A boundless ambition to help abused dogs

The Belgian veterinary surgeons sterilised 32 dogs during a recent visit to Andalucía.
The Belgian veterinary surgeons sterilised 32 dogs during a recent visit to Andalucía. / SUR
  • Hope for Paws vzw is a Belgian organisation that recently sent 2.4 tonnes of food and accessories to rescue centres in Malaga

Several dog refuge centres in Malaga have benefitted from a recent scheme organised by Hope for Paws vzw, a foundation established by Cindy Terriére, a lady with a boundless love for rescue dogs.

In order to raise money for the shelters around Malaga, the Belgian charity hosted a series of fundraising events and organised collections of pet food, baskets, linen, toys, and collars. Last week 2,400 kg of material was transported from Antwerp to Malaga, where it will be divided among several local shelters.

The shelters include The Fiedelio in Benalmádena; Apariv, the Association for the Protection of Animals in Rincón de la Victoria, and El Rincón de Peco in Malaga. All of these rescue centres cater for large numbers of neglected and abandoned dogs, most of which are malnourished and have suffered abuse.

For more information, visit Hope for Paws vzw's Facebook page.

“It's beyond my comprehension that people literally throw puppies away in the trash bin; that they leave their dogs chained up in bad conditions and that they starve them to death,” Cindy told SUR in English.

Cindy's aim is not only to do volunteer work, but to try to change the climate in animal welfare politics and also try to change the attitude of people regarding their animals.

Volunteers are dedicated to giving stray dogs a happier life

Volunteers are dedicated to giving stray dogs a happier life / SUR

Sterilisation project

Cindy recently visited Spain with a sister organisation called Dogs Behind Bars. The group of Belgian volunteers and veterinary surgeons took part in a sterilisation project for stray dogs in the Seville province. The group visited five shelters and performed 32 sterilisations in seven days. The collaboration between vets, shelters and Dogs Behind Bars went so well that Cindy now hopes to operate a similar service in Malaga.

“Doing nothing changes nothing. If we can work together with each other we will be on the right route to make that change,” she declares with conviction.

Adoption programme

The organisation also offers a foster and adoption programme, which has already given over 700 Spanish stray dogs a new home in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Before adoption, all dogs are neutered and provided with a microchip and a European passport. Their volunteers visit all adoption candidates in advance, to make sure the right dog goes to the right people.

“Dogs are living creatures with intelligence and emotions and as people we owe it to them to treat them in a good way. Spain is drowning in stray dogs and it needs to change its attitude towards sterilisation and castration. We hope to change that mentality, even though this will be a long term vision,” Cindy explains.

Hope for Paws' next fundraising event will take place on Thursday 24 May in La Cala de Mijas, when a hairdressing salon will donate the takings from each wash and blow dry to the animal charity.

“All volunteers in Belgium, as well as in Spain, do all this in their own free time. They don't get paid and even pay their travel costs. The only reward they get is the satisfaction of knowing they are able to give mistreated and abandoned dogs the chance of a happy life,” Cindy says passionately.