About Balkan Underdogs
Founded in 2012, Balkan Underdogs is a registered non-profit charity run solely by volunteers dedicated to helping the neglected dogs of the Balkans.
There is a UK based team made up of the trustees and volunteers. These volunteers help to spread awareness, raise funds, perform home-checks and assist with the adoption process.
In the Balkans, we rely on our team of volunteers to locate, feed and rescue the unfortunate souls who end up on the streets. These volunteers run the kennels and are a fundamental part of our organisation.
Caroline is responsible for registering the microchips for new pets and owners. All chips are double registered, so in the unlikely event the owners can't be contacted, BU is always there as a back up. Caroline is also in charge of arranging the months free insurance that comes with every BU adoption. Caroline also helps with one of the most important aspects of BU's work- arranging and logging the incredibly generous sponsorship of BU cats and dogs who are in the pound, foster and pensions. Caroline has two BU babies, Dot and Dash, below- who are now cozy and happy!
Karen has been heavily involved in rescue for many years and has a wealth of experience to add to the Bu team. As rescue contact Karen streamlines the rescue process and is the key link between rescuers and the BU team. She also assists with promotion of all BU dogs and cats.
Karen's BU rescue is Lexi, and she also has her well trained kitties who love a BU snuggle!
Libby joined the BU team in Feb 2017, and is responsible for the communication between BU and the public, and all applications for adoption/foster up to the point of travel. Libby also works on enhancing the BU foster network, as well as the promotion of BU dogs and cats. Libby is the BU volunteer coordinator, and is responsible for letting the admin team know when cats and dogs are updated, adopted, reserved or anything else, and is the main go-to girl when the admin team have any questions! Libby is also responsible for the Rescue Back Up. As you can imagine, Libby is super busy and gives a great deal of time to charity work.
Libby's BU rescue is Lola, who is so comfortable, and can often be found flopped on furnishings and people!
Kev has been involved with BU in one form or another for a while and in 2019 joined us as our Treasurer and "all things official!" Kev has a keen eye for detail and ensures BU fulfils its Charitable obligations. Kev monitors all BU's policies to make sure we are up to date and that proper accounting records and segregation of duties are in place.
Sandra spent her most of her life in the Balkans until she married a Scot and moved to the UK. One of the first questions upon arrival was "where are all the street dogs?" With every trip back to the Balkans there was little sign of improvement. Disheartened, Sandra began to search out like minded people on Facebook to see what could be done and Balkan Underdogs was founded. Sandra assists with the finance and provides a much needed translation guide.
Tracy has been with Balkan Underdogs since 2013 and was responsible for the charity being awarded its charity status. Now, Tracy's main role is as head of our crucial Spay and Neuter campaign, which drastically helps to reduce the number of strays being born into a live of danger and disease. Tracy is the Travel and Logistics Manager and oversees the coordination of travel from The Balkans to the UK.
Tracy, Bosko and Potter enjoying the great outdoors!
The Admin Team
The trustees are extremely lucky to be supported by an amazing admin team who work tirelessly behind the scenes. If you would like to join us as a volunteer please get in touch!
The Rescue Team
Our wonderful rescue team is based in the Balkans and are vital to our work. They are located in a wide area throughout the Balkans and help keep our pensions and pound dogs safe, as well as undertake the rescue ground work. Our Balkan Rescue team also undertake the vet visits, and deal with local groups to support our spay and neuter campaign.
Adoption Enquiry Team
Lynn does a fantastic job promoting the albums of our available dogs on Facebook, and goes above and beyond by promoting our long-termers with other charities and groups, which is vital in our efforts to maximise their chances of finding a loving forever home. Lynn is also one of our BU rehomers and assists with enquiries from potential adopters. Lynn has two pups, BU baby Belle (white and tan) and Matty who loves Belle more than biscuits!
Lynn'dogs are BU baby Belle (on the right) and Matty on the left.
Home Check Team
Gwen is our Home Check Manager and coordinates with the wide network of volunteer home check teams to ensure that our dogs all go to loving, safe homes. Gwen can also help advise you on suitable environments, so do feel free to get in touch if you're not sure about something and just need advice. All new adopters are given all the support they need to ensure they are happy with the adoption porcess and what is needed to provide a safe and secure environment.
Mary, Angie, Katrina and Nicole are our post-adoption team and provide a support link post adoption. They will contact new adopters for updates after 6 months for the first year, then on an annual basis to ensure that dogs integrate as easily as possible to their new lives here in the UK. Our post-adoption team provide continued support, and will ensure you feel part of the a warm and friendly network of BU adopters!
Social Media and Promotions team
Biljana, Charisse, Jennie and Jodie are our wonderful Facebook Fairies and do a fantastic job promoting the albums of our available dogs on our social media platforms. The amazing Charisse also promotes our fur-babies on Instagram and Twitter, and is also in charge of our Dog of the Month promotion! If you have any questions about an online promotion or anything to do with our social media, please get in touch using the form on this website
Charrisse has her own BU baby- Avril, and is trying to convince the other half that two dogs are better than one!
Jodie has two BU babies, Rudolph (brown) and Megan (lab).
The Web Team
Anna, Stephie, Rebecca and Emma manage the website and ensure that all the new dogs that enter our care are uploaded so that they can have the best chance to find the right home. They also ensure the albums and videos are updated, they are always working hard like little elves behind the scenes to create some new and exciting content. So watch this space for new offers, ,blogs and dogs!
Katie creates our wonderful monthly newsletter and also helps to manage the website. She's awesome at creating fantastic articles and keeping our supporters in the loop with all things BU. If you think you have an interesting to share in our newsletter, get in touch and pop 'FAO Newsletter' in the subject heading!
Adoption and Foster Contracts
As well as working with the Social Media Team, Jennie is also responsible for the adoption/foster contracts. Jennie's BU baby is Slipper, whom she adopted in 2017. Slipper (so named by her rescuers husband thought she resembled one) is now a happy girl, who loves food, cuddles, burrowing underneath duvets and cushions to have a nap!
Looking at Slipper's good girl pose, you would never know that she torments her Shi-Tzu borther Gimli!
Emma isresponsible for designing and promoting a wonderful range of high quality Balkan Underdogs merchandise, such as beanie hats and hoodies for humans, and bandannas for pups. This is one of our exciting ways to raise money for BU. The popularity of BU merchandise has raised a considerable amount of desperately needed funds for our spay and neuter campaign and our Pound Project.
Vet Liaison Team
Emma is BU's vet liaison, she provides the essential link between BU and the new adopters vets where our dogs will be registered. Emma contacts the adopters vets, informing them of BU's policies and ensuring the process is a smooth as possible for new owners.
Emma has one BU rescue called Lady, and they are inseparable!
Wendy liaises with our rescuers for updates on titer tests. Wendy is responsible for record keeping of newcomers at BU, including ensuring their vaccinations and tests are all up to date. Her furry family include Dottie (laying down), Kat (a disabled cat) and Troja (a BU Foster).
Katrina and Wendy coordinate our fundraising, which raises the much needed funds for our pound project, Spay and Neuter Campaign,and to cover the essential running costs of our charity such as food, vet fees, and blankets/shelter for the winter. These funds are raised through lots of different promotions, such as online auctions as well as exciting events such as sponsored walks and other fundraising events. Katrina organises our fantastic BU Doggo Lotto which runs monthly with big money prizes! If you haven't played our BU Doggo Lotto, head over to our Facebook page here to get involved and help raise much needed funds whilst being n with a chance to win the months jackpot! Our team are always looking for new fundraising ideas, and volunteers to help raise funds. If you think you have a good idea or event that we should know about, please do contact us and let our team know.
Logistics and Travel Team
Tracy our Travel and Logistics Manager overseas our travel team run by Jo and Wendy (we call them the BU's travel dream team!) who do an amazing and difficult job of organising the travel of our dogs from the Balkans to the UK. The team also devise the logistics which include working out a route and plan for where the dogs are picked up by their new families once they reach the UK and keeping in contact with adopters who can track their BU baby's journey throughout, Jo and Wendy also provide vital advice to adopters on pick up security and those first few days. Jo's dogs are Jazz and Hael plus her moms Bu Ben (left) who is a regular visitor!
Trish deserves a very special mention, she is a former trustee of BU, and has been with Balkan Underdogs since May 2013. She became friends with many and helped out where she could, mainly documenting all donations, what they are for and making sure they were passed to where they were intended by the donor; making sure all kennel, vet, food bills were paid on time. This had evolved into the role of the Trustee since the charitable status was granted. Although Trish has stepped down as trustee, she is still a very valuable volunteer whose experience is vital to the rest of the team and her role as treasurer was very much appreciated.
Trish's BU dogs are Shiva (blond) whisky (brown) Zara (black & white)