Saving Strays

Our Mission

We believe that there should be no discrimination in rescue as we are all working to the same goal of helping the dogs in need, our companion animals, that we share this earth with. Saving Strays UK aim to advance animal welfare for the benefit of the public to relieve the suffering of animals in need of care and attention and, in particular, to provide & maintain a rescue and rehoming service for the reception, care and treatment of stray dogs in the UK, Bosnia-Herzegovina and such other European Countries. These dogs that have been abandoned, neglected or mistreated are in need of our urgent support. As Saving Strays the group achieved charity status in 2020 having been run by a board of trustees in waiting since 2018. In 2022 the name was altered to Saving Strays. There is an extended team of volunteers who are committed to alleviating the suffering of stray dogs. We respond to urgent calls from concerned members of the public we support the incredible work of those on the frontline of stray dog rescue in the UK and across Europe as we believe that ‘Every Single Life Matters’. We have our own in house team of Home Checkers who are trained to find the best possible homes for our dogs and we find adopters and fosterers for dogs that come under our care which includes offering RBU to other rescues in emergency situations.

Where It All Began

A Facebook group founded in 2012 by Louise Harley was formed to support the work of Milena Malesevic who has been rescuing stray dogs from the streets of Sarajevo for more than 20 years. During the war in Bosnia many people could no longer care for their pets and as a result many dogs ended up on the streets. This Facebook group grew and together the volunteer team helped raise the funds to support the rescue of stray dogs found by Milena. In 2017 Film maker Maria Slough and actor and animal advocate Peter Egan travelled to Bosnia to make a film about the stray dog crisis and featured Milena. The film premiered at the European Parliament in January 2018 and Peter Egan committed to helping the team achieve charity status along with Maria and UK veterinary surgeon Dr Roger Bralow. In 2020 in line with our objects as a UK charity, the board of trustees extended their reach to supporting stray dogs in need across the UK and Europe and to working with more than one rescuer. During our time supporting Milena solely we raised over £120,000 and funded the care and rehoming of over 430 dogs. In November 2021 Milena undertook to organise her own transport for any new rescues and now works with her own dedicated team, some of whom volunteer for both organisations.

What We Do

The UK based organisation consists of a dedicated team of volunteers mainly based in the UK. Saving Strays continues to be steered by a group of trustees and our UK patrons are Peter Egan, rock legend Rick Wakeman and author Rachel Wakeman and Strictly Come Dancing star Ian Waite. Saving Strays organise fundraisers to fund the medical treatment of all the dogs under our care. We fund a growing food bill of over £1800 a month and feed dogs in our care at our kennel partners Riad Bubu while they wait for a forever home. We receive countless calls from members of the public and those working in local killing stations asking for urgent help for dogs facing certain death and we rescue and rehabilitate and rehome as many as funds allow. Some of the dogs in our care need long term veterinary treatment. Saving Strays have continued to fulfill their promise to the dogs rescued by Milena prior to 2017 that need extra time for rehabilitation. We still fund the care for some 20 dogs originally rescued by Milena who live on land in an open sanctuary scenario owned by the UK charity. While Milena is actively taking care with our financial support of these dogs, Saving Strays will fund all of Milena’s travel to the land sanctuary and the costs of her utilities as well as the costs of the two workers on the land and the sanctuary license.