Saving Strays

Our Mission

We are a small all volunteer organisation dedicated to alleviating suffering, educating kindly and helping stray dogs in need. We believe that there should be no discrimination in rescue as we are all working to the same goal of helping misplaced dogs. We help stray dogs in the UK when asked and our grass roots work in Bosnia continues to grow. The dogs we rescue have been abandoned, neglected or mistreated and are in need of our urgent support. We achieved charity status in 2020 (as Saving Suffering Strays) having been run by a board of trustees in waiting since 2018. In 2022 the name was altered to Saving Strays. We respond to urgent calls from concerned members of the public, we rescue dogs from death row and we offer lifetime care to dogs in need 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 into our care. Animal welfare is at the heart of everything that we do.

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. 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 a small group of volunteers and UK veterinary surgeon Dr Roger Bralow. In 2020 in line with our objects as a UK charity, the board of trustees extended our reach to supporting stray dogs in need across the UK and Europe and undertook their own rescue work. 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 work with her own dedicated team independently from us and our work extended to include education and tailored rehabilitation for each dog in our care with the collaboration of our volunteer clinical behaviourist.

What We Do

We love dogs and we recognise that they have individual needs. We are UK based and run by a dedicated team of volunteers mainly in the UK and steered by a group of trustees. We offer lifetime care to over 30 traumatised and abused dogs and are rehabilitating a further 25 under individual care plans created by U.K. clinical behaviourist Emma Phillips. We also have many dogs ready to join a family. Saving Strays organise fundraisers to fund the medical treatment of all the dogs under our care and a growing food bill of over £1800 a month to feed the dogs at our kennel partners Riad Bubu. We respond to calls in Bosnia from the public about dogs at risk of dying and our volunteers go into local pounds with the help of Riad Bubu and Milena we negotiate the release of dogs needing urgent medical treatment as well as those on death row. We respond to calls and help with rehoming dogs in the U.K. when we can. We are developing our kennel base in Bosnia to launch educational open days and help remove the misunderstanding and fear that exists about dogs.