Animal Welfare on the Costa del Sol
Eight Tits And Nine Puppies
Our neighbor in the Campo (Spanish countryside) had a dachshund-like bitch, Amy, who lived outside. She was an outdoor dog, he said, who didn’t care much for staying indoors. Amy spent most of her time on our terrace and in our kitchen, because she was hungry for human contact.
We loved Amy and enjoyed her company, so when her owner announced that he was moving, it was only natural for us to offer, that he could leave Amy with us, since she spent all her time here anyway.
He declined the offer, and they moved from the Campo to a nearby village. A week after a worn out Amy appeared on our doorstep. She had run approximately 7km along steep mountain roads to come "home".
For 2-3 months this scenario repeated itself. Amy came running "home" to the campo, and a few days later she was taken back to the village.
One early morning she was back again, and we found a note on the door saying, "Amy doesn't like it in the village. Can she stay with you?
Of course she could stay! Amy was thrilled. Considering that she was an "outdoor dog", she seemed to thrive great indoors, where she quickly made herself cozy in the sofa at night.
There was just one little problem: Amy seemed to grow bigger by the minute until she looked like a pregnant goat - ready to burst. And one Saturday morning in February Amy gave birth to nine puppies!
What Were We To Do With Nine Puppies of Indefinable Provenance in Spain?
Most of us who have lived in Spain for several years, has either heard of or experienced to find live puppies or kittens in a plastic bag in the waste container, or have seen dogs left by the roadside at roundabouts or ramps to the freeway. You can find articles about cruelty to animals in Spain further down.
My mission is not to enter into the debate on why this is so. No, my errand is to point out and discover possible solutions for "homeless" puppies and abandoned dogs.
What does the various animal associations have to offer? How much does it cost to get a dog neutered? Lastly, but certainly not least, how easy or difficult is it to find good families for dogs in need of a home?
What Does The Various Animal Associations Have To Offer?
There are a lot of animal associations along the coast that provide a large unpaid effort to improve animal living in Andalucia. (See "Animal Wellfare Organizations" further down).
We managed to get in touch with C.A.S. in Nerja, which could offer us to take two puppies at a time when they were big enough to leave their mother. We should immediately send pictures and descriptions of puppies, because the sooner we got started, the better, they said.
P.A.D. in Fuengirola told us there are generally no-one along the coast, which are able to take nine puppies in one go. P.A.D. had no seats available for puppies at this time, but we could call again later to hear if they had room for one or two. (We did not intend to send the puppies anywhere until they were 12 weeks old anyway). Unfortunately P.A.D. could not promise that there would be room for any of them, when they were big enough. P.A.D. always have between 40 to 50 dogs that they try to find new homes. Their general experience is that it is easier to get homes for puppies than adult dogs, and it is also easier to find homes for small dogs, as many people along the coast live in apartments.
P.A.D. could also inform us that the sterilization of a bitch costs approx. 100-150 €.
What Happened To Amy & The Puppies?
We were very, very lucky, as we managed to find good families to all the puppies on our own initiative. (Yes - admitted! We did keep one.)
Amy of course had to take a trip to the vet and get sterilized, for there is no shortage of puppies along the Costa del Sol. And Amy did a good job. Although she had only eight tits, all nine puppies were fed all the milk they could drink.
I forgot to tell that it is a wonderful, wonderful feeling to get up in the morning and go out to the puppies who stagger towards you on wobbling legs, and express such a joy to see you that it melts any windswept heart. The dog is truly man's best friend!
Cruelty Against Animals in Spain
- Pet-Abuse.Com - Animal Abuse Case Details: Cats tortured to death, photos taken - Talavera de la Rei
Animal abuse database: search for animal cruelty cases and animal abusers in your area. Monitor important cases with CaseWatch, and stay on top of local criminal animal cruelty court dates with CourtWatch.
- Britons abandon dogs as they quit Spain - Telegraph
British expatriates are dumping their dogs by the side of motorways or leaving them to starve in boarded-up villas as the credit crunch forces them to abandon their Spanish dream and fly home.
Animal Welfare Organizations in Spain
- CAS - Costa Animal Society
- Noah\'s Arc Registered Animal Charity - Dog Rescue, Murcia, Spain
Noah's Arc is a registered animal charity located in Murcia, Spain. We help rescue animals from neglect and cruelty and help find them new homes where they will be well looked after.
- spanimal.org - Spain\'s Animal Adoption Network
Spain's Animal Adoption Network - Locate your future pet online from any animal welfare organisation in Spain.