If those owners could see them now!

I knew deep in my heart that one day I would try to do more than keep rescuing dogs because the situation here in Spain in the rural villages especially, […]

I knew deep in my heart that one day I would try to do more than keep rescuing dogs because the situation here in Spain in the rural villages especially, was unacceptable for animals; cruelty, neglect, abandonment and unwanted puppies through lack of birth control.

My life consumed by rescuing, one day I came across this handsome Pointer dog, who we named Rudy.  He was trapped in a small filthy enclosure, exposed to the elements with no shelter, no food, and no water.  The enclosure was one of many, visible on this country road that was the front of farm buildings, behind which was a goat farm and with many more chained dogs used for herding the goats.  I regularly stopped to give Rudy food and water, I soon found out other caring ex-pats were also concerned about him and wanted to save him.

Poor Rudy, he had no life, was used for hunting occasionally and yet in some ways he was lucky because people had noticed him.  There are many dogs like this all over Spain that we do not see and cannot help, although we hope one day things will start to change.  Rudy was such a nice natured dog in spite of his incarceration and conditions and when he saw people coming to see him he was beside himself with excitement.  He couldn’t be rescued, he was not quite bad enough to be urgent and because he wasn’t in bad condition due to the food, water and de-ticking by the ex-pat friends, it was only his lonely barren conditions that were the problem and sadly that is not illegal.

Actin was formed in June 2012 and it was always planned that Rudy would be priority to rescue.  It was 18 months since we first had seen him and our Facebook group talked about him all the time, how would we get him free? But even with the Association it seemed we still didn’t have the power; until one day there was another dog, then two more, and in this tiny barren prison things were getting really bad.

The other dogs beside Rudy, were Goldie, Luca, and Freckles the Pointer who was pregnant, the hungry unhappy dogs were a risk to her and her puppies and the Farmer planned to drown them in a bucket, he told us with a shrug of the shoulder and used the words that it was normal here.

When he told us that, we had no time left – we would not leave them and he admitted he could not look after them.  ACTIN is not a rescue and needed somewhere for the dogs but with Freckles pregnant and the birth imminent we had no time to plan and so bundled them into the car and hoped for the best.  We were lucky, we had good friends who support and help us and this particular lady made space in her shelter and fitted three of them in, Luca went to foster care as he was very sick.

Now we work with the Farmer helping him to understand what is and what isn’t acceptable but it’s a long road and the lives of the dogs there will never be like we would want them but they are comfortable, safe, watered and now treated when sick and have even been vaccinated.

Freckles gave birth to 8 puppies and one sadly died but the rest grew into intelligent and beautiful young full Pointer dogs, all now safe in their homes, in the UK, Germany, Austria and Slovenia and one still here in Spain with her new Family.

These pups that would have been drowned in a bucket are now giving so much pleasure to their new owners and just look at handsome Mawgan in our main photo.  We will proudly take these photos of all the dogs on our next welfare visit to the Farm and explain to the Farmer who the dogs are, perhaps he will be shocked and perhaps he will shrug his shoulders.