Having been involved with trying to help stray cats on holidays in Spain, I had a feeling when I moved to Asturias, Spain, to live in August 2012 that helping animals would be a feature of my new life here. I wasn’t wrong! By early 2013 (after rescuing two street kittens) I had been invited to a rehoming dogs event by friends, I had managed not to come back with a carful as I’d feared but I had met Choco, a stunning, 18-month old German Shorthaired Pointer and had found out that many gundogs are slung out in Spain and stand very limited chance of finding homes here. I went on to foster Chico and then got in touch with a GSP rescue in the UK and they found him a home and I drove him 4 hours to the Spanish/French border at Irun to meet a transporter to take him to his new home. Back in 2013 there were no transporters who came up to the Atlantic coast of Spain to take dogs to the UK so this was the closest pickup point. The transporters told me that ESRA helped English Setters from Spain and after realising that there were lots of ES needing homes in my area I got in touch and started sending them over with ESRA’s help.
Keen to help more dogs I worked out that I could also rehome dogs directly myself, advertising on dog rehoming pages and using volunteer homecheck groups and this meant the number of dogs I was helping increased steadily. I appealed for help and the team grew with Sarah and Tessa coming onboard to help with rehoming and Ben taking on fundraising, which I’d never had a chance to do before. Since then things have grown really fast and we re-home an average of 20 dogs a month, up from 6 when I was on my own. Sarah and Tessa are just fantastic, I’m not sure how I ever managed without them and Ben has done a superb job of fundraising. The kindness of our adopters who have helped so so many dogs and done fundraising activities (particular thanks to Jacqui and Tracy who have raised impressive quantities) and sent donations back to Spain as well as provide lot of moral support for us is just wonderful and is a well-needed antidote to the thoughtlessness of so many human beings which results in these dogs being abandoned.