The SOS Perrera animal charity in Los Barrios has made an urgent plea to the local community in order to find temporary homes for dozens of abandoned dogs. The animal rescue centre is currently stretched to the limit and is desperate for reliable and caring foster carers.
The charity looks after hundreds of stray animals, most of which come from the Campo de Gibraltar and surrounding areas, and it needs to find temporary accommodation for dogs waiting to be transferred to their new owners.
Several years ago the local pound was an extermination station, where dogs rounded up by local authorities were kept for ten days, after which they were destroyed. Thanks to years of negotiations by several charities, the dogs in the pound are now handed over to the team at SOS Perrera for care and re-homing.
The charity is run by a group of volunteers who began rescuing the dogs from the local pound in 2016, but they are now struggling to cope with the current influx of animals.
"With the pound overflowing, urgent foster homes in the Los Barrios region are needed. To offer shelter to just one of these dogs would make a huge difference. There are many dogs needing the chance of a foster home, even short term placements are welcome," Sharon Peterson, a representative of the rescue home told SUR in English.
Full back-up service
The charity offers a full back-up service for potential foster carers, especially those without experience, including advice and information about looking after animals that might have never lived in a family environment. The charity will also pay any vet fees incurred during the fostering period.
"You do not necessarily have to have experience , just a kind, calm and patient manner, with lots of understanding and common sense. You will receive support from a local mentor, who is just at the end of the phone," Sharon explains.
The charity has so far found homes for dozens of dogs in Finland, Germany, Sweden and France, and it is now looking for emergency foster placements in the UK.
It also needs more volunteers to help with the day to day running of the charity and to help with the exercising the 350 dogs that are currently residing in the pound.
"The pound is simply not a good place for some dogs and they receive few learning opportunities whilst there, other than how to survive. Some of the dogs have had a very traumatic background, but with a kind and understanding nature, all these issues can be overcome. The foster carers would be their lifeline to living a long and happy life with their new families," Sharon concludes.
Those wishing to foster an abandoned dog or volunteer their services can find details on the SOS Perrera Facebook page, or phone Sharon Peterson on 674 74 33 56.