ANIMAL enthusiast Dominic Horsley has swapped Wiltshire for Bulgaria in a bid to land his dream job.
The former Matravers pupil was finding it difficult to get employment despite trying for many jobs in the Westbury and Trowbridge area. Then Dominic, 21, who had always wanted to work with animals, came across a website offering volunteer work abroad and landed the opportunity to work in an animal sanctuary in Bulgaria.
Dominic used the cash from his 21st birthday presents to fund his airfare and took off for the tiny village of Oreshetz, where he did everything from helping to cultivate the land to looking after stray dogs and cats. He also got the chance to travel and explore the countryside.
He said, “It is an amazing country. The sheer scale of the landscape in the country is fantastic, and there is a whole range of wildlife including bears, wolves, jackals, wild boar, eagles and wolverines.”
Dominic, who is about to return to Bulgaria for another three month stay said, “It is very poor in the rural areas and people still use horse and cart to get about.” and joked, “But they have their mobile phones too – it’s a real culture shock.”
He admits he was saddened by the number of strays there and explained that the Animal Rights Act was only passed two years ago. He explained, “It was common to just find puppies that people have dumped – we once found seven puppies that had just been left in a barn. Stray dogs are clever and more street wise that you might imagine, though it does not make up for the conditions they are living in. The people I was staying with did a brilliant job of taking in strays and raising funds to help get others rehomed.”
Dominic, who lives with his family in Westbury, reckons his Bulgarian experience has been invaluable. He said, “It can really get you down when you are unemployed and desperate to work – volunteering has really boosted my confidence.”
Pictured: Dominic and pet whippet Stanley