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“When we speak about helping and rescuing an animal, the care, attention, and time invested always pay off.

We can learn a lesson of a lifetime from the experience of Dafina and the way she takes care of animals in need to the next level. She is convinced that one has to do anything to help or rescue a living creature and is more than devoted to doing so in her spare time. Her professional experience at Strypes is as a financial controller, but her mission is much beyond the scope of her work.

Dafina Gadeva, FInancial Controller, Strypes, People Story

Dafi, the number of animals you are currently taking care of is impressive . How do you manage to do it and what is your main driving force?

  • “13 dogs, around 30 cats, and a few birds. This is the variety of rescued animals that are currently living at home. I have always lived with the idea of helping animals in need, giving food to a hungry dog, or helping one find shelter. As I was growing up, I started being able to contribute even more to saving and improving animals’ lives and I hope I can make an even greater impact in future.

    My personal belief is that every single creature in the world deserves respect and care, and this mission of mine connects me with other great people who are open to help and do good.”

How do you get supported in this cause?

  • First of all, I am happy that my family supports the idea of helping animals in need – mostly injured ones that can hardly survive after an injury, accident, or something else. Recently I learned that it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help and to give a chance to other people to contribute and help. I was surprised how many relatives of mine are ready to offer support – financial, physical, etc. Then comes the support I get from strangers I have met on this journey – open hearted people who just want to do good and be kind to animals. The same applies to the professional support I get from a vet whom I can fully trust in this cause and am really thankful for.

What happens to an animal when it gets treated and cured?

  • It is hard not to get attached to an animal that has been part of your life for a few weeks or months. However, I realize that I have to let healthy ones go back to their normal lives as long as they can survive themselves and are not in danger. This is the only way to make sure I have enough room for the next ones that would need my care.

There must be a high price you pay for all this.

  • Few people really understand the dedication you must have to really make an impact for animals in need. Maybe this is the reason why it is not always easy to gain their trust in such a cause. The time and emotional input in it often take from your personal life and free time, but I would never regret even a single minute I have spent fighting to make an animal’s life better.
Strypes Dog Dafina Gadeva

Would you encourage other people to follow your example?

  • I see that many people are not sensitive enough when it comes to helping animals. Some fear acting due to financial or emotional prejudice, while others consider helping people more important. I would not argue but would like to say that one does not have separate hearts for humans and for animals. You are either goodhearted and willing to help, or not. And love for animals is really rewarding as you get pure gratefulness and a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment. Don’t be afraid to act, since it is sometimes a matter of a small step to save a life.

Tell us about an animal you saved, and you will never forget.

  • I recently learned a lifelong lesson that overcoming difficulties and never giving up can do miracles. And a homeless dog named Ema was my Christmas miracle.I learned about her from a post on social media. She was so heavily injured and immobilized after a car hit that even doctors had lost hope in bringing her back to life. It was a rainy evening and I was at the vet clinic to pay my bills. I asked the doctor if I could donate a small amount for Ema and he told me that there is no need because the “owners” will come to take her in the morning. A decision had been taken for her to be euthanized. However, I just could not accept it and decided to fight for her.The night before Christmas we went home together. Day after day, she had been making tiny steps toward recovery with my support until, after a month later, she was able to get up on her own. Yes, she is old and was heavily injured, but now she is back to life. And if I had not acted for another day or even a few hours, she would not be here with us today.

Would you ever give up taking care of animals in need?

  • I don’t think so, but this has to go to the next level. Currently, I have a limited capacity and impact I can make on my own. However, I am seeking opportunities to transform my initiative into a dedicated shelter for animals in need and I hope this turns into a reality soon.

Some advice you would give to people reading your story:

  • If you really want to do good, be brave and it will eventually work out. Every living creature exists for a reason, and we should learn to share love for them. If you can’t help them, at least don’t do bad to them. And pay attention to families and children who are adopting or taking care of pets – you would notice how open-hearted, friendly, responsible, and sensitive they are.

Dafi’s heartfelt commitment to rescuing and aiding animals is truly inspiring. Let her story ignite a spark within you to make a difference whenever you encounter an animal in need. Remember, even the smallest act of kindness can have a profound impact.

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