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"I had been abandoned twice, I have become an orphan twice, my whole life was spent in orphanages. I have nobody except my dogs, they are my family"
- this is the short story of Boyko.

He was born in Blagoevgrad in 1987 with the name Boyko Kamenov. His mother abandoned him and he went to the orphanage of Petrovo, Sandanski. At the age of 3 he was chosen for adoption by Gari and Debora Grenzke, American citizens. In three years time, while the Grenzke family frequently visited the orphanage, they received permission for adopting the boy. Boyko is already 6 years old when he receives a new ID, he is now an American citizen. At Sofia Airport, before the departure for his new homeland, the boy started crying. The new parents left him with the translator Pavlina Aladzhova with the request to calm the child down and the promise to pick him up just in a few days. Then….they boarded the plane. From that day in 1993 until this day, they never called or returned to Bulgaria. They just forgot that they had adopted a child and they had abondened him, a child who, on paper, was their son.

After a period of administrative turmoil on how to return a US citizen with two living parents to the Bulgarian social system, Boyko was finally placed in a new orphanage in Blagoevgrad. He graduated from the Agricultural Technical School in Kocherinovo as a combine harvester operator.

Eight years ago he found a stray dog with a nail in the eye in front of a supermarket in Blagoevgrad. He brought it to a vet and "adopted" it. Then he adopted another two dogs. He started touring Blagoevgrad companies in order to beg for money for his adopted animals.

Today, he has made a makeshift shelter for stray animals on a plot owned by an animal food merchandiser. He takes care of more than 50 animals by himself, through sporadic donations.

At the age of 23 he developed Bakhterev's disease. Despite his curved and painful spine, he carries buckets of water and bags of food, materials for huts and enclosures, and most often he builds them by himself.

rescued dogs
living in the shelter
adopted dogs