Allo Allo. Listen carefully, I will only say this once! The last couple of weeks have highlighted both the good, the bad and the ugly of animal rescue in Spain. The good? The passion, amount of new people involved, success stories and increased awareness of the plight of so many innocent cats and dogs here in Spain. The bad? The self centred arrogance, the bitchiness, lies, deceipt and attempts to sabotage. The ugly? The ongoing slaughter of so many cats and dogs that we possibly could have saved with a more concerted and objective approach.
It seems to me that there are a lot of well intentioned people trying to make a difference, some with a vast amount of experience and others totally new to animal rescue. Wouldn’t it be great if the experienced always welcomed the enthusiasm, energy and fresh contacts of the new? AND if the new requested and accepted guidance and advice from those with much more experience. At the moment I see three clear and present dangers:
1. a dog ends up attacking someone in the UK because no behavioural assessment was done, then it’ll be all over the press and we’ll all be finished. You have all seen the press coverage of the unfortunate incident this week.
2. an infectious disease goes viral and we start losing animals. There are too many risk factors involved if the rehoming isn’t done right. I can see it all going horribly wrong. From our own experience both Germany and the UK are looking harder at all the cats and dogs been rehomed into their countries. Expect DEFRA to insist on health certificates and proof that the animal has a new owner before allowing it into the country.
3. all this highly visible bickering and back stabbing is going to put people off adopting a dog from Spain! Be honest. Look at the sites promoting the cats and dogs in need of new homes. Is there any place for the vindictive, petty and often downright childish squables? If you went into a shop to buy a TV for example would you stand by patiently while the staff argued with each other, with a customer, with another store?
Very few are whiter than white so lets not debate that.
The sicking events at the Perrera this week with a mass cull and burning are horrific, but not new to many of us. For many though that will be the first insight into what a barbaric country Spain can be. But lets not tar all Spanish with the same brush! There are many compassionate Spaniards who are as horrified as you and I. We need to work with them, just as we need to understand that the Perreras exist to give dogs and cats a last chance. Sure it isn’t ideal, but it is a system and as such an opportunty exists to work with the system.
Now more than ever we need to work together. To have and to present a united front. To ensure all cats and dogs being re-homed are prepared properly. Please lets not let the bad minority who are not doing things in the right way, ruin everything for all the cats and dogs that we can help.