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Triple A avoids having to close animal shelter in Marbella after an influx of new members, donations and materials

Last month's meeting with the mayor.
Last month's meeting with the mayor. / SUR
  • The Amigos de los Animales Abandonados association in Marbella hopes the collaboration will continue to guarantee its survival in the long term

Triple A will not have to close down after all. The animal rescue association has seen an influx of new members, donations and necessary materials after the call for help published in the SUR newspapers a couple of weeks ago, warning that it would not be able to continue unless it could raise the 50,000 euros it needed to continue providing this important service in Marbella.

The association, whose full name is Amigos de los Animales Abandonados, says it has received sanitary materials, food, cleaning products, around 70 new members, sponsors, donations and innumerable messages of support and interest in the situation from individuals, companies and other associations, both Spanish and foreign. Triple A's secretary Jan Weima said this week that they even received a donation of 15 euros from Tokyo.

"We are completely overwhelmed by the response; it has been incredible. We can't thank everyone enough. Luckily, we have been saved. This has enabled us to balance our accounts, because after 29 years working in this area, we don't want to be seen as an association that doesn't pay," he said.

This wave of support has been like a blast of oxygen which will allow them to pay their bills and carry on, but the management board at Triple A also pointed out that their monthly costs amount to 35,000 euros, 40 per cent of which is for wages. This is why they want the level of collaboration to continue, to ensure that the association can survive and provide a shelter for abandoned animals in the area. The Triple A shelter is on the Carretera de Ojén.

The association has also set its sights on a new line of collaboration with Marbella council, which it hopes will come into being in the next few months. If it does, it will be able to update the facilities at the shelter, with the priority being improved plumbing and infrastructure.

The board has already held a long meeting at the shelter with the mayor of Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz, and the councillor for Works, Diego López, after sending out their calls for help.

Urgent works are needed

Triple A and Marbella council have both confirmed that the meeting laid down the groundwork for a programme to improve the facilities and make them more practical.

"The association will draw up a plan of what it needs and in September we will meet again to study its viability and work out a project," said Lisandro Vieytes, who is an advisor on sanitation and was also at the meeting.

The Triple A premises are more than 70 years old and need urgent work, including plumbing and drainage. Marbella council already contributes 60,000 euros a year, which the association wants it to increase. In fact, ever since Jesús Gil gave them use of the old slaughterhouse for their first shelter, all the subsequent councils have collaborated in different ways.

In the last term of office the tripartite government surfaced the road leading to the shelter and the present council has provided use of adjoining land, which is used to walk the dogs.