run the EU (Eurocrats) wanted to expand their power base. This horrible mess has resulted in the same ghastly, overpaid bureaucrats playing catch up and trying to force Bulgaria to modernise and change by introducing a million regulations to begin the process of integration into the European Union.

I know that an expansion of the EU is good in the long term but the process has moved too quickly and Europeans are paying a heavy price. There are a lot of problems, one of which is that Bulgarian animal rescue organizations have to totally change their ways otherwise they have to close, by order of Eurocrats who dictate to the Bulgarian government.

What the Eurocrats are saying, in so many words, is that it is better to have no animal rescue rather than animal rescue which does not meet their regulations, which is ridiculous. In a country such as Bulgaria where there is a great need for a lot of work on animal rescue at a grass roots level, such as spaying and neutering dogs and cats, any form of well intentioned help from decent minded people, no matter what the conditions they work under, is better than no help at all.

Rudozem Street Dog Rescue

Having made that painful introduction I’d like to write about Rudozem Street Dog Rescue, who, incidentally, rescue cats as well. This dedicated animal rescue organisation is owned and run by the Rowles family – Diane and Tony Rowles and their 4 children. They decided to leave the UK for a quieter life in Bulgaria in 2007. Very brave.

In a short time, they discovered something about Buglaria that they hadn’t foreseen; the callous abuse of an excess of unwanted street dogs. I can only presume that cats are treated the same way. The opening lines of their story says it all really. Ranger, one of the stray dogs where they live befriended their youngest son Luke. Ranger had previously been shot at by a local man. Need I say more?

Apparently dogs are allowed to breed without hardly any controls at all. This leads to what one would expect: a chaotic situation with respect to street dogs wandering around open to abuse from local people some of whom abuse them rather than take proactive steps to introduce some sort of responsible control over the lives of these companion animals.

The Rowles write:

“The current vet does not know the procedure for spaying female dogs, and only knows how to neuter male dogs….”

It is the usual story of irresponsible pet ownership; let them breed, let them roam and then shoot at them, kick them and throw stones at them because they are a nuisance. A sad indictment of human behavior. I can write this, but the Rowles family have to work with local people so they are naturally more circumspect. It appears that a decent percentage of Bulgarian people don’t understand the philosophy behind animal rescue. However, I will accept that there must be many Bulgarians who are as sympathetic to unwanted companion animals as the Rowles family.

Unfortunately, the Rowles family have been threatened with closure of their rescue facilities unless they meet EU regulations. Having done a ton of sterling work in saving many animals they are no faced with closure unless they can find a lot of money to renovate their buildings.

That is their current story. They need funding. I admire them for the work they do. It must be tricky work because in all honesty there does seem to be a bit of a culture clash.

If you’d to help, even in a small way, please visit their website. They have a PayPal button for donations and of course their full story by themselves and not my old man version.

4 thoughts on “European Union Mess is Bad for Animal Rescue in Bulgaria”

  1. There are others, in Bulgaria and other nearby countries with similar situations and working solely under volunteer effort and very meager donations. These are the ones I’ve found so far:

    They network with each other, and K9RB has an affiliation with a small UK group, but they could certainly use more international attention and help. They will and have sent animals out to other countries, even as far away as America, and they can communicate in English, so anyone interested in donating, fostering, or adopting needn’t be concerned about not being local. And yes, they deal with cats as well as dogs.

  2. This is awful. I didn’t realise they were part of the EU. If there’s one thing I am sure of, it’s that I don’t trust the people who have control over the financial way of things. Seems like they have all been a great failure and desperately adding sub par countries in a desperate bid to get more money seems like the exact same sort of behaviour and decision making that got us here in the first place.

    My ex co worker is Bulgarian. Her grandmother lives near Sofia and has a persian cat. So that tells us that there are pedigree cats there. This business of not knowing how to spay an animal is an incredible failure. These countries not only have lower standards but in many cases alot of the people are xenophobic. I sincerely hope Albania never joins the EU.

    I really hope they don’t have to shut down. That would be a terribly ironic and sad twist of events.

    • It looks very tough to run a dog rescue in Bulgaria because the attitudes appear to be very different. Plus the silly Eurocrats bearing down with their rules. Seems almost impossible to me.

  3. This is terrible, the Rowles trying to do something about animal welfare there and saving lives but threatened to be closed down!
    I can hardly believe any vet doesn’t know how to spay a female dog, they must be very badly trained, do they even have places where student vets are taught? But surely if they know a dog’s anatomy their common sense should tell them how to do it anyway.
    What about cats, does anyone there care about them?


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