September 14, 2014

Fabienne writes about the Dog Days ...

Thank you for the wonderful days

It's been a week ago already ... time goes so fast, life hurtles past us but the happy moments we never forget, the beautiful moments will remain in our hearts FOREVER !! 

The ACE days in both the Netherlands and Belgium were a huge success. We and our teams greeted hundreds of dogs. We hugged them, we chatted with many adopters, volunteers, friends and acquaintances ... the days couldn't last long enough, they are days we never want to forget. A sincere  thanks to everyone, thanks for rescuing so many dogs that otherwise would no longer be here. 

The many words of praise and the visible proof of these happy dogs are a blessing for our mission, our purpose, no words are needed. The volunteers that day and night work away tirelessly in the background - they are our backbone. Every year they come together at the ACE days - only once a year but every year more lovely and more intense. 

It was beautiful ... together we have achieved this .... each in his own way, his own efforts, each different, but the result is that not only have we rescued great dogs but we have great people around us and them. Together this makes a great whole!

Tomorrow healthy again !!! 


Fabienne's photos, put together by Ineke.

Forty four happy dogs find their golden baskets

Here are the sweet dogs who were adopted this August.
Forty four is a pretty good number considering the small number of flights that we had !!
Many thanks to Ineke for the lovely collage.

Now for some good news - the dogs from La Cala Market are safe!

A few weeks ago, Fabienne's Diary told the story of fifteen or more dogs who had been dumped on La Cala Market. The Fuengirola killing station were on the scene quickly, drugging the dogs and catching them. When Fabienne got there they were still there. Fabienne begged them to give them to her but no - they were determined to take them to the killing station. Then Fabienne could take them - if she paid for them. It was an enormous amount of money.

She could only take one little dog. But there's great news - we have bought them and they are safe at El Refugio. Sadly three of them had already died, but we were able to rescue the other twelve. There are still some dogs who were dumped at the market that are wandering around the streets of La Cala. We are working to save them.

Here they all are, poor souls. They were terribly hungry and of course they are still very scared. Where they came from, who dumped them, who knows. They do, of course. Their eyes speak a thousand words, but of course they can't tell us. They are such a mixture of ages and breeds, it's hard to imagine who could have owned them.

Thanks to everyone who helped us with this, thank you for your compassion .. they are safe now. Tomorrow is another day - back to work.

Dreadful news from England - but there's hope in the sadness

On Thursday evening there was a fire at Britain's oldest dog rescue centre - Manchester Dog's Home. It was arson. The suspect is 15 years old though nothing has yet been proved. Sixty dogs died - it doesn't bear thinking about.

Thanks to the bravery of the staff and local people over 150 other dogs were saved. And while the thought that someone could do this on purpose to innocent, vulnerable dogs and cause such distress to the people who care about them, the response restores faith in humanity.

Apart from risking their lives to save the dogs, people came from all over the district and some from much further away bringing food and medicine and bedding. The shelter's sister facility took the dogs who'd been saved and offers of fostering poured in. The Royal Society for the Protection of Animals (RSPCA), Dogs Trust, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and many more rescue charities are all standing by to help when needed.

Equally heartwarming is the fact that through the media, including social media, the word spread and fund raising started. £500,000 was raised in the first 12 hours. Today the amount raised is said to have passed £1.3 million. It won't bring those poor darling dogs back but it will show the staff how much people care. The money will be used to rebuild the home, which has been a beloved part of the area since 1893.

September 06, 2014

ACE Day - and the plane is delayed

This is the first time in three years that I haven't been at Dog Day in Holland. Every year, usually on the first weekend in September, Team Spain comes over to Holland on the Saturday and to Belgium on the Sunday. It's a joyful time when everyone can get together and celebrate all the wonderful work completed during the year and see the happy dogs and their brilliant new owners.

It seems that Fabienne sent a message to say the plane in which they should be travelling to Brussels had engine trouble and thus their arrival in Brussels would be delayed. However, she said the atmosphere was good - and the photo's attest to that.

I'm sure they got there in the end. Watch this space for a full report on the ACE days and also the Pupaid dog show, here in the UK. Since I couldn't be in Holland I found a dog show near me in London. Pupaid is a group of organisations campaigning against puppy farming in the UK. I'll be writing more on this subject as, this week, a member of the British parliament managed to get the whole issue debated in the House of Commons.

I wish everyone a gloriously happy and successful ACE Day. I can't wait to see the camdog footage :)

This is exciting - can we go now?

Not yet, it seems. There's a little problem.

Some members of Team Algeciras waiting patiently.

Steven and Ton - they seem happy enough. 

Caylee and Danita

Caylee, Charlotte & Bodine with one of the darlings.

We are so lucky at ACE to have so many lovely, hardworking students who come as interns as part of their different courses. Many come with strict instructions from their parents - please don't ask us to if you can bring one of the dogs home. But parents love their kids and instructions can always be changed. Here's the story of Caylee and Danita.

It's 25 January 2014 and I am very nervous, not knowing what is waiting for me and my two classmates Charlotte & Bodine as we leave for Spain. We're off on a new adventure, a 10-week internship at ACE. It turned out to be the best choice I could have made because there is nothing more beautiful than working in the refugio at ACE. 

Every day we had fun on the mountain, about half an hours walk from La Cala up to the refugio. No matter how hard it rained or how hot it was, nothing stopped us. Because the dogs are there whether it's raining or hot, so it was no problem to go to work. Yes, certainly, sometimes it was difficult. But it makes you feel so good to see skinny, listless dogs change. They put on some weight and strangely enough they still have confidence in man! Amazing. You do it all for the dogs! Because of the dogs.

Falling in love - Caylee and Danita

Well I went out there knowing that I mustn't get attached and bring a little dog home. They had warned me. I could not bring a dog home. But then one day we went up to the field with the dogs from  Section 2. One dog stood out for me. She was constantly following me. All I had to do was whistle, only once, and there she'd be standing next to me. It was the same when I walked in the section. She was one of the few that kept asking for attention until I gave it to her. 

From that moment it was very difficult for the thing I feared happened. I fell in love with Danita! But it felt more like she had picked me! After briefly consulting my parents and convincing them that I really could not leave her behind, they soon agreed.  I could go ahead and reserve Danita! After the home visit it was all arranged. On 4th April she flew home!

Leaving Spain was very difficult. On the one hand I wanted to go home so I could show Danita what it is like to have a warm basket. And to show her that there really are people who care about her! But on the other hand, I did not want to leave. It felt like I had left all the other 300 dogs behind. There were a lot of tears shed upon our departure.

Settling in!

Once at home everything went well from the start. Danita walked nicely on the lead and ate well. She wanted to play with every dog she met. She was actually already quite housebroken, just the occasional accident inside but that can happen. And you could see immediately that she felt at home. We were also curious to see how she would get on with our 1-year-old female. And over a few weeks they got used to each other with no problems. They are now best girlfriends; they play together, work together to cause mischief and sleep together. 

We quickly signed up for a training course for beginners and this we completed in time for the summer holidays.  This Friday we start agility. Danita is getting better off the lead. 
She is a lovely dog ​​and I am very happy that she was there during my internship! And she is happy with me too. Last July I went back to the refugio for a week. I helped again, with pleasure, along with Kelly. And I'm definitely going to go back a number of times. Because ACE is now well inside my heart and it feels like coming home. 

With her new friend.

Finally, I want  to thank ACE for the great time I had during my internship and for completing the adoption proceedures for Danita so well! We are fortunate to have an organization such as ACE. And of course, Fabienne and Dirk above all, who give everything they have so that the dogs will have a home.

Greetings from Caylee Postmus & a paw from Danita!

Update: Dogs in the Fuengirola killing station - such cruelty, such greed.

Hello people,

Do you remember my diary entry about someone having let at least 15 dogs loose on the marketplace in LA CALA. We were only able to save one of them - TINO ... the killing station got there first. They had already drugged and caught them when we arrived, all except TINO. Yes, we could take them all but only if we paid. This even though we were all still at the market place.

Yesterday I received these photos taken by a visitor who went looking for a dog to adopt. She asked us for help, but we need to pay between €65 and pay €75 for each dog. Thats between €975 and €1125 and we simply cannot pay that amount. If we can't pay these sums, they will kill the dogs within the next few days. They don't care which. Either way it puts money in their coffers. 

I'm going to try to negotiate with the owner and see what he says but .... Many people follow our stories - Spanish people and people from all over the world. I know they will want to know what happens, whether we can save these poor creatures.

We will keep you informed !!!!!