Save our Shelter - RSDR Renovation Campaign

For: Rudozem Street Dog Rescue
Rudozem, Smoljan, Bulgaria
Organizer: Rudozem Street Dog Rescue
€69,750
of €62,564 goal.
Raised by 1214 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 December 1, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on December 1, 2017

Shelter Update 1 December 2017

RSDR now have a lawyer who is advising us regarding our application for registration and have had meetings with the lawyer and the mayor

In other news, RSDR have now started a petition where we would like supporters to show their support for Rudozem Street Dog Rescue (RSDR) and how important it is for RSDR to be granted Shelter registration to government officials so RSDR can continue to send dogs and cats for adoption and therefore rescue more animals from the streets.

The number of dogs on the streets in Rudozem is ever increasing since February when we were stopped from doing adoption trips. The shelter is over crowded with over 250 animals, and we explain that to people but still have dogs tied to the fence or pups dumped outside the yard. Winter is here and we will soon have snow. All we can do for the dogs and cats on the streets is make sure they get fed.

Please sign our petition to show your support
https://www.change.org/p/show-your-support-for-rudozem-street-dog-rescue-achieving-shelter-registration-in-bulgaria


Shelter Update 1 December 2017

RSDR heeft nu een advocaat die ons adviseert over onze aanvraag voor de registratie. Ook zijn er afspraken geweest met de advocaat en de burgemeester.

Ook is RSDR een handtekeningenactie begonnen en we roepen al onze sympatisanten en volgers op deze te ondertekenen.

Laat alsjeblieft zien dat je RSDR steunt en dat het heel belangrijk is voor RSDR dat het asiel officieel geregistreerd word door de autoriteiten. Op die manier kan RSDR weer dieren laten adopteren en meer dieren van de straat redden. Het aantal dieren op straat in Rudozem neemt alleen maar toe sinds we in februari gedwongen zijn te stoppen met de adoptieritten.

Het asiel is overvol met meer dan 250 dieren en dat leggen we iedereen uit, maar toch worden er dieren aan ons hek vastgebonden of gedumpt rondom het terrein. De winter is begonnen en het zal snel gaan sneeuwen. Alles wat we nu kunnen doen voor de honden en katten op straat is ze voeren.

Teken alsjeblieft onze petitie en laat zo je steun zien.
https://www.change.org/p/show-your-support-for-rudozem-street-dog-rescue-achieving-shelter-registration-in-bulgaria


BULGARIAN TRANSLATION

Моля, покажете подкрепата си за "Рудозем Стрийт Дог Рескю " и колко е важно за "РСДР" да бъде предоставена регистрацията на приюта от държавните служители, така че "РСДР" да може да продължи да изпраща кучета и котки за осиновяване и следователно да спасява повече животни от улиците.

https://www.change.org/p/show-your-support-for-rudozem-street-dog-rescue-achieving-shelter-registration-in-bulgaria

Posted on November 17, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on November 17, 2017

Shelter Update 17 November 2017

After our last update in October we found that the mayor hadn’t submitted his paperwork to the authorities which is why we had no official decision from the department for environment. We have now heard that the paperwork has since been submitted and we should have an official decision next week. If everything is approved we then have to take everything to the department for animals, food and health and they will arrange for an inspection. If it is not approved then at least we will be told why and can consult with our lawyer. 

In the meantime we are still looking for land or premises that are suitable, incase we do have to re-locate, but not having any luck. It is going to be difficult going to see anything that isn't local over the next months because of snow.

The number of dogs on the streets in Rudozem is ever increasing since February when we were stopped from doing adoption trips. The shelter is over crowded with over 250 animals, and we explain that to people but still have dogs tied to the fence or pups dumped outside the yard. Winter is here and we will soon have snow. All we can do for the dogs on the streets is make sure they get fed.

To make things clear for those asking about contacting local authorities with letters to show their support or complaints. We appreciate your support, however the law is a Bulgarian law made at government level. The local office will not issue TRACES export certificates for animals if it is breaking Bulgarian law. The local authorities can submit their reports, but the final decision is made by government officials. The local and town mayor’s only involvement is that they have to report to the authorities as to any complaints they might have about the shelter being where it is. 

We would like to clarify that we have been a registered non- profit foundation for nearly ten years and have been TRACES registered since TRACES was brought in. The registration that we need is for the actual shelter building to be registered as a shelter.

There have been many suggestions from supporters on us sending animals which we have looked at in depth. 
One suggestion was that we send animals to boarding kennels for 30 days and they are then transported in the adopters name. When boarding kennels approached their local authorities they were told they would not issue TRACES for our dogs because they come from the streets and therefore can only legally be moved from a registered shelter.

Another suggestion was to send our adopted animals to another registered shelter. There are few registered private shelters and every shelter regardless of registration have their own issues with over population of animals. For this to be legal we would have to sign over the animals to the other shelter which would mean we no longer have any control as to what happens to them. They would then have to be at that shelter for a minimum of 21 days for them to legally get their TRACES export certificates. There are some really bad shelters in Bulgaria so even if we did find a registered shelter with space for our animals, we would need proof of their registration and confirmation that it was a reputable shelter who care about the welfare of their animals. 

Other suggestions are to get a Bulgarian citizen to transport the animal. A Bulgarian citizen could adopt one of our animals but they could only leave the country with it under the pet passport scheme if they were going on holiday or moving house themselves to another EU country. Any change in ownership requires an animal to be moved by TRACES. To take a dog on holiday to the uk and then sell it would be illegal and the animal would not have a TRACES import certificate. It could be months or years down the line but if ever authorities asked for the dogs import certificate there wouldn’t be one and the dog could be confiscated. It could also then be traced back to us through the first registration of the chip. RSDR will not agree to this option.
Sending animals illegally to other countries could result in prosecution and consfiscation of the animals and is something we will not do. 

Since 2009 when Rudozem Street Dog Rescue first achieved charity status, we have rescued thousands of street dogs and they have been adopted in other countries. We have done everything we can to follow things legally so we do not put the foundation, and our animals at risk.

Regardless of how long shelter registration takes, our animals are safe in the RSDR shelter currently. If we find an option that is safe and above board we will look at it as an option for adopters, but we will put our animals safety first. 
Our best chance at this current stage is trying to achieve shelter registration and RSDR are fighting to get this, even if we have to relocate and build another shelter, so our animals can be adopted and we can continue to save others from the streets.

Thank you kindly for your support. If anyone is able to make a donation to help with feeding the increasing animals on the streets, we ask you to either sign up to our sponsor program on our website, or make a one off donation on the donate page of our website. You can find all the details on our website at www.streetdogrescue.com

For previous shelter updates, please go to our shelter fundraiser at www.youcaring.com/saveourshelter

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

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