As animal lovers, it can be hard to understand why someone would go out of their way to harm another living being. Sadly, animal cruelty continues to run rampant across the world. Hearing stories of people abusing and abandoning their pets or going out of their way to cause harm to an innocent wild animal can cast a shadow of overwhelming sadness. But, it seems, that for every cruel person in the world, there is also one who is kind and compassionate.

These people go out of their way to right the wrongs that others have done to animals and devote their lives to raising awareness to ensure similar incidents do not occur.


Bulgaria’s Desislava Stoyanova is one such person. Stoyanova runs her very own animal rescue operation called “Save Me” that helps give the stray dogs and cats of Bulgaria a second chance at life.

If you are in need of a story that restores your faith in humanity, then look no further than that of Desislava and Gigi the dog.

Rescuing Gigi

Gigi was discovered in the city of Plovdiv, tied up with a makeshift leash and left to fend for herself.

“It seemed like someone had purposely tied a leash around her neck to cause pain. She was on on the verge of dying, unable to breathe because the leash was so tight, cutting into her neck,” Desislava tells One Green Planet. “When she saw me, it was like she knew. She finally saw eyes that were not turning away and she almost collapsed on my feet. I could clearly see she’d been through a lot of pain.”



Most likely, Gigi was abandoned. It’s not uncommon for people to have a pet and then abandon them when they no longer want them. Sadly, for the abandoned animal, like Gigi for instance, it can be an incredibly stressful experience. We all know how loyal dogs can be and this is a seriously devastating event for a dog who’s been thrown out of their home.

Twenty Day Treatment

After feeding her some water, Stoyanova took Gigi straight to the clinic. The tight leash had cut into her neck, leaving her struggling to breathe. The first order was to remove the leash, which sadly only revealed a section of badly infected skin that had begun to smell terribly. The vet predicted she’d been left for days or even weeks, from the look of the severe neck wound. On top of that, she was diagnosed with mange, a bad skin disease.


Gigi at Vet


The vet cleaned the infected wound, gave her antibiotics, and bandaged her neck. For the next twenty days, Gigi’s wound needed to be cleaned and her bandage was changed daily.


Gigi's wound


In total, Gigi’s treatment mounted up to over 500 BG Leva (around $300) and Desislava couldn’t afford even a fraction of this  amount. So she made a plea to animal lovers from her Facebook page, Save Me, asking for donations.

Fortunately for Desislava, a couple of volunteers from an organization in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, covered Gigi’s entire veterinary bill. They also later adopted Gigi, after she fully recovered.

Gigi Now



Today, Gigi is happy, healthy and loved! It just shows that with a little compassion, you can  save lives, and that’s certainly the case with Desislava Stoyanova.

“Animals have made me a better person,” says Desislava. “They’ve changed my life and in return I try to change the lives of as many as I can! Even though it is not easy, it’s gave me a purpose, as there is no better feeling than knowing you have helped and contributed to someone else’s well being!”

Compassion is Contagious

Many animals suffer a great deal at the hands of humans. At the same time, many animals live happy, joyful lives at the hands of humans. We must support the good, compassionate people on this earth who refuse to watch others suffer. We all have the power to make a change and end suffering. So the next time you see a homeless animal, don’t turn away. Help them. They depend on us for help and if we ignore them, we’re not part of the solution, we’re part of the problem.

Desislava Stoyanova’s mission to end animal suffering is an incredibly valiant one that we can all learn from. Remember, compassion is contagious, so for the sake of animals – pass it on!

To learn more about Stoyanova’s work, check out the Save Me Facebook page, here.