Suffering should never be something to ignore. Yet, there is so much suffering in the world, amongst animals and humans. Sometimes, all it only takes is one person to end another’s suffering. Let’s be honest, wouldn’t you like to think that if something bad happened to you, there would be somebody there to help you? Or would you prefer to be ignored? Passed by in the street?

Sadly, homeless cats and dogs throughout the world are all too familiar with being passed by in the street. They can’t cry out for help like humans can. All they can do is hope that somebody with a kind heart, who doesn’t need words alone to figure out whether a living being is in pain or not, will come and help them. Desislava Stoyanova was that person for Stanka, one of the many street dogs in Bulgaria.


A Drive to Remember

Desislava Stoyanova was driving in her hometown one day when a little dog, curled up in a ball with bloody wounds and fearful eyes, caught her attention. As she got closer, she noticed that the wounds on this dog were bleeding badly and her eyes looked infected, she also looked like she hadn’t eaten for days.

“She looked like she had given up and was waiting for the end,” Desislava tells One Green Planet. “My heart sank. I knew I had to save her.”

But catching her was, by no means, easy. It was hard for Desislava to get close to the frightened dog because she was was terrified of people, a clear sign that she’d been abused. Every time Desislava tried to catch her, she’d run away. Finally, after a lot of chasing around, she managed to catch her and put her in the car; she called her Stanka.


At the Clinic

Nobody knows what to expect when they take a rescued dog to the local vet. Sometimes, a street cat or dog can look perfectly healthy from the outside, but have major problems on the inside and vice versa. Stanka didn’t look too good from the outside. Desislava was worried she had mange because she had little fur and her skin was exposed.


Stanka before


After a thorough examination, the vet confirmed it wasn’t mange, her coat had fallen off due to starvation. Stanka was diagnosed with ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis, diseases caused by parasites. This could also have been the cause of her excessive weight loss.

The vet bill came to over $400 and Desislava could not afford this alone. She made an appeal on her facebook page, Save Me, from which lots of kind people sent donations and eventually, the entire bill was paid.

She received all the treatment she needed and it wasn’t long before Stanka looked happy and healthy again. Her fur started to grow back, she gained weight, and her wounds and eye infection disappeared.


Stanka with Desislava



Although her physical wounds have healed, the wounds of her tragic past will always remain. Who knows whether she still has nightmares of her terrifying days on the streets? What we do know is that today, Stanka is a happy and healthy dog, full of love and joy. Not long after the appeal, she was adopted and now she has a family that loves her, a yard to play and run around in, and ultimately, a forever home.

Helping Others Like Stanka

Not everybody is prepared to stand by as others suffer. Desislava Stoyanova is, singlehandedly, taking animals off the streets in her hometown, rescuing them, and working to provide them with loving, forever homes. To continue, she needs all the support and donations she can get. Visit her Facebook page Save Me, to send a donation. With your help, Bulgaria’s street dogs and cats will have a fighting chance at survival, something they would never dream of otherwise.

All image source: Desislava Stoyanova