Rudozem Street Dog Rescue (RSDR) is a non-profit foundation that rescues Street Dogs in Bulgaria and finds loving homes for them.
In August 2007, the Rowles family - Diane and Tony Rowles and their 4 children, 4 dogs and 2 cats decided to make the move to Bulgaria to have a more peaceful life from the busy lifestyle in the UK. The Rowles bought a family property in the outskirts of Rudozem and a renovation property an hours drive away in the middle of a village.
After living in Bulgaria for a few months, the family saw the plight of the street dogs and started feeding them and patting them. They were shocked by the locals reactions and abuse towards the street dogs and saw dogs spat on, kicked or had stones thrown at them. They continued to feed the dogs on the streets when they could out of their own money.
In early 2008, their youngest son Luke, befriended a street dog named Ranger, and the dog started following him. Ranger became the families first rescue dog when a man was trying to shoot him. You can read about Rangers story on this link.
Over the next few months other street dogs went home to the Rowles family. (You can see stories about Bigdog, Tallulah, Snoopy and Foxy) on the Photo Gallery.) At the time the families only intention was keeping these dogs that the Rowles children had brought home as pets only.
However, with the continuing street dogs needing to be fed on the streets, it was getting harder and harder not do do something, so the family decided in September 2008, that they would start a foundation to help rescue more street dogs and find them loving homes.
Rudozem Street Dog Rescue (RSDR) officially become a registered foundation in March 2009, by a Bulgarian lawyer. With the registration in place, the family arranged with an adoption team in Holland to find homes for the dogs they rescue.
The municipality of Rudozem also told the Rowles family (RSDR) they would provide them with land to build a shelter. This was great news at the time, so they could build a shelter away from the town so as not to upset neighbors with the noise from the barking dogs. Unfortunately a few months later, the family was told by the Municipality that they could no longer provide land for them that year or the following year.
The family have since converted most of their own family home, so they could look after the street dogs that need rescuing the most and have these dogs put up for adoption.
They have built pens in the backyard, and some of the dogs live in the family home inside. It is very crowded and they have limited space.