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Barking mad

My newly chosen lifestyle includes dedicating a good portion of my time to volunteering. I think this is the best way to learn and acquire a lot of skills while at the same time helping others.

One of my favourite times in the week are the two days I volunteer for a local animal non-profit, ANIMALS WITHOUT FRONTIERS. It is certainly not a clean job – if you know what I mean – , and at times it is even dangerous. I’ve lost count of the number of sweaters I have had to throw because of the dogs’ overwhelming love!

This organization was started by my friend Marisa Caride some 17 years ago. They have two shelters near the area where I live now, in northwestern Spain. As is sadly usual, the shelters are overcrowded, and we have our share of horror stories to tell, but there are also the good ones.

Chispas (Sparks) is a good example. She was brought to us after having suffered an accident which had left her rear legs paralysed. At first we thought her chances of surviving were pretty slim, but three weeks and a lot of love and care afterwards she is sitting on my bed as I write this (we had to bring her in to our house, she was so badly hurt), feeling quite satisfied with herself in that way cats have – you know.

Part of the organization’s mission is educating adopters and audience in general about the need for spaying and neutering our pets. We have had lots of puppies who die before the fourth month from parvovirosis, even though they have been vaccinated, just because they are forced to live in an environment which is unhealthy for them – puppies are usually separated from adults in the shelter, but this is not always possible.

Our work would be lost without the help of several vets who help us for a reduced fee or even for free (thanks especially to Carlos and Marcos), and also of a lot of people who help us bringing food, blankets, or journals (a very coveted commodity!).

So I wanted to start this year saying thank you to all of them, and encouraging you to contact your local shelter and lend them a hand in any way you can. Or maybe go to the Animal Prevention Institute webpage and see how you can help
Photo by Sandhu
See Sandhu’s galleries here

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