A very old woman who takes care of 162 dogs and cats is very afraid to spend another winter alone.
Gorica Angelkovska, who is 71 years old, spends all of her pension money on running an animal shelter in a small Serbian village.
If she didn’t care about others, the unwanted and abandoned puppies would starve and die on the streets.
Gorica is very afraid of what this winter will bring because she broke her leg last year when she fell on the ice.
“I am alone,” she told the Mirror. It gets hard to walk around the shelter, clean it, and feed the animals.
When the ground freezes, it gets slippery. I’ve fallen down a lot, and I worry about what will happen to my dogs if I get hurt.
After living in Australia for 45 years, Gorica moved back to her home country of Serbia in 2016.
She was shocked by how bad the stray dogs looked right away, and she wanted to do everything she could to help.
“I couldn’t enjoy my life anymore knowing that these helpless animals have no one to take care of them. “Their desperate looks kept me up at night,” Gorica said.
She decided to sell everything she had and buy a piece of land in Drazevac so she could build them a home.
She finally got a registered animal shelter open in June 2019, and more than 100 dogs came through the doors.
“They often go hungry, don’t get enough food, and are abused. “They are freezing and shaking from the cold in the winter,” she said.
“I have seen people beat them or yell at them to leave. I’m always doing something, and I’m not afraid to fight for animals.”
Gorica takes in dogs that have been shot or poisoned and tries her best to help them, but many of them don’t make it.
“My biggest worry in the winter is that I won’t be able to take care of them as well as they deserve,” Gorica said.
“It’s already hard for me to lift buckets, carry trash, and do anything else that’s heavy.
“Everything is 10 times as hard in the winter. I really need someone to help me.
“I get sick and my bones get really cold because I have to spend most of the day and some nights with them outside.
This is because the dogs get nervous and scared during storms and need me.
“I can’t call in sick. No one else can help me, so I have to keep going. I am getting very old. I’m worried that I won’t make it through this winter.”
The international animal charity Harmony Fund is looking for monthly donors to sponsor a full-time worker so that Gorica and the animals can stay safe.
It will cost about £850 a month for a staff member to live at the shelter and take care of the 25 cats and 137 dogs every day.
“I’m looking for someone to run the shelter in the long run. Gorica said, “I would be most happy if I knew the animals would be taken care of after I die.”
“It’s hard to find someone who cares about them as much as you do.”
Gorica can’t plan for the next week or month without stable funds, and she doesn’t know if they’ll make it to Christmas.
“Dogs, cats, and I are all making it. She said, “Their love, loyalty, and gratitude give me so much strength to keep going.”
“All the hard times, misery, and sadness go away when I see them get better and show their true selves.”
If Gorica can’t take care of the animals, they will all end up back on the streets, and just thinking about that keeps her up at night.
“My biggest wish is to be able to sit here with the dogs and cats and give them all the love and attention they need,” she said.
“I want everyone to know that I will do everything I can, until the day I die, to help as many animals as I can.”