Benny as a with this new owner in Finland :: sur
Hundreds of dogs rescued in Malaga are sent to be cared for in other countries
An abandoned dog found on the beach in El Palo is now helping in old people’s homes in Finland with the program ‘Amigo-peludo’ (Furry friend)
Benny spent three months abandoned on the beach in El Palo. He had found a hiding place close to the mouth of Arroyo Jaboneros; he drank from puddles and ate leftover sandwiches. He was old and dirty, frozen to death and tense with fear and memories of his traumatic past. Like so many others.
One volunteer at the Protectora de Animales de Málaga (Malaga Animal Protection Society) took the time to gain the trust of the animal. Charity president Carmen Manzano explans: “Week after week he gained confidence and one night, at the beginning of September, when there was no one at the beach, he was able to be caught.”
After quarantine he went to the unit for older dogs at the charity’s shelter in La Virreina, but, despite the care received, he did not adapt. It was then that a representative of the Finnish organisation ‘Spanjankoirat’, which collaborates with the Malaga organsisation, went to see the dog. She fell in love with him and decided to find him a home with a family in Finland.
At the beginning of October, Benny, his new name, packed his water bowl and blanket in a case and caught a plane to the other side of Europe. He had changed solitude on the beaches of Malaga to family life in Finland, and he got a job.
In Finland Benny has been trained, with exercises to strengthen his noble character, to become what is called a “furry friend”. With his owner and other animals - also abandoned - he visits old people’s homes and shares affection and games that he was deprived of here.
Both parties benefit : the elderly people who get more exercise throwing the ball and stroking the dog and the dog benefits from the affects. One volunteer was helped to move forward themselves and now the animal to is a volunteer and returns the opportunity to help that they gave him.
Benny’s case is by no means unique in Europe. Citizens of Germany, Finland, Holland and Belgium every year have turned in to owners of abandoned dogs from Malaga thanks to organisers with the Sociedad Proctectora de Animales (Society for the Protection of Animals). A total of 116 dogs were sent to these countries in 2013; whilst 12 cats have also found homes in Germany. They are nations where rules for breeding and maintenance of domestic animals is much more restrictive than in Spain. This past year the picked up 1.300 dogs and almost 500 cats in Malaga.