A Nation Of Animal Lovers?

Are All The British A Nation Of Animal Lovers?

This is a question I asked myself after the last phone call from a British  person telling me that unless I took their 2 cats and 3 dogs immediately, they would turn them loose in the campo. I got the call at 8.45 on Thursday morning and was told that the caller was booked to fly to the UK on Saturday. A torrent of verbal abuse followed when I explained that there was no kennel space available with the final accusation of  “Call yourself an animal lover!!”. Unfortunately, this was not an isolated event but one that is becoming all too common for ourselves and other animal organisations that  support, help and work with P.A.P.A's. Like us, most of these organisations are entirely run by volunteers.

There are many pet owners having to return to the UK who are distraught that they cannot take their pets with them because they are returning to rented or sheltered accommodation that do not allow pets, or for other genuine reasons. We do everything we can to home these animals. However, the rising tide of “ Dumpers” are stretching our resources to the limit.

I decided to ask the organisations mentioned above for their thoughts on the crisis situation we are facing:

Mark Lewis of K9 (part of the La Marina Animal Welfare group) said; “I would like all pet owners to realise that to abandon a dog in the hope that it will be taken in by a British person living locally is cruel and unrealistic. The reality is that most are never rescued. Their destiny is usually a miserable existence and a slow death in the campo. Some drown in canals, others succumb to disease or are caught in a hunter's trap to die an excruciatingly painful death.”

Maria of A.S.K in Fortuna said: “I am trying to cope with a problem that is getting increasingly worse. Even if a dog is micro-chipped and the owner found, they so often have already returned to the UK or simply want nothing to do with it. A dog is for life, would YOU dump a child in the same circumstances”.

Sue Mountain from Hondon de Los Frailes: Sue works with a small group of animal lovers mainly promoting sterilisation.  She said “I feel very angry at the lack of responsibility shown by dog owners. With the current financial crisis there is less and  less money available to help these animals. This is what drove me to design and distribute the poster (below), to try and get the message across”.

P.A.P.A.'s have had many calls from people who have been asked to look after a neighbour's animals whilst they visit the UK for a short period. These owners then never return, leaving the unsuspecting neighbour with the problem of caring for, or trying to re-home, the animals. Boarding kennels are also having a hard time with animals being booked in and the owners never returning.

Cookie the fox terrier rescued by P.A.P.A's volunteers 2 weeks ago.The dog was close to death afterbeing dumped in the campo. Thanksto Sandra and Colin Byrne and Christina the vet, 'Cookie' was savedfrom a horrible death

Cookie after treatment, recuperation and a hair cut!!!

Sonja of Lesonja's Kennels told me: People should realise that when they book in their dogs, they sign a disclaimer that states that if the dog is not picked up 14 days after the agreed date then the animal becomes my legal responsibility. I have not put an animal down that has been disowned but the situation is becoming increasingly difficult. What makes me very angry is when the owner doesn't phone and explain or gives false details. These people are making it hard for genuine dog owners who use kennels”

Mark Lewis went on to say “ I advise all British pet owners to look into getting their pet ready for transportation to the UK. If you then have to return due to unforeseen circumstances  your pet will be ready to travel with you”.

The pet passport process takes 6 months but it is possible to travel in less time if the animal is put into quarantine on arrival in the UK. All information regarding this is available from D.E.F.R.A.  in the UK. DEFRA Helpline from Spain is: 0044 207 238 6951. Website www.defra.gov.uk P.A.P.A's can advise and assist with the overland transportation of animals  call us on: 680 170 298

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