Take a walk through pretty much any city in Bulgaria and you will spot at least one homeless animal wandering the streets in search of food. Plovdiv is one city that stands out for its large stray animal population. Dogs and cats flood the streets of this city and while most citizens turn a blind eye to the suffering and hardships of these animals, there is one woman who does not.
Desislava Stoyanova has spent the last 12 years rescuing animals from the streets of Plovdiv, her hometown. Through adoption and fostering, Desislava has given hundreds of animals a second chance at life.
A Persistent and Unconditional Love for Animals
Desislava’s love for animals extends far beyond just talk. Desislava shares, “My story with animals, started a long time ago. I live in a rough part of the city of Plovdiv, Bulgaria and the cruelty for animals there was daily. I cried a lot, but then realized that I needed to act too!” She continues, “I remember, I was about 19 years old, at Uni, and had just met my boyfriend (now husband). None of us had lots of money, but we gave them all for dogs’ and cats’ food and for visits to the vets’. And we did not regret this even for a second! We grew up together, surrounded by the love of the beautiful babies we picked up from the streets, and we couldn’t have had it any other way! Now, we have a beautiful baby boy and he will grow up knowing how to cherish all animals and help those in need, animals, and humans!”
She takes in animals that many others have deemed “unsavable” and done her absolute best to ensure that even the most tragic cases get the care they deserve. Oftentimes, she fits the veterinary bills for the animals’ recovery all on her own because, to her, giving up on a life is simply not an option.
To help care for the hundreds of animals who have entered her life, Desislava set up the ‘’Save Me’’ Facebook page where she calls on followers for either donations or help finding a good home for some of her charges. Through her page and the support she has received from it, Desislava has managed to rent a foster home in a nearby village to house some of the cats and dogs that need help.
Currently, 24 dogs and 20 cats are residing there but tragically, this could all change due to a complaint from her neighbors. According to Desislava, the local council has given until the end of April 2017 for her to remove all the animals from the property. If she fails to do so, the animals will be confiscated and likely euthanized.
A New Beginning and a Brighter Future
As dire as this situation is, Desislava has no time to sit around moping. In fact, she’s already sprung into action by purchasing an old run down building in a nearby village for the sake of housing the 40 animals in need of a new home. The trouble is, the building is in need of major renovations. Fencing, furniture, and building materials are all needed to make this building suitable for the soon-to-be homeless animals. However, in order to make these modifications to the building, Desislava is desperate need of funds.
However, in order to make these modifications to the building, Desislava is desperate need of funds. So far, she estimates that the total cost of renovation will come out to $8,000, but in this new space, she will be able to provide a safe home for many more animals than she currently has in her care.
How You Can Help
In addition to making appeals on the “Save Me” Facebook page, Desislava has launched a GoFundMe campaign. Together, we can help give a new home to the nearly 50 animals in her care and ensure that many more will also get the winning chance they deserve.
As they say, it takes nothing away from a person to be kind to an animal, and in the case of this amazing woman – many, many animals are lucky enough to receive that kindness.
Click here to read more about Desislava’s project and make a donation.
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All image source: Desislava Stoyanova