Save our Shelter - RSDR Renovation Campaign

For: Rudozem Street Dog Rescue
Rudozem, Smoljan, Bulgaria
Organizer: Rudozem Street Dog Rescue
of €53,862 goal.
Raised by 1056 donors
72% Complete
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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 22, 2017

Posted on April 22, 2017

Shelter Update Saturday 22/04/17

Great news we have received the vehicle approval for transporting live animals in Bulgaria. We collected the vehicle registration from Smolian on Wednesday.

We had an appointment with the ministry vet on Thursday and on Friday went to Smolian to speak to officials. When we got to the Smolian office we were told to go to another area to collect some forms. We were told the forms needed to be filled out and brought back to the office on Monday with some other required documents. Hopefully on Monday we will know more about what the next steps will be and an idea of when the inspection date at the shelter will be.

Other news, there was another meeting with the builder on Tuesday. The builder did not realise he had to include costings for Upstairs of the shelter. Upstairs needs to be divided into 3 sections, so there is an office, sleeping area for staff/volunteers and a room for medical supplies. The builder is going to work out costings for dividing these areas and we will add it to the youcaring total figure. Building renovations in these areas will be started on next Monday.

We had a NovaTV news crew out to interview us last week. The interview was shown on Tuesdays mornings breakfast TV programme. It was great to meet the reporter Yana and her team. Yana made everyone feel relaxed and it was lovely chatting to her. You can watch the interview at:


Posted on April 14, 2017

Posted on April 14, 2017

Shelter Update 14/4/17 - RAISED SO FAR - €34,152.00, TARGET GOAL - €53,862.00

RSDR now have a NEW Fundraising Goal for our Save our Shelter Campaign to stop RSDR closing and so our adopted animals can be transported to their new families. We have received a second builders quote and we need to raise €53,862.00 to complete the renovations of inside the shelter.

RSDR liaisoned in February 2017 with a local building contractor to estimate the rest of the renovation costs inside the shelter. After waiting for over a month on the 22 March 2017, we received a quotation from a builder who had previously done work with us. The quotation was for 120,000 Bulgarian Levs (approx. 61,341 euros). Unfortunately this was a one page quotation and did not include a breakdown of the costs and we were told it did not include the construction of inside pens. The costs seemed very high, so we since have sourced another builder for a comparison quotation.

As RSDR is in the regional mountains in Rudozem, near the Greek border, it is hard finding good registered builders in such a remote area. After sourcing through another contact we have now received a quotation from a second builder which is more reasonable with a breakdown of costings. They have quoted 97,894.43 Bulgarian Levs (approx. 50,046.97 euros) which does also include renovations of the inside pens.

Adding up all costs incurred so far plus the new builder quotation for the rest of the renovations, total costs needed are 105,215.43 Bulgarian Levs (approximately 53,862.00 Euros)

You can see a breakdown of the costing on our report done up on the shelter situation at:

Vehicle Registration News - We are still waiting to hear about the vehicle registration from officials in Sofia and should hopefully hear next week. If all goes well, we are hoping to arrange a date for the inspection.

We ask if everyone could please help us by donating towards our fundraiser or sharing with family and friends. We are over halfway towards our goal figure so let's keep this going so we can get the shelter renovated and our adopted animals to their new homes as soon as possible.


Posted on April 9, 2017

Posted on April 9, 2017

Shelter Update 9 April 2017  There is not a lot to report this week as we are mainly still waiting for decisions and quotes.
During the week, signs in Bulgarian were done up for the vehicle, to say we are transporting live animals. We also received the car magnetic signs with the RSDR name and the logo. We are still waiting for decision from Sofia for the vehicle application and hopefully may know more next week.  On Friday we were in Plovdiv all day and have now sorted out the contract for medical waste.
We are waiting still for quotations from the new builders which hopefully will come through next week.

See our blog with latest news of what has happened at the shelter this week at:

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