Rescue, for the most desperate cases, is undertaken where possible, with sick or mistreated animals moved out of the environment in which they have suffered, and into care. For example, with incidences of cruelty to dogs in the worst or repeated cases, a dog may be confiscated and taken into care. This action is seen as a very last resort.
Educating owners on better and healthier ways of caring for their animals is always our priority. However if we can see that our advice isn't being taken, or an animal is in a terrible condition, then we will endeavour to move the animal into our care. This is not always easy. Owners may not co-operate. Sometimes a letter from a lawyer must push matters forward. Lucy also uses such letters to highlight clauses in Bulgarian and European law, which exist to protect animals but are often ignored. LIFE plans to work more, in the future, with all relevant Bulgarian authorities to make these laws, and the fines liable for ignoring them, better known to the people, and more actively enforced.
Intervention and support are key tools in LIFE’s multiple strategies to improve conditions in which animals are kept. Where possible, sponsors are found to fund food, anti parasitic treatments and shelter for animals in need. Sponsorship is popular with owners and allows LIFE more access to individual homes in Bulgarian villages and Roma ghettos than would otherwise be the case. When a member of LIFE’s team visits to deliver dog food, or salve for a horse’s harness sores, conditions of care can be checked, and problems addressed as needed.