Animal Rescue Sofia needs donations to replace shelter being closed

The Animal Rescue Sofia animal shelter in Bogrov outside the capital city, the second largest of its kind in the country and entirely funded from donations, is calling for financial help from the public because the existing shelter will have to close down at the end of 2013.

The site on which the existing facility, which has been managed solely by Animal Rescue Sofia for the past three years, is being repossessed by a bank to recover a mortgage from the entity from which ARS has been renting the property.

“The shelter we now operate in – the Bogrov shelter – is not owned by the Sofia Municipality, but rented. It is a private facility, currently owned by the bank that mortgaged it,” Nadia Stancheva, chairperson of ARS, said in a message on the organisation’s website.

“Our contract in the Bogrov shelter is bound with the Municipality’s leasing contract with the owner. The contract expires December 2013. It will not be renewed as the Municipality already has its new shelter for 1000 dogs (also in Bogrov) and will continue to expand it in the years to follow,” she said.

“Although we can negotiate a transference period (due to the complicated moving logistics), we cannot continue working in the same place,” Stanchev said.

She said that with just 15 people, the organisation had in the past three years been able to provide homes and happiness for more than 2300 dogs, meanwhile neutering 5400 more free of charge to the public.

Stancheva pointed out that the organisation is an entirely Bulgarian organisation, with no funding from the government, the EU, or international animal welfare organizations.

“The farm we want to buy has 5700 sq m of land and the following buildings: Building 1 – 602 m2 (for the dogs); Building 2 – 167 sq m (for the clinic); Building 3 – 175 sq m (for a warehouse). It has water and electricity, a paved road leads to the front gate. The buildings used to house cows, they have canals in the proper places for a good cleaning and are in a decent condition. The yard is large, paved and has a solid fence all around.”

The farm is about 300m from a main highway, less than a kilometer away from the current shelter, right next to a bus stop. It is already registered as an animal site and has most of the documents necessary.

“We managed to bargain the price down to 210 000 euro, or 37 euro a square meter with the buildings included. The funds necessary for the reconstruction have not been included in this equation – our priority now is to quickly secure shelter for our animals, we will hopefully consider comfort next year.”

As at October 13, a sum of 68 130 euro had been raised. For details of how to donate, please click here.




The Sofia Globe staff

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