Save our Shelter - RSDR Renovation Campaign

For: Rudozem Street Dog Rescue
Rudozem, Smoljan, Bulgaria
Organizer: Rudozem Street Dog Rescue
€68,292
of €62,564 goal.
Raised by 1185 donors
100% Complete

The Story

URGENT APPEAL - RSDR is urgently seeking your help to save our shelter and the street dogs & cats of Bulgaria. (read our story below)

Please make a donation on the above DONATE button through PAYPAL or by BANK TRANSFER on our bank account details below.

Bank Account Details

If you do not have paypal and prefer to donate by bank transfer to RSDR's Bulgarian, Dutch or UK bank please donate to:

Bank details:
Bulgarian Bank account:
Bank: DSK Bank
Account Name: Rudozem Street Dog Rescue Bank
Bank Address: 4960, 4960 Rudozem, 11 Han Asparuh Str, Bulgaria
IBAN BG55STSA93000016929092
BIC STSABGSF
(Can donate in any currency as it will be converted to Bulgarian Levs)

UK Bank Account
Bank: The Co-operative Bank
Account Name: RSDR Adopt
Sort Code: 089299
Account Number: 65668283
Currency in Pounds

Dutch Bank Account
If you would like to donate through a dutch bank account, you can go through Diane Beijer
Bank: ING Bank
Account Number:
IBAN-NL13INGB0008654223
Name: Diane Beijer, Amsterdam

RSDR also accept cheques and money orders to their UK Bank, so please email [email protected] for the postal address.

Please put reference as "Save our Shelter" and email [email protected] to advise you have made a donation by bank transfer and which bank you paid to.   Please be aware your bank may charge you a fee for international transfers.  

Media Release

ANIMAL SHELTER THREATENED WITH CLOSURE LAUNCHES URGENT APPEAL FOR HELP

February 3, 2017– Animal rescue centre Rudozem Street Dog Rescue (RSDR) has launched an urgent appeal for help to save it from closure after the Bulgarian authorities issued a new law this week, requiring it become a registered shelter.

The shelter in southern Bulgaria, run by British couple Tony & Diane Rowles, rescues street cats and dogs, rehabilitates them where necessary and arranges for their foster and adoption in the UK and Netherlands. On Monday they were notified that, under a new law passed with immediate effect, RSDR was no longer permitted by the Bulgarian authorities to transport animals out of country. This ruling effectively shuts down RSDR's ability to continue ensuring a long-term future for street animals.

RSDR founder Diane Rowles says “There are thousands of animals on the streets that are suffering and needing our help. RSDR has been vital to saving and adopting over 1500 animals to other countries since 2009. The future of street animals in Bulgaria and their plight is now uncertain.”

Under EU law, any registered private individual, breeder or charity registered with the EU Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) can send animals by approved transport to member states. TRACES ensures that transported animals are properly microchipped, registered and healthy. RSDR has transported its animals under the tightly regulated EU system since 2014 without issue. However, the new Bulgarian ruling states that animals rescued from the streets may no longer be transported from registered charities unless they are also a registered shelter.

Diane continues, “RSDR is a Bulgarian-registered foundation and has held a licence to care for dogs at the shelter since 2011. We can't apply for private shelter registration until the shelter is renovated up to EU standards and we have been fundraising and renovating parts of the shelter for years to bring it up to standard. Completing all the renovation work in one go will be a massive task, costing a huge amount. We just don’t have the money.”

The RSDR adoption transport, carrying over 30 adopted animals to adopters in the UK and Netherlands, scheduled to leave today (Friday, 3 February 2017) has had to be cancelled. Adopters are now waiting anxiously for news of when they will be united with their adopted RSDR cats and dogs. Street dog Jigger, rescued in 2011 and one of the shelter’s longest residents, had a place booked on the transport. His adopters have said, “We are absolutely devastated, but I'm sure I'm not alone amongst current adopters in saying we are committed to getting Jigger home.”

RSDR is now focusing on completing the remaining renovations to the shelter to bring it up to EU standards so that it can become a registered shelter. For this, it will need a large injection of cash. The shelter is entirely reliant on public donations, supported by a network of volunteers in the UK and the Netherlands. The required renovation work is estimated to be at least 25,000 euros. The Rowles are liaising with local contractors to estimate the exact cost which may be much more.

In the meantime, RSDR has set up an online fundraiser at https://www.youcaring.com/saveourshelter and is using hashtags #saveourshelter #RSDR on its social media feeds - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram - with the following request: “We urgently appeal for the public to donate towards our fundraiser and share this message far and wide with family and friends.”

About RSDR:
Rudozem Street Dog Rescue (RSDR) is run by British family Diane & Tony Rowles who started the foundation in 2009 after seeing the plight and abuse of street animals. Since establishing the shelter, the Rowles have rescued thousands of cats and dogs, rehoming them to the UK and Netherlands. They also care for a number of permanent residents at the shelter, animals who cannot be rehomed owing to behavioural issues. Given that it has very limited resources and space, the shelter also supports street dogs and cats through regular feeding runs. In 2016, a documentary made by Canadian Editor Erin Parks about the shelter ‘Finding Shelter’ won third place in the Animal Film Festival Awards. The documentary is available at http://www.findingshelter.net/

Contacts:
RSDR Co-Ordinator, Anita Weber, email [email protected]
RSDR Media Liaison, Paula McMullan, email [email protected]
Rudozem Street Dog Rescue (RSDR), Foundation No. ‪175647065, Rudozem, Smolian, Bulgaria,
e: [email protected], w: www.streetdogrescue.com, www.rsdrnederland.nl

A copy of the media release and photos will also be available at
http://www.streetdogrescue.com/downloads.htm

Visit our Shelter Renovations page to see what Renovations have already been completed. http://www.streetdogrescue.com/shelterrenovations.htm

Photo Album - Shelter Renovations: 
https://www.facebook.com/rudozemstreetdogrescue/photos/?tab=album&album_id=482861104263







Fundraiser Updates

Posted on October 4, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on October 4, 2017

Shelter Update 4 October 2017

On the 3rd February 2017, Rudozem Street Dog Rescue (RSDR) launched an urgent appeal for help after the Bulgarian authorities issued a new law , requiring it become a registered shelter.

We were notified that, under a new law passed with immediate effect, RSDR was no longer permitted by the Bulgarian authorities to transport animals out of the country. This ruling effectively shuts down RSDR's ability to continue ensuring a long-term future for street animals. 
There are thousands of animals on the streets that are suffering and needing our help. RSDR has been vital to saving and adopting over 1500 animals to other countries since 2009. The future of street animals in Bulgaria and their plight is now uncertain.
Under EU law, any registered private individual, breeder or charity registered with the EU Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) can send animals by approved transport to member states. TRACES ensures that transported animals are properly microchipped, registered and healthy. RSDR has transported its animals under the tightly regulated EU system since 2014 without issue. However, the new Bulgarian ruling states that animals rescued from the streets may no longer be transported from registered charities unless they are also a registered shelter.

RSDR has been a Bulgarian-registered foundation since 2009 We were told at that time that only municipality shelters could be registered. However, we have been fundraising and renovating parts of the shelter for years to bring it up to standard, including having sound proof barriers.

Since February, we did all the necessary training courses in animal handling, animal transport and registered two vehicles for moving animals. We have had a project manager and architect working on the plans for the renovations and fundraised for the renovations. 
A couple of weeks ago, all of the plans for the project were completed. They were submitted to the environmental office in Smolian and at the same time they had to be lodged in the local mayor’s office in the village of Elhovets where the shelter is. Unfortunately the mayor of Elhovets has never wanted the shelter there and has opposed the project.

The law states that any animal shelter has to be a minimum of 300 metres from any other buildings and unfortunately we are only 130 metres from the nearest houses. Regardless of any changes or further sound proofing, we will never get registration for our existing shelter. It is annoying that we weren’t told this back in February, instead we were led to believe that with adequate sound proofing and renovations it could be registered.

We have spent eight months and quite a bit of money doing everything required for registration only to be told that it will never happen. We have also heard that the mayor of Elhovets has consulted a lawyer about proceedings to force closure on us. This is extremely worrying as we can’t even let dogs go for adoption without registration.

Those of you that have followed and supported us over the years know of all the heartache and stress we have had to face. We would be lying if we said there haven’t been times when we have questioned if we can carry on. Our personal and family life has been greatly affected by some of the problems we have had to face. At the end of the day, we have always put the safety and security of the dogs first. We now have to try and stay strong and continue to do that.

If we are to continue rescuing street dogs, the only way forward is to relocate the shelter.

Today we had a meeting with the Rudozem town mayor. He agreed that what we do is beneficial to the town and said he wants to work with us to find a solution. At the end of the week he will take us to see some land not far from the town landfill site that he thinks might be suitable. He suggested a long term lease on the land but we build the building. We explained that for the security of RSDR we would rather own the land that the shelter is built on and he is open to that suggestion. Our only other option at this stage would be to relocate to a different area. Finding somewhere else isn’t easy as we have looked in the past and again recently and we would be dealing with unknown mayors and municipalities as well as having to leave our own home.

We are hoping that we can come to some agreement with the Rudozem mayor about land that is suitable.

Many people kindly donated towards the renovations that we thought we would be carrying out on our existing shelter. We hope you understand the situation we are in and that it is acceptable to you that your donations are used for new land and shelter. We have approximately 200 dogs and cats in our care and we need to ensure that they remain safe without any threat of the shelter (their home) threatening closure. They rely on us and regardless of the amount of work involved, we will do everything we can to provide them with love and care and a place of safety.

Once again we can only apologise to adopters who have waited since February for dogs and cats that they are adopting. We were originally told that registration should only take a couple of weeks. Since then we have been told of more and more things that we have had to do and have done in order to comply with the regulations and we are still not able to arrange an adoption trip without registration. It is frustrating and heart breaking for you and for us knowing that these animals could be in loving homes with their new families but legally that just isn’t possible at the moment.

We don’t know how long it will take before we get registration on a new shelter. It could be that registration is granted on the project plans and animals can be housed in temporary pens until major work is done. We still have to see if the land is suitable that we are being offered. It would be wrong of us to try and guess when we can do an adoption trip when the truth is we don’t know ourselves.

If anyone wishes to cancel an adoption ,we do understand and we will refund the transport fee and still give you first option to adopt that animal when we are able to start doing adoption trips again.

We thank everyone who continues to support us. This is another major hurdle for RSDR, but one we have to work through in order to carry on saving the lives of street dogs and looking after the dogs and cats already in our care.

Regards
Diane & Tony Rowles, Founders
Rudozem Street Dog Rescue

Previous updates are available at:
www.youcaring.com/saveourshelter


Posted on September 5, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on September 5, 2017

Shelter Update 5 September 2017

Since our last update in August, RSDR have had to gather the information again that we gave the Eco office in the municipality. This was due to them breaking the memory stick so we had to restart over with compiling all the information. This has now been reviewed and approved.

The project plans have been to the mayors office in Rudozem and in Elhovets and they have signed and stamped their approval.

The information has been sent to the Regional Inspection of Environment and Water Agency or Rios where they reviewed all the information required and project plans are now on their way to the official office in Sofia where they will then make a decision. We will be noticed by a letter in 2 weeks time if everything is okay. Hopefully we wont have anything else to do and will get the date for the inspection at the shelter.

Since February 2017, since the new law was passed, we have completed driving and handling courses. Had vehicles registered to transport any animal. Built medical and food storage rooms. Built an examination room and repainted and plastered the back of the shelter. We have had contracts done for medical waste, local vet, disposing of dead animals, electric and water companies, and with the municipality for disposing of rubbish to the landfill.

We have hired an architect to do the project plans of everything at the shelter for inside and outside that is required for renovations. Organised a builder to be ready to start renovations inside shelter after adoption transports start again. The Eco office has finished their project with the environment for drainage etc. There are hundreds of little jobs that we had to do but too many to mention including going back and forth to officials in Smolian and Rudozem daily/weekly to find out information.

Now we just have to wait for the letter in the next few weeks to see what next will happen.

Posted on August 2, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on August 2, 2017

Update 2 August 2017

Just a quick update on the progress of shelter registration. The architect has finished the project plans and they are now at the Eco office in the municipality. They will be at this office for a few days and then will be looked at in the Mayors office before going to the office in Sofia. Once in Sofia they will get in touch with the Health & Food Agency to arrange an inspection of the shelter. After the inspection they will make a decision about registration.

In other news, we ask people to please not dump animals at the shelter and please understand why we cannot take in any more animals. The RSDR shelter has been FULL since April 2017, and we have been told by officials to not take in any more animals until we receive shelter registration. RSDR cannot do any adoption transports until we receive registration, which means no animals are leaving the shelter but more animals are being left and taken in at the shelter.

We are receiving hundreds of phone calls and emails each week all across Bulgaria to take in more dogs and cats and we have to say no to people. We cannot stress enough saying how FULL the shelter is and how overcrowded the pens are. It is not fair on the animals to bring in anymore and could be dangerous bringing in more due to the lack of room, which may cause in-house fighting and less individual attention by shelter staff.

RSDR are still trying to help the animals in the area, and we are continuing to do our feeding runs of dogs and cats in different areas, so those animals are being fed.

As we are so overcrowded, if you want to help take the pressure off funds by making a donation to our shelter during this time, please go to: http://www.streetdogrescue.com/donatehelp.htm

Or you might want to sign up for our sponsor program to help feed the animals at:
http://www.streetdogrescue.com/sponsor

Please read about the shelter situation with updates at www.youcaring.com/saveourshelter

For those needing help with animals in Bulgaria if you email me at [email protected] I will send a list of other rescues in other areas in Bulgaria, that may be able to help.

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