April 22, 2014

We won the Spanish lottery ...

... this is how it feels for one of our marvellous adopters, Celine, and her family. She writes ...

Joshua has been with us for eight months now. Before that he was at the killing station for a long time before Fabienne found him and took him away from there.  A thousand thank Fabienne , you've saved our dear Joshi ! ! On the ACE website it was love at first sight.

In actual fact, it all happened very quickly once we'd made our decision. Joshua was scheduled to be on a flight within two weeks. Anxiously we drove our family to Eindhoven to pick up our new buddy. Within an hour of arriving we were sitting back in the car with Joshi, his new name. He crawled into the car, jumped on my lap and fell asleep all the way to  Apeldorn he was so exhausted from the trip and the trauma of his life so far.

Fabienne with Joshua and Ana in the background

Fatigue that has lasted weeks ! Poor creature really had a great need of a lot of sleep, to get used to this new world where he found himself. Staying in his bench was difficult for him too. We were just next door but the panic set is in as soon as we closed the door. Finally we left the door open and the problem was solved.  Later on we replaced the bench with a delightful plush basket.

                                                                  Joshi at El Refugio

Joshi arrives at the airport

Right from the beginning Joshi was a very happy and friendly little dog. However, on the first day we thought that he was deaf because he didn't respond. Fortunately, after a few days we found the he would respond to us a little when we gave him attention or called him, but for the most part was really passive and inert. He had no idea what to do with a bone and did not play. He has learned all this in recent months. Slowly he began to live and he began to hold up his beautiful curly tail. He adapted amazingly quickly to his new life in a family with children, rabbit and cat. When he gets food, the cat first takes a few pieces. Joshi is one meter away waiting patiently until it's his  'turn ' . The children are doing great and their bond is growing every day. Romping in the garden and cuddling on the couch.

Two days a week he goes to grandma and grandpa and their dog Bobby. That's always party time ... everyone loves him ! And the dogs are so happy when they see each other ! A thank you to my father and mother, because she takes such good care of our dog and she is so fond of him. Because they have not chosen a dog from Spain itself, but with a lot of love they take him in on the days that we are not there .

Romping in the garden

The only difficulty seemed to be at the beginning, when we had to leave him alone but we worked on that. Now he is fine if he has to stay, he lies quietly on his pillow with his nose in my slipper (which is his comforter.) We are very pleased with the way everything has gone. We have a lot of respect and gratitude for the people who put their heart and soul into the dogs in need. Thanks to you, Joshi's world has been saved and we have a fantastic dog!

Sincerely, Celine Sombroek

Joshi and Bobby - party time!

April 20, 2014

Home at Last

     Fifty one lucky and deserving darlings were adopted into Holland in March. This does not include those adopted by wonderful people in Belgium, Spain, Austria and other European countries.

     Among this happy band you can see brave Madre Lucila, who defended her babies and kept them safe, and Cavalier and Carbona, our beloved 'long stayers'. Now home at last.


April 19, 2014

Love changes everything ...

Many of our dogs are wary and frightened when we rescue them. Many more are indeed badly traumatised and terrified. Sometimes we know something of the abuse they have suffered, others times we can only guess the terrible experiences they have undergone.

Thanks to the immense patience and devotion of those involved - the staff and volunteers at El Refugio, loving foster parents and adopters - so many of these innocent creatures learn to trust humans again and learn to leave their unhappy past behind.

Pictured Olivia in the Refugio and on arrival at Schipol.
Olivia is one such sweetheart. Her new boss writes to say that  Olivia is thriving, getting better every day. When she compares Olivia now to the way she was when she arrived, there's a world of difference. At the beginning she was so frightened she could only tremble and hide in her bench. No one knew what had happened to her to affect her so badly.

Today, the bench is stored in the cupboard and Olivia has her own bed and she's happy to run around in the fields outside.  She's still afraid of loud noises and fearful of unknown people. But with a calm patient approach she's already come a long way. She fully trusts her boss now and if she can she crawls up on the sofa and lies against her.

The three cats in the house have become her friends and today her boss had a wonderful, unexpected surprise when she found Olivia sleeping in her basket with a kitten. All in all : a frightened fearful dog to a playful has become a sweet bundle of cuddles! The fear will probably never go away completely but as it is, it's really great.

Happy Olivia in her forever home.


Who said Staffies were dangerous and vicious? I don't think so.

Yes, black is beautiful ...

This is Genta.

Look at her beautiful soft coat ...

... and her sweet little face. 

Now all she needs is a loving forever home.

April 13, 2014

A big, big thank you to our wonderful friends in Austria

We would never manage without our devoted volunteers. Their hearts are so big and they work so tirelessly to raise money for ACE. 

Here you can see Karin and her friends and fellow supporters in Austria, selling goods at a flea market to raise money for our dogs.

With a big, warm thanks from Fabienne and everyone at ACE and happy tail wags from the dogs. We appreciate your love and support so much.

Thank you all so much.

April 12, 2014

The odds were stacked against her ...

She has a wonky ear, she is a Podenco and she was terrified. So she didn't have a chance at the killing station. She wouldn't get even a few days reprieve. They didn't see her noble character, her intensely beautiful green eyes. To them she was worthless.

Not to us.  We don't care about wonky ears. We love Podencos. As as for her terror, well given her experience of humans so far this was completely understandable. But we had time, that is something we can give our darlings. Time and patience and care and respect. As you will see from the photographs sweet Jody has blossomed.

Now we need a lovely person, a wonderful new owner to carry on this worthwhile work. To love and cherish this delightful, magnificent dog. She is still young, she's only two and a half. She's kind and sweet and eager to learn.  We badly want to find her someone who will transform her past and help her be the devoted and loving dog she was born to be.

Not a wonky ear. A distinctive ear.

I like being petted now.

I love the students. They play with me.


Here is a video of Jody when she arrived at El Refugio. She was very scared, but in spite of her fears she allowed our students to pet her a little. For more, please see her page on the website.