Sandra was walking past a service station on her way to the clinic where she works in Seville when she saw a cinnamon-colored dog looking very alone and scared. She didn’t know the dog’s story, but she quickly understood that, like many other pets bought in a passing moment of excitement, the dog had been abandoned.
Sandra and a few neighbors from the nearest village decided to call her Elsa and took care of feeding her. A few days later, a nice little playful dog showed up with Elsa and refused to leave her side. She’d made a new friend, Lupo.
Time ticked away, and although Sandra had good intentions, feeding the animals was no longer enough. Due to the dirty conditions, the heat during the day, and the cold during the night, they ended up with multiple infections. Something had to be done.
That was when Sandra met Javier from the Los Ángeles de Lora animal shelter. Together, Javier, Sandra, and the rest of the volunteers were able to obtain the funding necessary to pay for Elsa and Lupo’s veterinary care. Elsa has already found someone to adopt her. Her new home is in Holland. Lupo is still looking for his with the help of Sandra and the rest of the sanctuary team.
The story of March, a greyhound who was run over by a car
While all that was going on in Seville, a greyhound who had been abandoned by her owners was run over on the road between El Álamo and Navalcarnero, in Madrid. With one mangled paw, the greyhound named March sought shelter on the side of the road among debris from the car that had been left behind after the accident and waited for help.
SOS Galgos is the organization that rescued her and set up a crowdfunding account on social networks to cover the costs of the surgery March needed, which cost around 600 euros. In just a week, they raised more than they needed, and this money also helped pay for the daily care she still needs. Today March continues to recover in the shelter while she waits for a family to adopt her.
The members of the association that saved March’s life tell us that, just like her, many more animals are abandoned every year — 137,000 dogs and cats were found in 2016 alone.
What can be done about abandonment?
Even with all the work being done by shelters and volunteers, today about 12% of abandoned animals are still living in shelters, and 7% are killed in communities that still haven’t joined Sacrificio Cero (Zero Sacrifice), a movement started by El Refugio to prevent animals from being killed when they are not picked up or adopted within 10 days. Nonetheless, the silver lining is that some pets are returned to their owners after they are identified with their microchip implant, and around 45% are adopted.
Against this backdrop, Repsol has signed an action agreement with the Spanish Guardia Civil’s Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA) to assist in cases of abandoned or lost domestic animals that show up at Repsol service stations.
Every day more people work to raise awareness of what it means to abandon a pet. You can help by giving dogs like Elsa, Lupo, and March a second chance!