My friend Tiina has just written about her despair regarding the treatment of animals in Spain. Some of you have already had firsthand experience of this. Yes, money and more adoptions would help in the short term, but what I am hoping for is pressure to change the laws. Even a dog tax, or licensing system would help as, much as we may dislike them, it would discourage ownership of up to 17 animals at a time as is presently the case. I have written to aavez and PETA to see if they have any suggestions, but if anyone can think of other ways to help or to add pressure for attitude change, would love to hear from you. Some pictures would help. So might letters to newspapers. I haven't been there myself, but I have heard this from others too, particularly German tourists. My cousin came back with a little Spanish dog as well.
Here is an extract from Tiina's letter minus the greetings, love and kisses.
Sent: Wednesday, 22 June 2011 3:49 AM
I've been here in Andalusia for four months now, and will be leaving on the day after tomorrow- though I should actually stay...: Too much to do over here- too many animals in need...
I have no words for telling you what I saw and experienced since I got here... I knew this was not Germany or Finland or..., where they at least treat their pets well while eating all kinds of animals and their products and therefore abuse them. Here, they eat them plus don't treat ANY animal well, it seems. Dogs and cats are treated like dirt, horses and donkeys USED for work. Dogs USED to protect houses, property- simply because they are cheaper than alarm systems- if one dies, it simply doesn`t matter. It's replaced the same minute! They (I hate to use the term "they", but I found out it makes sense here...) simply don't care!!
never feed them (or once in three weeks time); no water, 42 °C - no shade (same with horses, donkeys, cows etc. ...), when they die, dehydrated, after two-four weeks, depending on the state they were in when they were chained up or put into a cage with 25 other dogs, sitting in their own shit that is never removed, they simply throw the starving ones and the already dead bodies into the closest river and just get new ones. They hang them, just for a laugh, shoot at them, as vivid targets are so much more fun, cut their noses or/and ears off etc. etc..
Though I saw already much- at slaughterhouses, or in Asia, esp. China, where people are extremely cruel to animals, this was a shock- often neighbours who seemed so nice did those horrifying things... It's so normal over here- Spain is about a hundred years behind when it comes to animal rights. Animals are seen as objects here, worth less than stuff you can buy.
Anyway- to cut a long story short:
We came here to work and relax a bit, I wanted to focus on my PhD- and all turned out so very different!
We first stayed in this beautiful, big house high up in the mountains. When we found out about how many stray cats and dogs there were, we had to move to an even bigger place and found this huge finca with lots of fields and old stables... We renovated it, had a lot of friends and animal activists staying with us- and simply did what we could... A fulltime-job, never ending. I didn't have a day off since... No day for myself, as I organised and kind of structured it all. (Just tell you this to be excused for not having written any sooner... ,-( )
Am exhausted, but happy. Only sad to leave while knowing this hell on earth goes on.
Why we go now? Well...
I have to leave to go back to modeling: All my money went into this private rescue-place. We need so much more money. It's incredible how much animals eat and all the helping hands here ,-) - and even more incredible how much all those operations, injections- the vet cost/s!
No, the real reasons is that people who's animals we had to take away from them- wherever possible legally...hmmm...- found out where we are and came back for taking revenge- not for getting their half dead animals back though!
All our cars and tractors were damaged, the fences and walls crashed, some of our people hurt. We knew it was a question of time and were prepared; it´s always better to take such animals far away and not to stay in the neighbourhood, for sure. We moved far, but not far enough.
But it's all good- every animal found a nice new home- I'm sad to say we only "gave" them to foreigners living here, I am sure there must be animal lovers over here as well, somewhere, maybe hidden?...-, now that they have healed and regained strength, they get a new chance to lead a happy life. The weakest ones we keep, Jonne's mum takes care of my new doggie-friend, as she can't fly yet, nor travel by car.
So much more to tell you- but I know it can be too much at a time for someone not being involved- and I'm packing and cleaning and stuff- I'm the last one here to leave; two more nights, hoping nothing bad is going to happen...; but at least all animals are safe! ,-)