Pet Project Mallorca

Every week we aim to re home an animal currently being cared for by an animal refuge on the island. The project is supported by professional photographers from around the island, the PR firm Phoenix Media, and The Majorca Daily Bulletin.

Month: February, 2014

Be the One

by petprojectmallorca

 

This week’s Pet Project features a very moving piece written by Billie Minshall from Dogs For U. If you want to contribute to Pet Project then please get in touch via our website http://www.petprojectmallorca.com where you will also find all the details of animal rescue groups on the island.

By Billie Minshall

Imagine you are a dog. Nothing special. No breed papers, no certificates.  A German Shepherd/Husky cross-breed perhaps. Imagine being with your human family from puppy-hood till old age. Nine years of loyalty, given willingly, simply because this family is YOUR family and you would lay down your life to protect them.  Your legs are getting a bit stiff now, and you’re not quite as quick on your aurelio-feet as you used to be, but you do the best you can for your people. You keep them safe and you love them; you accept the occasional beating and the days of being rejected and ignored, because sometimes, more infrequently of late, someone gives you a pat and a kind word and that makes it all worthwhile.

Then one day your owner loads you up into his truck and you go for a drive. You are so pleased that he is giving you some attention. You drive for a long time and then stop in a country lane. You smell pine forests and strangeness. Your owner helps you down on to the road, smacks your rump and climbs back into the truck. You watch him drive off in bewilderment, unsure what is expected of you. You run after him, as fast as you can, but you can’t keep up. The truck disappears from view. Panting with the exertion, you sit in the road and wait for him to come back. You wait for hours, until it grows dark. You are cold, thirsty, hungry and, above all, terrified.  You nestle down in some leaves at the side of the road and try to sleep.

When the bleak winter dawn breaks, you stagger to your feet and wander up and down the road, criss-crossing it again and again, trying to pick up a familiar scent. The fear grows, along with the emptiness in your belly. Finally, with heavy heart and limbs, you start to walk downhill, sniffing the air. After hours of walking, you arrive in an unfamiliar village. People stare balefully at you and, if you approach, they throw stones or wave sticks and shout. You plod on, exhausted, until the cold dark night arrives, forcing you to find shelter once more. You’re growing weak from hunger and cold. You feel like giving up.

In the grey morning, you are woken from your stupor by the feel of something tightening around your neck. You rear back in terror but you can’t fight it. It’s a catching noose. You are dragged to a van and thrown inside and the van drives off with you. You whine and scratch at the cage you are in but you can’t get out. Eventually you are pulled from the van into a building that smells of death. You can hear many dogs barking and crying in fear and frustration. You are thrown into a cage alongside rows and rows of other cages, filled with other dogs.  For many days you endure cold hard concrete floors, inadequate food and no human contact, just the constant sound of frightened dogs. Are you in hell? Did you unwittingly do something so wrong as to deserve this punishment?

No. Quite simply, you got old. Your owner did not want you anymore and replaced you with a puppy. He did not want to pay a surrender fee to a pound or pay a vet to euthanize you. He abandoned you to your fate in the mountains, not caring if you starved or died from injury or illness. Your usefulness was at an end and he wanted rid of you.

This was the fate of Aurelio, a quiet, dignified old dog, rescued by Dogs For U from death row in a municipal dog pound a year ago. He came to us bewildered, depressed and unresponsive. Slowly, he has learnt to enjoy being with the volunteers who spend time with him. He has made some friends amongst the other canine inhabitants. But if you look in his eyes, you can still see his pain. He is about 10 years old now and he is sad and depressed to be in kennels. He needs to spend his final years with a loving family – lying at the feet of his special person, giving and receiving love. A few more winters by the fire, a few more summers in the shade: secure, content, and happy. Please be that person. Please take him home and adore him. He needs you.

Please help Aurelio to wag his tail in happiness once more. Contact Billie on 656 448 102 or billiedogsforu@gmail.com for more information.

 

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Saving the galgos

by petprojectmallorca

By Vicki McLeod

About 150 people and dogs took to the streets of Palma last weekend to protest about the terrible treatment of “Galgos” in Spain. The Galgo Español (Spanish galgo) or Spanish greyhound is an ancient breed of dog, specifically a member of the sight hound family.

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A staggering 50`000 dogs are put down every year at the end of the hunting season in Spain. The reasons given are that the dogs weren’t good enough hunting dogs, that they were too old (and by this they mean around three DSC_0016years old), or even that the hunter in question just can’t be bothered to look after the animals until the next season. The manner in which these dogs are put down cruel, lazy and in the views of many, totally unacceptable. The dogs are left to starve to death, or they are beaten until they die, or shot, or run over by a vehicle or even hung by their necks, the hunters call that “playing the piano” because of the way that the animals move as they are dying. There are even crueller practices than this but out of respect to the kind readers of Pet Project I am not going to name them. The animals aren’t treated well when they are alive either, it’s a disgrace that the practices are not regulated or policed thoroughly and that it seems to be accepted as the norm by so many.

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It’s calculated that about 60% of animals which are abandoned in Spain are Galgos. It’s very saddening because the Galgo is a lovely, kind, peaceful breed which is great in the house (they love to chill out and sleep), very good with children and other animals and an absolute delight to watch in action when DSC_0064they are out on their runs.  The Galgo is not only “the Spanish greyhound” but also “the Spanish dog”. The breed has a long and noble history in Spain stretching back over hundreds of years. Its name is probably derived from the Latin “Canis Gallicus” or “Dog from Gaul”. The Spanish word for all kinds of Greyhounds – including the Galgo – is “lebrel”, which means “harrier” or “dog for chasing hares”, since “liebre” is Spanish for hare.

Thanks to Christian Smith for his photos of the event. You can see more of his work at christiansmithphotography.tumblr.com.

If you want to meet or adopt a Galgo then ask at your local animal refuge. You can find a list of your local refuges online at http://www.petprojectmallorca.com where you can also see previous Pet Project articles.

About Pet Project.

Every week Pet Project aims to help to help an animal rescue organisation in Majorca to raise awareness and funds, or to help rehome or foster out an animal. Pet Project is a collaboration between the Majorca Daily Bulletin, the PR firm Phoenix Media, the animal refuges, and some of the island’s best professional and amateur photographers. If you can help then get in touch phoenixmediamallorca@gmail.com.

All aboard the Arc!

by petprojectmallorca

This week’s Pet Project features Arc Mallorca which is a new animal sanctuary on the island. June Haigh heads up the team there, and she is our contributor for this week.

Treacle

Treacle

Treacle

We have a little rescue in our hands that was ‘offered’ to us and if we did not take her the ‘gentleman’ in question was going to kill her. We are talking about a 9 month old miniature pinscher. She really was in a terrible state emotionally, so frightened that she ran away after her visit to the vet. It was a heart-wrenching time until she was found and returned to us. I cannot begin to explain the sheer panic and terror experienced when imagining this little mite with no road sense, who had never been out on her own before and was out there all alone, it really was something we never want to live through again. She is now back with us and beginning learn how “to be”. She loves to play with the other dogs in our care and when we are sat on the sofa she will snuggle up to us and now comes to us for a cuddle and to be stroked – a milestone for her. We have named her Treacle – because of her colouring and it just suited her! She needs to be with a family with other dogs which will give her a sense of security.

Bailey

Bailey 2

Bailey

This is Bailey, he was thrown out of a car in an Andratx car park and had been running around for three days before we found, and managed to capture, him. This poor little mite is absolutely lovely; he is a real gentle soul. He is a Beagle, albeit a chunky one for the moment. He has been suffering from an ear infection, eye infection and is unfortunately Leishmaniosis positive. For those concerned about Leishmaniosis if dogs are well cared for and in a loving and stress free environment this problem can be solved by a daily dose of tablets (which are very cheap) the majority of the time but always seek veterinary advice first. Bailey really deserves a new and loving family who want him for the rest of his life. He is three years old, how could anyone just throw such a sweetheart away? He has settled in really well with all of our other dogs and is a quiet and sweet natured dog.

Fundraising

Of course in order to pay for vet bills and all the other associated costs with rescuing animals you need to have money, and plenty of it ideally. Arc are doing a fundraiser in February in time for St Valentine’s Day. If you visit www.arc-mallorca.org/blog/arc-auctions then you will see the chance to bid on a Spa day at Reads Hotel, a photography session for your pet with Shane Green Photography, and the star auction lot is a one week waterfront rental of a villa in Antigua from Luxury Locations Antigua. So please take a look and leave your bid.

You can find out more about the organisation and the animals it saves by visiting http://www.arc-mallorca.org.

If you would like to find out more about Pet Project or volunteer to help then you can find us at http://www.petprojectmallorca.com

Pussycat, pussycat

by petprojectmallorca

By Vicki McLeod

Sometimes you can think that the human race are just about the meanest bunch you will ever come across and that really the only friends you should try to cultivate are the four legged furry type, and then you meet someone like Nicky Morgan and the rest of the gang from the Cat and Kitten Rescue Group and you realise perhaps you’ll give Homo Sapiens a second chance. Despite busy and demanding work and personal lives the volunteers at Cat and Kitten give up a large chunk of their time to caring for abandoned felines in Majorca. And they do a great job.1607096_654790964567707_976461568_n

I went to visit Nicky at her home in El Toro where she constantly has a batch of “babies”. Nicky is well known in the animal rescue circles as a “mummy” to tiny kittens and is skilled and knowledgeable when it comes to rearing by hand. Look in her cupboards and you will find stacks of veterinary and health supplies for her little charges. She has been known to take the kittens with her to work to make sure they are getting their scheduled feeds on time, and that also means around the clock, so there’s no slacking off even when it is 4am. “I was looking on the Natura Parc website when I saw these two little babies. They weren’t doing very well there, and I could see that they needed to be somewhere warm and dry so I went and got them, “said Nicky, indicating her two youngest house guests. “When they first arrived they were very frightened and wouldn’t come near me, but they soon settled in and now they are doing very well.” If you look closely at the photos you will see that one of them really does have a jumper on!

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“Well, she was so poorly that she needed extra help to keep warm”. By the time of printing it’s quite likely that at least one of these lovely cats will have already been adopted but if you would like to contact Nicky about them or any of the other kittens that she is fostering then call: 699 532 267.

Nicky is supported by her local vet surgery in Clinica Veterinaria El Toro and she has nothing but the highest of praise for Asuncion Jaime Servera. “Together we always manage to sort out the babies,” she says, “they are so kind to me and the kittens there.”  Of course fund raising is an important 1546380_654790904567713_1569487249_nelement for the group’s survival and they have received plenty of help from the Majorca Daily Bulletin agent Jaquie Buttle who sponsors the group’s marketing materials and posters. “Jaquie is brilliant,” said Nicky, “She’s done so much for us; she does all of our printing and laminating. We couldn’t do without her!”

If you would like to support the Cat and Kitten Rescue group there will be a Quiz night at Aroma in El Toro on February 15th There will be a raffle, food and fun. Get a group together with a minimum of three and a maximum of six per team. It’s 2.50€ per person to enter.  If you are a Facebook user then please LIKE Pet Project Mallorca to keep up to date with news and you will find a link to the Cat and Kitten group there if you would like to volunteer to help them.