Earlier this year we transported 41 cats for Laura from Spain to Edinburgh as she was relocating back home. She has very kindly sent us this testimonial.
In May 2016 I returned to Edinburgh from Spain where I lived for 8 years. Whilst living in Spain I rescued sick, injured and abandoned cats all of whom were living on the street.
I had to return to Edinburgh for family reasons, but as there was no-one in Spain willing to re-home or adopt my cats I had a real dilemma as I could not bear to leave them there as they had all been through such a traumatic time already and most likely they would not survive.
If I only had one or two cats this would not have been a problem, however, the fact is I had rescued 41, (yes – 41!!) all of whom were living with me and depended on me for food and water and for survival.
I almost made myself sick with worry wondering how on earth I was going to overcome this situation. I worked in Spain but barely earned enough to cover my own bills plus the cost of cat food and vet care, and I received no help from any charities. Over the years I had spent every single penny of my savings on my cats and their care and I genuinely did not have anything left to pay for their transport overseas to Edinburgh.
I had received several quotes from Pet Transport Companies all asking for an astronomical amount for transporting them which was just out of the question, I would have had to have won the lottery to pay for all of that. I also tried several Spanish and overseas charities and animal organisations and to date have yet to receive a reply from any of them.
I was at a loss as to what to do and my position was becoming desperate, I had to get home within the next few months and my family, also on limited income, were unable to help financially with the large costs quoted above.
Then one day whilst researching the internet, and looking for yet another way of overcoming the major problem of getting all of my cats to Edinburgh, stumbled across ALStrays. I left a message on their website along the lines of: Hi, my name is Laura and I have 41 cats I need to transport from Spain to Edinburgh can you help?
Within half an hour a response came back……..of course we can!!! I was gobsmacked but this had given me the best hope ever.
I can honestly say that from day one, the help and advice I received from Chris Marshall was absolutely brilliant. He took control of the situation and was able to tell me exactly what I had to do and when, and exactly how it was going to work and where and when. He organised everything from the veterinary care my cats had to receive prior to travelling (rabies vaccinations, passports etc), including their transport to and from the vet in Spain (which was great because there was so much red tape and paperwork and even after 8 years in Spain I am ashamed to say my knowledge of Spanish language is rubbish). He organised the route they would take from Spain to Edinburgh including customs clearances, and he gave me the details of whom I would need to contact in order to import my cats into the UK as anything above 5 animals must be reported to the Animal Plant Welfare prior to their arrival and an inspection arranged once they are in the UK.
Best of all was that Chris was going to give up his time to personally drive my cats all the way from Spain to Edinburgh himself so I knew that they would be totally safe and cared for in his large custom made and DEFRA compliant air-conditioned van.
A special mention must also go to Chris’s wife, Sandra Marshall, who also gave up her time to help and ensure that my cats were all rabies vaccinated and ready for transport. Sandra did a lot of work behind the scenes in preparing the 41 passports and she also helped out on the day I had to take all of my cats to the vet to get their vaccinations so I am indebted to her, and also to the veterinary surgeon in Almeria who gave up his Saturday afternoon in order to inoculate them all (sorry for the bedlam Pepe caused to your consultation room when he escaped – but we got there in the end!).
All was finally on track for the move to Edinburgh.
Chris had removed every bit of stress that I had been feeling about the situation and at last I could see light at the end of the tunnel and believed
that this move was actually achievable. I flew home to Edinburgh to prepare for my cats arrival and throughout their journey Chris gave me regular updates so I was even more re-assured that they would all arrive safely and within the expected timescale.
The cost of all of this was extremely reasonable and affordable and I was able to organise a loan through a family relative to cover everything and it won’t take long to repay and for me to be back on my feet financially.
So now I am in Edinburgh living happily with my 41 cats, whom I must say have adapted remarkably well. Even although the weather is pretty rubbish here I actually think they prefer it as it’s not too hot for them.
The Animal Plant Welfare have been to inspect my cats and passports as have the SSPCA – all passed with flying colours and no problems with the paperwork.
The dedication and professionalism given by Chris and Sandra throughout the whole of the above journey has been 100% and I couldn’t have transported my cats here to Edinburgh without them.
Words just cannot express the gratitude I feel for what they have done for me and my cats. They have enabled me to bring them here so that I can continue to care for them.
I thank you Chris and Sandra from the very bottom of my heart.
She is currently raising funds to help rescued cats from Spain so if you can help please do.