The hair on my arms is standing on end as I share this news, after all, this is what we dreamed of. We dared believe in the rescue of pathetic dogs tied up in backyards at the base of Bulgaria’s Rhodopi mountain range. These dogs would have been all but invisible to the world at large and their entire lives would have been spent in isolation on the end of a six foot chain. They would have lived in mounds of excrement, survived on moldy bread and woke alone each morning. This, after all, is not a place where a rescue group can easily heal the victims of extreme neglect and abuse. Yet because of the readers of Care2.com, that is exactly what’s happening right now.
Yes, we are on a spree in Bulgaria where we’re improving the lives of chained dogs by giving them veterinary care, good food, shelter and room to run. Today I want to zoom in on one such rescue of a young, long haired dog who was about to be shot by his family because the open wound on his leg and patches of missing fur lead the adults in the household to believe that he’s a health risk to their children. The dog’s ‘owners’ are quite startled to find a woman at their door who has come to plead for the dog’s life. They cross their arms and look at her quizzically as she offers to take the dog to the veterinarian for care. They smirk when she says she will find the dog a good home. And they shut the door hard as she carries him away. But there, alone in the backyard, dog and rescuer make a pact. She will save his life and he will live it to the fullest.
Though the “before” video is unsettling to watch, I really hope you’ll take a moment to view it because this shows the conditions the dog had been living in prior to our intervention.
Gabriel BEFORE Rescue
Gabriel AFTER Rescue – Meeting The Other Rescued Dogs
“I picked him up on Thursday evening and drove him to the top vet clinic in Sofia four hours away,” explains Candy Sasse, CoFounder of Colonel Angels Street Dogs – a Harmony Fund partner. “They took skin scrapes and within 20 minutes had his diagnosis. It was not mange but chronic dermatitis possibly caused by flea allergy. He was also severely under weight as when he stood on the scales they could only get to 25 kilos (55 lbs). ”
“He traveled well in the van to the vet’s and on his return came straight into the garden and met the other rescued dogs,” Candy continues. ”No problems, just a few sniffs and one eye watching me constantly. He is glued to my side and follows me everywhere but at the moment has fallen asleep on the mat down stairs as he is exhausted after his first walk. I am going to give him a bath in a minute. I feed a raw meat, fish and bone diet which he wolfed down with huge enthusiasm. So now we have a tired, well fed, free-of-itching dog who for the first time in his life can savour these sensations. This is all thanks to you and Gabriel cannot thank you enough.”
For the Care2 audience who has embraced the Harmony Fund’s work with our partners in Bulgaria and our many rescue projects for ‘unreachable’ animals around the world, the words ‘thank you’ hardly seem sufficient. Gabriel is just one of several dogs whose lives have been turned right side up again because of your donations. Every time he settles into a warm bed or jumps across a chilly stream, his heart will be full and forever grateful. Please visit our website to enjoy more terrific photos of our rescue work for the dogs of Bulgaria, or to make a donation to help others all year long.