December 31, 2011

Happy Risas – rescued by A.C.E. and now helping others


This is Risas; he was given his name because he laughs a lot. He had to wait quite a while for his forever home but finally he found loving new owners and a warm basket. Risas is ecstatically happy now. His new family has a big garden where he can run and play and he gets taken for long walks in the woods. 

But what he finds even more fun is his training. Because lovely, intelligent Risas is going to become an assistance dog, helping disabled people to live full lives. Already he’s been to the grocery store where he learnt to open the cabinets where the snacks are kept. He enjoyed it very much and his new dad is very proud of him.

                                                                Doing the shopping

Risas will start his full training In January. And he’ll become one of a group of very special dogs. Dogs who help people who have been hurt or are disabled to lead full lives. There are hearing dogs, guide dogs, dogs who assist people with epilepsy, dogs who can even detect cancers. Man’s best friend – in every sense of the word.

                                                              Anybody home?

One of the latest organisations training assistance dogs is Hounds for Heroes, set up by Allen Parton in 2010. Allen was badly injured in a road accident, while serving in the Gulf War. Paralysed and brain damaged, at times he doubted he would survive, mentally or physically. His savior was Endal, an extraordinary Labrador, from the charity Canine Partners, which provides assistance dogs to those with long-term disabilities.

Although he’d completed his basic training, Endal had a joint condition that prevented him being an official assistance dog. However, when Allen attended a puppy training session at Canine Partners with his wife, a volunteer, he took a strong liking to Allen. Quite simply, says Allen ‘he gave me back my life.’

                                           Allen with the Hounds for Heroes team

Endal not only helped Allen do the everyday things like getting dressed and doing the shopping but he helped him to communicate again. And this in turn helped Allen’s family to be a family once more. Now Allen is helping transform the lives of other injured and disabled men and women from the Armed Forces and emergency services. There are just six canine cadets at the moment; each will cost £20,000 over its working life. 

'People forget that, even when the guns go quiet, the battle with disability is just beginning for so many,' said Allen. The Armed Forces are fully behind the charity and donations are coming in thick and fast. There’s already a waiting list of 50. All member of the British Armed Forces or the emergency services are eligible provided that they would benefit from a dog, physically or mentally.

                                        Monty, Colonel, Flanders, Yomper and Juno
The charity’s first dogs include Juno, named after a D-Day beach, Flanders from the World War I battlefield, Colonel after local hero Colonel David Sime, and Monty after Field Marshal Montgomery. 

Although Endal died in March 2009 when he was 13, the effect he’s had on  Allen is obvious lasting.  ‘Endal gave me the final gift when he died,’ he says. ‘It was the first time I’d cried since 1991. He made me feel again.’ Allen now has another faithful companion. EJ, short for Endal Junior, took over from Endal and is also helping to train the next generation of Hounds For Heroes.

The facts about Allen Parton and Hounds for Heroes were taken from The Daily Mail where you can read the full story.  And from Allen and Sandra Parton’s book about Endal, which can be found on Amazon. It became an international bestseller – and is now being turned into a Hollywood movie.

All photographs, except that of Risas and the cadet puppies, are the copyright of Jenny Goodall. The photo of the cadet puppies is the copyright of Tim Rose. 

HAPPY 2012


                                                                   Fabienne and Dirk

December 29, 2011

Thank you ...

Dear volunteers,

We would like to say, thank you, to all our people who took part in Christmas actions, challenged the cold by standing on the Christmas markets, everywhere tried to sell chocolates and diaries ,……

Who transformed their busy lives to help these dogs here, this warms our hearts, knowing that people want to do this for us. I wish we could explain this to our darlings, that so many people voluntarily support their existence, their second chance, their salvation from death. If only we could explain to them that so many people really care about them, that would be wonderful,……

A very big thank you to all of you, in their name, we are endlessly grateful.

SHIN ACE refugio dogs, Fabienne, Ton and all workers from Spain!!!

Mollie - this is what A.C.E. is all about

                         Mollie, discovering love for the very first time
In her Christmas message, Fabienne wrote that “ ACE- SHIN stands for all those who don’t get a chance, for those who will certainly not be saved.” And here is one story, just one out of very many, of a dog who certainly wouldn’t have had a chance without Fabienne and A.C.E. One of the many dogs who many others would think too old, too damaged, too sick to be rescued.

She didn’t even have a name. Once she was a beautiful, friendly puppy. Good to play with. Then she got bigger. And older. They put her outside. Sometimes she had a board to sleep on. Sometimes she slept on the hard ground. She was fed bread - when she was fed at all.

The years passed; she became old. She got cancer and a cataract. For twelve long years it was like this.  Passers by saw this dog just sitting there. She didn’t respond even when they threw her scraps. She’d given up.

That’s all changed now. She has a name, she’s Mollie, and she’s now living at the Refugio. The vet thinks she’ll only survive for about six months. But she’s not in pain any more. She has a warm basket in the washroom (where the special care dogs live).

Maries buys her nice dog food, just for Mollie. It has her very own name on it. Diane gives her a clean blanket every day and Denise gives her pate with her pills inside it.  Everyone who comes to the Refugio visits her and gives her a warm hug.

Mollie is home, if only for a little while. For the first time in her life she is discovering that people can be kind and will take care of her. This Christmas, she's known what love is. She'll never be alone again. And if she must go, when that happens, she will go without pain, surrounded by love.

That’s what A.C.E. is all about. 

December 27, 2011

At last. A Spanish Campaign!

Hello All,

This advertising campaign is on the streets now !!!

It means,








                       keeping a pet is for life 
or as we say in England


December 26, 2011

My Greatest Wish For 2012: a golden basket for Salvador (Ref.3683)

This is a message taken from the Belgian Blog

"I met Salvador during my stay in the refugio in November.A beautiful sweet, cute puppy, but oh zooooooooooooo anxious, shy and sad!After waiting now for 9 long months in the refugio Salvador barely dares to come out of his cage and needs a good home or special care.With much peace, love, patience and warmth, Salvador will be a faithful loving companion.He is the only remaining puppy of his litter. All his siblings have been adopted!Who can foster or adopt this sweetheart?

                                 Let him know it's Christmas time again!
                                 Merry Christmas festivities ... and a doggy-good year!                                 Katelijne en Fiona

(Apologies for faults in translation - Clodagh)

December 24, 2011

Happy Owners. Happy Dogs.

This is what it's all about.  This is what makes it all worthwhile. These are just a few of the wonderful, joyful dogs and owners who found each other this year. There are many more - pictures coming soon.


Cloudy's new companions


Sebke and Siebe


Feliz Navidad! Have a Cosy Christmas and a Fantastic New Year...

... from Fabienne, Dirk and the Kids

December 23, 2011

Christmas greeting from Fabienne, President A.C.E./SHIN


The year is almost over, it has flown by so quickly,…….Time flies, it all goes much too fast.
We have worked hard together, fought hard and saved many lives. One by one they have passed us, one by one someone’s eyes fell on his dog and went to work for it until he or she found a warm basket,……….

During the year we have had many ups and downs, it wasn’t an easy year. There were many beautiful moments but also many tears have been shed.
The reward of our work can be found in every adoption, in every inseparable bond between that one boss and that one dog, their soul mate,………
That gives us the strength to go on.
Thanks to the immeasurable work of our group of real animal lovers,………
Our volunteers,……….These are the people who keep on working with us,…….
We are indescribable grateful and proud of them, in the name of all our four legged friends we want to thank these people, without them this would never be possible.

ACE- SHIN stands for all those who don’t get a chance, for those who will certainly not be saved. Many operations, many dogs, very neglected dogs, got a chance, this year, with us to be saved. When we can save such a dog, we feel good, the solidarity of the little- or big creature which climbs together with you out of the darkness back into the light, slowly but certainly,…….
That is recue, that’s what we stand for!

Christmas 2011, a warm greeting from those who stay behind here but are now safe. They are quietly dreaming of that one golden basket, they are also dreaming that someday someone will notice them and that they will also be leaving in that big bird which will fly them away from the past and will give them warm comfort and love from a boss who is a boss,……..Like it should be,……

Fabienne, Ton and all workers from ACE-SHIN

December 18, 2011

Happy Anniversary Fabienne and Ton … and A.C.E.

Let's party!

… and thank you on behalf of all the dogs. Twelve years ago, on 14th December, 1999, Ton and Fabienne founded A.C.E.  It started small, it grew bigger.  Over 13,000 grateful dogs have found their golden baskets and hundreds more are safe from harm and waiting their turn.

The effort it takes, day in and day out, the courage.  Always picking yourselves up after seeing things that no one should have to see. That takes determination and love.  The reward – joy when a precious dog is saved. And they are all precious.

Thank you too to the helpers, the foster parents, the students, the volunteers, the generous donors – to everyone who has supported Ton and Fabienne in their wonderful work, year in and year out. 

               Over 13,000 dogs now have their hoomin and their home, thanks to A.C.E.

Read the story of A.C.E. and El Refugio and follow the day to day happenings, rescues, joys, sorrows and sucesses in Fabienne's Diary, Lucky Dogs and on the blogs.  

December 16, 2011

Tiny Twinky needs a big operation to save her life – will you help her?

This small sweet dog was rescued from the killing station and suddenly her life had changed.  She had a new family and that famous golden basket. She was the happiest little dog on earth.

Then it all changed again.  She became ill quite suddenly and it turned out that she had a congenial anomaly, a liver shunt.  And now her only future lies in an expensive operation.

Little Twinky has a 75% chance of survival but only if she has the surgery – and the surgery will cost €2,000, way beyond the funds of the Refugio.  It’s an enormous amount of money but – maybe together we could do it. 

The clock is ticking – her life is at stake.

Will you help? Anything you can send will help so much and together maybe we can turn the clock back and make Twinky happy and healthy again.  

Thank God there are so many wonderful people in the world.

After the dreadful pictures and appalling stories of cruelty and of the killing stations, recounted in the last blog post, it’s heart warming to bring you a story of kindness, determination, selflessness and love. 

On the main website, under Fabienne’s Diary, you’ll see the story of Nino and Nina, two little dogs who would not be alive today if it wasn’t for a couple called Nini and Marc. A couple with hearts as big as the ocean who saved these little dogs, not once but twice.  And came all the way back to Malaga to take them home not just for Christmas, but for ever.

Just as the cruelty and the abominations shown in the last entry makes you scream with anger, this story makes you weep for joy and gratitude. Thank you Marc and thank you Nini and Fabienne and everyone who has worked so hard for this happy ending.

                                        Marc with Nino and Nini cradling Nina – going home

December 13, 2011

Horrible, more than words can express ... This is Spain 2011!

Click on this link Eviva Espana and you will find a powerpoint presentation showing how animals are treated in Spain in the year 2011.

The images are shocking but we should not close our eyes to this abomination. We mustn’t.

Thousands of animal lovers, shelters, foster families all over Spain are fighting every day to save as many animals as they can from these executioners and the killing stations that are subsidized by the Spanish government.

They need our support! Please help – they need our support so badly.  

The text is in Dutch but the pictures scream louder than words ever could.

December 10, 2011

Satine urgently needs help ...

Look at that little face, and lovely smile. This is Satine, five years old and a sweetheart of a dog, loving and playful – a darling dog.

Little Satine had a dreadful life before A.C.E. stepped in. She was starved, beaten and ended up just waiting to be killed. Luckily she was saved and taken to El Refugio, where she was loved and cared for.

Her mental and physical wounds were healed and although she still has Leishmania, this illness is easily controlled with special food and medication.

This dear little Bodeguera was living happily in foster care in Belgium, waiting for her golden basket. Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, some of the other dogs began to pick on her.  So for her own sake, we have to move her.

We really want to avoid having to bring her back to Spain. Is there anyone out there who will offer her the best Christmas ever? With her very own golden basket?  Your reward will be a lifetime’s unconditional love from this very special little dog.

If your would like more information and details, please contact our adoption manager in Belgium on 0474 19 10 75