June 2012 - For more than four years, Vets in Action has been treating free of charge all dogs in training as guide dogs for blind people. There is no other similar school for dogs in all of Bulgaria. Vets in Action visited Eyes on Four Paws Foundation in Sofia. The founder, radio journalist Albena Alexieva, received us warmly. However, it was immediately noticeable what great pressure lies on the motivated and affectionate team of the Guide Dog School.
Due to the economic crisis, Albena has been forced to stop the work of trainers. Since the beginning of 2012 the foundation has lost two thirds of its sponsors and the already sparse donations from Bulgarian municipalities were suddenly cancelled.
Since January, Eyes on Four Paws has been unable to pay wages and the debts owed to food suppliers are already considerable. Vets in Action reacted swiftly and provided first emergency aid to cover food and some wages costs. Since the beginning of the year, all employees have been working without any pay.
But the financial reserves of our small animal welfare association are not enough to secure the annual budget of the only guide dog school in Bulgaria.
Ten blind people are currently eagerly waiting for their guide dog – fourteen dogs are in their training, four of them almost at the end. In January 2012, Eyes on Four Paws became a member of the European Guide Dogs Association (EGDF). Yet now the foundation is in great danger.
The hard pioneering work of the last twelve years and the passion of Albena and her team must not be left to have been in vain.