English Setter Weighs Less than a 2-Year-Old

Written by Ann Bell of Animal SOS-Burgas in Bulgaria

How Nika actually arrived outside the hotel here in Bulgariais not that clear.One learns not to ask too many questions here. What was obvious was that Nika was in a bad way.

The man contacted the sanctuary and the manager Margo Peeva-Natsidu whomet him at the veterinary office, where it was established that Nika weighed only 11 kgs. (24 pounds). She was anaemic and had very low body temperature,but fortunately, was not suffering from heartworm or any of the diseases or illnesses usually encountered in Bulgaria.

Nika was given emergency treatment and taken home to be nursed by Margo. Nika was fed with liquid through a pipette and tucked up with hot water bottles and warm blankets. Finally, she slept and slept and slept.

Given that she was found on December 6th, which is the public holiday of St. Niklaus in many European countries, she was named Nika.

The following morning, Nika was taken back to the vet and given infusions of medication and vitamins and then taken back to Margo’s where she spent the next 10 days gaining her strength to be moved to a foster home away from the sanctuary. Nika had to learn to chew and eat again. She couldn’t eat kibble or tinned food. But slowly, she did learn and her will to live increased.

English Setters are sensitive wee souls and it was considered she would stand a better chance of recovery away from the sanctuary, which is currently home to 150 dogs of varying shapes, sizes, temperaments and noise! Lots of noise!

In the two months Nika has been in the foster home, she has nearly doubled in weight and is now a happy, older lady (7-8 years old). She enjoys the company of the other English Setters, English Pointers, Husky and assorted mix breed dogs there and is thoroughly enjoying her life. Her foster carer says she is as sweet as a fairy.

She's as sweet as a fairy and gentle with the cats at her foster home.

She has been fortunate enough to have her very own “fairy godmother” who has ensured that she is fed on high quality food and gets a daily dose of vitamins, with a warm coat to protect her from the -14 degrees temperature and snow out there.

The veterinarian visits once a week, and two weeks ago, her blood indicated the beginnings of kidney trouble. So, she is now on a special renal diet to see whether this can be managed with diet alone.

Nika doesn’t know it yet, but if she is not offered a suitable adoption home, then she will go to live with one of our volunteers who has a particular love of English Setters. Whatever happens, she will never go hungry again and will have a happy life. Something we wish for all the dogs in our sanctuary.

Look at her now! This photo was taken last week. What a remarkable transformation.

Animal SOS-Burgas in Bulgaria (Facebook page) was built by a local Bulgarian businessman Alexander Stoyanov who has a passion for animals; is a legally registered private animal sanctuary and relies solely on donations to remain operational. It is currently home to 150 dogs and 6 cats. All rescued from the streets of Bulgaria where they don’t have an easy life.

This month Animal SOS-Burgas will receive a grant from the Harmony Fund as part of a special project to reach out to animal rescue teams in Bulgaria. Funds will be used for shelter repairs, kibble, veterinary treatments and fuel for four rescue groups in Bulgaria. To enjoy heartwarming photos of this mission to bring good things to the rescued animals of Bulgaria, click here.

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Darcy C.
Darcy C2 years ago

Stories like this one warm up your heart and soul!

Charlotte Røjgaard

Thanks to all, who have helped Nika. Best of luck to her - and to every animal in need!

Pat P.
Pat P3 years ago

Such a sad-looking gentle sweetheart!

Thanks to the kind rescuers and the Harmony Fund support. It is unfortunate that Nika has kidney disease. Animals do not get over it but can live for some years, if treated properly. Renal food is not normally fed, except in somewhat later stages, and most of it is of poor quality. Hopefully, she will live long enough with the disease before she feels the troubling effects and/or often accompanying complex of other ailments.

As sweet as she is, with age and illness, she will be difficult to adopt out. Nevertheless, if she is not too far advanced and has friends and loved ones, she can be happy for some time. Thankfully, she will have a life home, with a loving volunteer, in any case.

Although Bulgaria may not be the best place to be stray dog, every country has the same problems. As does every country, have some kind animal lovers, even if too few.

Pamela A.
Pamela A3 years ago

how could ANYONE just walk past this poor animal and NOT help?
Humans suck

Glennis Whitney
Glennis W3 years ago

How can people be so cruel and neglect animals like this, just so cruel, so glad she is in loving hands now, thank you for sharing.

Glennis Whitney
Glennis W3 years ago

What a wonderful dog, so glad she is in safe hands now, never to be ill treated again, thank you for all who have helped to acheive this, thank you for sharing.

Glennis Whitney
Glennis W3 years ago

Such a loving ending to a very sad story, peeople should never own animals,unless they are able to care for them properly, thnak you for sharing.

Cheryl coscia
cheryl coscia3 years ago

I would love to take her but my son might have something to say about that.

Linda Jurick
Linda Jurick3 years ago

What a beautiful girl she is♡