The Neutering Network is a joint venture between TwitchyNoses, Little Angels Rescue BG and Street Hearts BG but also involves the co-operation, participation and support of a number of other non-governmental organisations and individuals.
Little Angels Rescue BG was set up in January 2013 following the closure of Colonel Angels Bulgarian Street Dogs rescue and is a charitable foundation based in southern Bulgaria. It has a small dedicated team and is run and managed by Candy. Little Angels Rescue aims to end the cycle of suffering of dogs on the streets of Bulgaria through welfare education and sterilisation programmes. They offer a free spay/neuter for owned dogs and Trap-Neuter-Return for street dogs. Only those dogs that simply cannot make it on the street on their own for whatever reason, enter their rehoming programme. Little Angels also has a “chained dog project” to help provide better living conditions for village dogs who’s lives consist of living outside on meagre rations and never having the freedom to run and play. You can find out more about LAR and their work on their Facebook page.
Twitchynoses was set up by Rachel and Peter in the winter of 2011/2012 in order to assist local Bulgarian shelters and help conditions and dogs at municipality pounds and also work in the Maglizh district and surrounding areas to help injured and abandoned street dogs and owned village dogs. In the summer of 2011, Rachel and Pete visited a couple of shelters and saw first hand the constant requirements for funds for emergency operations for dogs and cats hit by cars or shot or poisoned or beaten and just left to starve or freeze on the street. The shelters struggle to re-home the animals, while more and more in desperate need of help are found on a daily basis. It was decided that the best option was to set up a small charity to try and raise funds and awareness and to distribute funds and supplies where most needed. They also take in fosters when able and re-home dogs where possible & aim to work with others to provide better living conditions for village dogs in their immediate area. You can find out more on the main TwitchyNoses website or on the Facebook page.
Emma & Anthony set up a neutering programme for dogs and cats in the Dryanovo municipality area of Bulgaria. They have the support of their local mayor and have neutered well over 200 hundred dogs in the last couple of years alone, as well as taking many into their own home when dogs from neutering campaigns had injuries or were found to be sick or simply would not survive on the street. In 2017 Street hearts BG was born to incorporate their neutering and re-homing programmes. You can visit their facebook page here.
Sussy has been involved in helping Twitchynoses with Bulgarian translation for a number of years and is now part of TheNeuterNetwork as the Bulgarian correspondent.
It has long since been an idea and hope of all involved to work together with other organisations to carry out a continued neutering effort in Bulgaria. It is only through neutering that the root of the over population of dogs and cats can be brought under control. For both street dogs and owned village dogs a like.
Whilst there is nothing more satisfying to those in rescue to see a once terrified and starving dog, curled up happy and warm in front of a fire, rescuing and re-homing a few is a mere blip in the ocean. All involved in this project will continue to help re-home as many dogs as possible through their individual charities, but it is also well recognised that the problem of dog overpopulation needs tackling at the ground level and that each and every country has its own problems with abandoned and abused animals.
Rescues and shelters in every country struggle with the sheer number of dogs abandoned each year and the problem is only getting worse. The cost to prepare and transport a single dog from Bulgaria to say the UK is around £250, the same money can be used to neuter several animals. Together we hope to be able to make a positive difference and slowly, step by step, reduce the number of starving and abused dogs roaming the streets and stop the thousands of puppies and kittens born to village dogs and cats each year and then dumped, left to starve or be run over or poisoned.