Behind the Scenes
Love for Love Association in the town of Dobrich in Bulgaria is a non-governmental Organization whose main mission is to work for the benefit of stray dogs and cats to reduce their population, providing shelter for sick animals and those with special needs. The Association was registered in 2007 and still functions today as a castration center and animal shelter for sick, senior dogs and cats and those without an alternative.
The executive director of the Association in Dobrich is Mariya Velikova. She is also the founder of the first dog shelter in Bulgaria 20 years ago, which still operates until today. Mariya has dedicated more than 30 years of her life to helping stray animals, and she knew from the very beginning that this is her destiny and mission in life.
In 2002 Mariya Velikova founded the German-Bulgarian Animal Aid Shelter in Dobrich. As a result of her long struggle and mission, the killing of dogs throughout Bulgaria ceases. In 2008, the Animal Protection Act in Bulgaria was finally issued.
In addition to caring for the stray dogs and cats in the region, the Organization also strives to change public attitudes towards stray animals by giving and providing educational lectures in schools. The campaign started in 2003-2004 and managed to successfully cover all schools in Dobrich and the surrounding municipalities. The Love for Love castration center has neutered about 16000 dogs and cats which is the only humane way to reduce their population. More than 3,000 dogs and cats have found their permanent home in Bulgaria and abroad, and the collaborative work between the Organization and the small rural municipalities in the region focuses on controlling the population of stray animals and providing adequate assistance to injured, sick and abandoned dogs and cats. About 200 dogs are currently being looked after at the Love for Love shelter in the city of Dobrich.
In 2003, Mariya Velikova became the founder of the shelters in the cities of Shumen and Ruse, and in 2007 the Sofia shelter "Lozenets" became a branch of "German-Bulgarian Animal Aid" under her leadership. Thus, she successfully managed the shelters in the cities of Dobrich, Shumen, Ruse and Sofia until 2010. In 2014, the management of the shelter in Dobrich was taken over by the Association of Maria Velikova "Love for Love", and from the "German-Bulgarian Animal Aid" remained to function independently only the castration center in Ruse.