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Michaela's story of adoption

Here at BU HQ, we love to hear about your experiences in adoption and inevitably, these are heartwarming (and sometimes heartbreaking) stories. It serves as a reminder to our team, and to others- as to why adopting a Balkan Underdog is so amazing. Our cats and dogs come from Serbia, where we have amazing Serbian rescuers on the ground- but the government still has a long way to go to implement animal welfare legislation and prevent cruelty and abuse. Our spay and neuter campaign means our charity work goes further than just rehoming- we look to treat and medicate, as well as spay and neuter street cats and dogs- as well as those who belong to families who struggle financially.


So get out your box of tissues and make a cup of tea- and hear Michaela's story on her adoption of Bandit - in her words.



Michaela adopted Bandit in 2022 and is the Balkan Underdogs Tik Tok fairy. If you would like to volunteer with BU, let us know here


"Back in May 2022, we lost our beloved dog, Rodney, after 14 years together. Nothing was said for a while and then we thought wouldn’t it be nice to adopt a dog in need of a home? We looked into various UK rescue centres but were met with the same thing. ‘As you have children under 10 unfortunately we cannot allow you to adopt’. With so many dogs looking for a home, getting a puppy just didn’t feel right for us. That’s when I remembered my colleagues at work mentioning they had adopted from aboard- from Balkan Underdogs.

We started looking through their website and we saw that all cases would be considered for adoption within a home with children, so we got in touch. It didn’t take long for my husband to spot Bandit, whose album stated he was "rescued from the horrific Valjevo pound… if you have been following BU closely then you will know Valjevo is not a place you would want to be. But this little guy is one of the few lucky ones who lived to tell the tale". My boys jumped with excitement at his name. Anyone with children under 6 should know what I mean by this, it’s the name of Bluey’s dad (An Australian cartoon)! He was described as a friendly pup who loves children and dogs. This was exactly what we were hoping for in a dog. While Rodney was amazing with children, he could be reactive to other dogs. So we put in a form of interest with BU. Once we had been provisionally passed to become an adopter a WhatsApp group was set up for us to communicate with Bandit’s rescuers. We then just had to complete the home check. We were on the phone for just over an hour and we were so impressed with the way the charity went through everything with us. They also provided a really thorough guide with a "backup pack" if needed. However, if you follow their advice, this is what it says it is- a backup, not a quick way out if it gets too much.

What you need to remember, is your new companion is going to need time to adjust. We understood there would be a wait but accepted this as at this point and Bandit already felt like our dog. The charity was so good at sending us up-to-date videos and photos during the wait. Then the day arrived when we got ‘that text’! We were given a provisional date for Bandit’s travel!!! We were all so excited... with a little bit of anxiety! Would he like us? Would he fit into our crazy life? Would he pee all over the house? Would he chew everything? The questions in my head went on and on! However, that moment the pet voyager pulled up and I saw his face (I just need to add here he was slightly bigger than we expected! ) we were in love...! Yes, he stank! But he was our stinky boy...Who had also just travelled a very long way? I was worried about the travel but we were very impressed with the van and the caring people that brought him to us. We popped him in the crate with a Teddy our boys had been sleeping with for a few weeks before so he could get their scent and a blanket I had made. We popped the middle seat down so he could also see us. When we got home we allowed him to slowly explore. One thing that I didn’t know is that he wouldn’t pee or poo until he was comfortable and this took 2 days. However by this time he also had discovered the outdoors so we never had an accident.

We followed the guidance and slowly introduced a 3-point step in harness and the lead. It took approx. a week to get him to walk around the block. Those first few weeks were baby steps and all about Bandit feeling comfortable and gaining our trust. Yes, we do have a few issues. He’s very protective of the house and doesn’t like visitors but is slowly improving. We tend to meet people out then they follow us in. We can let him off the lead if I’m there. The next step is training classes - but there is plenty of time. I’m hoping this story and our positive experience with this great charity will help just a few of you to consider one of these beautiful dogs or cats.




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