Save our Shelter - RSDR Renovation Campaign

For: Rudozem Street Dog Rescue
Rudozem, Smoljan, Bulgaria
Organizer: Rudozem Street Dog Rescue
of €62,564 goal
100% Complete
Raised by 1264 donors

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
(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:
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


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 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

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:,

A copy of the media release and photos will also be available at

Visit our Shelter Renovations page to see what Renovations have already been completed.

Photo Album - Shelter Renovations:

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on April 18, 2018


Posted on April 18, 2018

Shelter Update 18 April 2018

The project for the shelter renovations has been approved by all authorities. Unfortunately we have been told that all renovations have to be done and approved before we will get registration. Over the past year different authorities have added their own demands which has meant the project manager adding things and amending things on the plans. We are now waiting for the builder to revise his original quote, taking into account the additional work. Hopefully his quote is acceptable and we can then begin work.

In other news, due to the fact that we now have to start the major renovations before we will get registration, we have had to have a number of outside pens built and split the exercise yards. We had hoped we would get registration before the renovations enabling us to do adoptions and giving us more room for the work to be done. As it is we are going to struggle removing all the dogs from each part of the building while work is carried out. The exercise yards have been split again so that we can have dogs in each part of the yards with kennels while the work is carried out inside the building. This wasn't allowed for in our original budget so we do need to fundraise to cover the extra expense. (we have a new fundraising page due to the fact youcaring is no longer continuing)

If you are able to help donate towards the new outside pens and splitting of the exercise yards.


Posted on March 15, 2018


Posted on March 15, 2018

Shelter Update 15 March 2018

Since our last update in January, our petition now has over 10,000 signatures.  If you have not yet signed please go to

Yesterday we got a letter from Rios stating that everything RSDR have been asked to complete, has now been done, including major points of location and sound.

The only thing Rios now need is a more detailed plan on what RSDR do with the dirty water. On our project plan, it states that RSDR will have a septic tank put in which will be drained every 5 weeks. RSDR had to get a contract from the waterboard and this has now been done, and has been given to the project man who will submit the contract with a detailed plan on water waste and septic tank to both Rios and the Municipality to approve it. Once that has been done, it is then over to the Animal Health and Food agency with their decision on what happens next.

RSDR also have come up with a plan on the replacement of the wooden pens that Authorities asked RSDR to replace within a 3 month timespan in January 2018. RSDR will be getting wire pens made. These will then be installed a row at a time, due to limited space. With the wire pens done, we will then have more space to do the floors, walls and ceilings at a later date.

In other news the last month, as we have limited staff and so many animals at the shelter, we don't have enough time in the day to do all the jobs that need doing so we decided that putting more dogs out in the exercise yards should help with speeding things up. To do this, we decided to split the exercise yards up into two with new wire fencing, so more dogs can go out.

With the shelter not being able to do adoption transports for the past year, there has been a huge increase in numbers of animals on the streets in the Rudozem area. The amount we are seeing in this area, we haven't seen in over 11 years since we started feeding dogs. We worked out just the other day, that if we had to rescue the animals locally we could easily rescue over 150 dogs and cats just in our municipality alone.

This is a video and photo album of just some of the dogs and cats on the streets


Photo Album:   

RSDR are unable to do any adoptions until we get the shelter registration and Authorities have told RSDR not to take in any more animals or will be fined and charged. Because of this, more and more animals are now on the streets and it is ever increasing. We are being asked for help by phone and emails every day and have to say no. So it's vital that we get registration so we can do adoption transports again.

With the increasing numbers we are in desperate need of help with costs of feeding the animals.

RSDR are also trying to flea and worm as many pups and dogs on the streets that they see, so there is less risk of disease with parasites.

If anyone would like to help with a donation feed and flea/worm the animals on the streets, please sign up to our sponsor a dog or cat program on our website.

The sponsor program is a a co-sponsor program where ALL the funds donated in this program, go towards feedings costs of ALL the animals at the shelter as well as towards the daily feeding runs RSDR have set up for animals living on the streets.

Please go to  and you can choose which shelter animals photo you wish to receive each month.

Or you can make a one off donation on our website at

If you would like to donate to the shelter fund and see previous updates, please go to



Shelter update 15 maart 2018

Sinds de laatste update in januari is onze handtekeningenactie al meer dan 10.000 keer getekend. Mocht je nog niet getekend hebben, wil je dit dan alsjeblieft doen op

Gisteren hebben we een brief ontvangen van de rios (soort van lokaal RIVM) dat alles wat aan RSDR is gevraagd af te handelen, nu is gebeurd, ook met betrekking tot hoofdzaken zoals de locatie en het geluid. Het enige wat de rios nu nog nodig hebben, is een meer gedetailleerd plan over wat RSDR doet met het afvalwater. In ons projectplan staat dat RSDR een aparte tank zal laten installeren die elke 5 weken geleegd zal worden. RSDR moest hiervoor een contract afsluiten. Dit is nu ook gebeurd en dit is aan de projectmanager gegeven die het verder zal uitwerken voor de rios en de gemeente. Als zij het hebben goedgekeurd, gaat het naar de Animal Health and Food agency (soort van NVWA) en die moeten beslissen wat de vervolgstappen zijn.

RSDR heeft ook een plan gemaakt voor het vervangen van de houten hokken waar de autoriteiten om gevraagd hebben. Zij wilden dat RSDR dit binnen 3 maanden deed vanaf januari 2018. RSDR zal draadgazen hokken laten maken. Deze zullen per rij geplaatst worden vanwege de beperkte ruimte. Als dit klaar is, is er meer ruimte om de vloeren, muren en plafonds te laten doen in een later stadium.

Ander nieuws: de afgelopen periode hadden we onvoldoende personeel en zoveel dieren in het asiel, dat we niet genoeg tijd hadden om alle werkzaamheden te doen die we op een dag moeten doen. Daarom is besloten de uitrenvelden op te splitsen in tweeën zodat er meer honden tegelijk naar buiten kunnen. Dit is inmiddels gebeurd.

Aangezien er het afgelopen jaar geen adoptieritten meer zijn geweest, zijn er enorm veel straatdieren bijgekomen in Rudozem en omgeving. Er zijn meer dieren dan we ooit gezien hebben in de afgelopen 11 jaar, sinds dat we gestart zijn met de dagelijkse voerrondes op straat. We hebben pas geteld en zouden zeker al 150 honden en katten in ons eigen dorp van straat kunnen halen momenteel. Hier vind je een video en foto’s van enkele honden en katten die momenteel op straat leven:



RSDR mag geen adoptieritten uitvoeren totdat we ons asiel hebben geregistreerd en de autoriteiten hebben RSDR gezegd dat we geen dieren meer mogen opnemen omdat we anders een boete krijgen of vervolgd kunnen worden. Daardoor komen er steeds meer dieren op straat terecht en het aantal blijft groeien. We worden elke dag gebeld en gemaild door mensen die vragen of we kunnen helpen met de opvang van dieren maar moeten steeds hetzelfde antwoord geven helaas. Het is daarom erg belangrijk dat we de registratie afronden en dat we de adoptieritten weer kunnen opstarten.

Door het groeiende aantal dieren, hebben we ook heel hard hulp nodig om de dieren te blijven voeren op straat en in het asiel. Ook proberen we zoveel mogelijk pups en volwassen honden op straat te ontwormen en ontvlooien als we kunnen, zodat er minder risico is op ziektes. Als iemand ons wil helpen hiermee, dan kun je een hond of kat sponsoren. Het sponsorprogramma is zo opgezet dat we en de dieren in het asiel er mee kunnen voeren en dagelijks voerrondes op straat kunnen doen.

Meer informatie hierover vind je op en daar kun je kiezen welke hond of kat je wilt sponsoren.

Natuurlijk mag je ook altijd een donatie doen. Dit kan via ons Nederlandse rekeningnummer NL13INGB0008654223 tnv D Beijer o.v.v. “RSDR” Als je met creditcard of paypall wilt doneren kan dit via

Posted on January 29, 2018


Posted on January 29, 2018

Shelter Update 29 January 2018.

Last year in January 2017, due to a new Bulgarian law passing, RSDR were told we could no longer do transports with TRACES unless we were also a registered shelter (even though we are already a registered foundation and TRACES registered).

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 2017, RSDR have done 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. The last year has been a very long and lengthy process. The reasons it has been so lengthy, is because for our area we are the first applying for shelter registration and the authorities haven't done this kind of thing before and it is all new to them.

We would like to thank all our adopters who are still waiting patiently for their animals and have not given up. People have been asking for updates however we are still waiting on progress with the shelter registration so cannot give an update on what is happening yet and hopefully we shall know in the following weeks on the next step.

For previous updates on the shelter registration and if you would like to make a donation to RSDR please go

Our petition also now has over 8000 signatures. If you would like to sign to show your support for RSDR to authorities please go to:

In the past few days, we have been told that other organisations across Bulgaria are now being told the same about the new law on transports with rescues animals and that rescue animals needing to be transported from TRACES must also come from a registered shelter. We wish them the best with the process in registering.

In other news, this year in January 2018, RSDR have been concentrating on neutering all our male animals and taking them to our local vet.

To do any neuter and spay RSDR had to travel by road (8 hours round trip) away to a reputable vet that knows the procedure which meant a 12-16 hour day by the end of the day once animals had been operated on and recovered. We also could only take up to 2-3 animals at a time. The Good news now is that our local vet has been doing more training at one of the Vet colleges, and we are now able to get male animals neutered. If you would to see which animals have been neutered please visit our facebook album at:

If anyone would like to donate 35 euros for the dogs that have been neutered please donate on our online shop at

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