Meet our team
None of the work we do would be possible without the tireless effort of these amazing people.
Starting with Ivana, one our rescuers on the ground in Macedonia.
Ivana is one of the hardest working girls, who will never turn a blind eye to dog in need. If she's not with her family, you can bet shes out helping the dogs! We are pleased to share her story with you:
Tell us how you started to rescue?
I got into this from rescuing my first 2 dogs and a cat. I started in rescue when I was 23, that's 12 years ago! My first rescue pup was hit by a car, it had a broken leg, we had no social media and our country had only one registered NGO who did nothing but tried to assist in legal cases. I had to step up and do what was necessary to save her life.
Why do you love doing this?
I love the happy endings most of all, every sleepless night and wrinkle is worth it when I see a dog sleeping in a bed or walking on a beach vs what they survived here. It's a disease really, knowing you can help and you can save it and have a fabulous life instead of eating from a garbage bin.
So being awake and not turning your head away is a disease in my country and broader family. They always think someone ELSE should do what everyone should be doing in a society where there is so much cruelty and indifference.
Well that SOMEONE ELSE will be me for as long as I can with every single supporters help and of course above all God.
What about your Pets…?
I will start at my weak point - pit bulls. I had only €100 to buy a dog and I said to myself, he will never experience that bad life.
I raised him alongside my golden retriever girl and trained him as best as I could. I can say from personal experience aggressive dogs are trained that way, genetics has a lot to do with it BUT if you give that aggression a job it turn into a productive and not a destructive dog.
From him I rescued 3 more females which I kept and rehabilitated to a state of playing with other dogs, living with cats, chickens and ducks.
Unfortunately my dogs can never sit on a sofa with me, and I can not sit them all down and make a Christmas photo, except in photoshop to collage them all together! My dogs are all seniors from 8-11 years old.
This is our wonderful Marija aka The Boss. We wholeheartedly believe she is one in a million, you will never meet someone with such a big heart. She has so much time to always help whilst being one of the busiest ladies in rescue! We asked Marija to tell us more about her and her dogs:
This is me Marija at the age of 36! A mom of 6 - one 6 year old son named Milan, a 1 year old baby girl named Milena AND four 4 legged fur babies!
Hektor - my first love! He opened the view into the rescue world for me, teaching me how to love unconditionally, how to learn to listen even in situations where is no word spoken.
Kasko - the black mamba I took him from the streets right after he was hit by a car. The first dog that ever bit me and since then I knew he was never going back to the crazy streets.
Dzi Dza - taken 3 years ago. My husband came home one day holding something in his hands and it had no fur on it. I knew straight away when I saw her that she needed help and that she was staying with us.
Jonny - our latest arrival! He came on a freezing showy night, hungry, with lot of wound and you can guess…he stayed with us!
I have a full time job working from 8hrs every day, but on top of this I have the pleasure to receive love on a daily basis from all the innocent animals that come into our care.
I have been doing this for 9 years now. I have learnt things that only rescue can teach. I have seen many devastating scenes and lives that were on the edge which thankfully turned into happy endings.
I am a social worker by profession and a former professional athlete. I have a dream….a lot actually, but at the same time I have learned that patience is the key to many things, I usually say that we need to dream…but it is best if we dare to dream big…that is how our dreams can become a reality.
I have dreamed about the dump, about helping those poor dogs that had no one…and look at us now…over 1,000 dogs saved from that horrible place. Dare to dream guys….it is worth it!
Without Pam, Pawpers would not be the rescue we all know and love today. Pam is another angel on earth always willing to help save our dogs and do the very best by them.
Hi I’m Pam, the fundraiser for Pawpers in the Ruff. I’m 70, married with two grown children. I was originally a supervisor at M&S but left to start our family. I’m now retired from being hands on with my husband in our home improvements business. I’ve always had a passion for animals which was probably passed onto me from my parents.
My first love was horses and I spent as much time as I could at the local riding school. I’ve loved and lost three beautiful rescue dogs and I now have two cats, both who are the strays who came to stay.
I came across Pawpers in the Ruff by accident when I saw one of their posts. I joined the group and eventually became their fundraiser.
I love our group and the people I work with and the work we do. We are all working for the same aim, to try and help as many dogs as we can from their heart breaking circumstances. As much as I love doing what we do, my vision for the future is that groups like ours will no longer need to exist, but sadly it seems that the unnecessary cruelty and brutality is not going away…….so neither are we. We will continue to try and right the wrongs inflicted on these innocent dogs.
This is Katie, one of Pawpers adoption admins from the UK, who supports Pawpers day and night to get dogs in their furever homes including all the admin that goes with this and plays a great role in adoption support post arrival.
"Hello, I am Katie, one of the adoption admins here at Pawpers in the Ruff. I have been a member of the Pawpers family for over 3 years now. We adopted our boy Jack 3 years ago from them and were amazed by the story and support received.
Although an avid rescuer, we had never adopted a dog from overseas before so were unsure what to expect. We contacted the rescue and spoke to them - explaining our lifestyle, home set up and experience. Within a few days, we were shown videos and photos of Jack... What a beauty he was and we were smitten and still are!
I cannot believe how well matched he is for us, the rescue are amazing at suggesting dogs that are right for you, they know their dogs so well so take pride in matching right.
Our adoption process is very simple and there is brilliant support pre and post adoption, for your dog's whole journey. I would highly recommend more people consider being matched with a dog as opposed to choosing one based on just the cute photos, it's so important you are suitable for a pet as well as them being suitable for you!
In 2023, I flew out to Macedonia to visit the rescue in full swing and have put my own hands to good use, supporting the dogs in care and those that are still stuck on the streets or dumps. Whilst there I was lucky enough to get to rescue some lovely dogs off the streets - some of which are now living amazing lifes in their forever homes. I will be returning again in April this year to support once again and help the rescue to continue the wonderful work they do."