A Belgian couple who have dedicated the last 20 years to helping stray and abandoned dogs in Spain are appealing for help to enable them to start a new canine sanctuary on the Costa del Sol. The property where their rescue centre is currently based is in need of desperate repairs and so Vera and Bert Wesenbeek are now searching for a new property to continue their work.
The couple arrived in Spain in 2000 with five of their own dogs and soon began taking in strays that were in need of medical care, which they funded with their own finances.
Following a successful musical career in Belgium, the couple first lived on the Costa Blanca, where they opened their own music bar and restaurant, but they were forced to return to Belgium in 2012, where Vera underwent treatment for breast cancer.
The couple returned to Spain shortly after the treatment, although they relocated to the Guaro, where, after finding two young puppies in a rubbish container, they opened the Animal Love and Rescue Resort. They currently care for more than 30 dogs and Vera is now in desperate need of a new property where the dogs can be relocated.
"Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are in urgent need of a new property where our dogs can feel safe, play and run without stress and fear. The house where we currently live is in a very bad condition and the owner does not want to renovate it. We have had no running water since April 2018 and so we have to travel to the well in Monda every day to provide water for our dogs," Vera explained to SUR in English.
In 2018, the couple sold part of Bert's investment business in order to support the rescue centre, but they did not foresee the current problems and now they are looking for investors who can help with the funding of a new property.
"We have been looking for another property for about a year, but to rent with that many dogs is not easy. Until now we paid for everything ourselves but we are running out of money. Without funding, we will have to stop all the good work," the dedicated animal lover said.
Vera and Bert are currently organising fundraising events and charity concerts in order to raise some of the money they will need for the new dog sanctuary, and, although they are facing an uphill battle, the couple's sheer love of animals is fuelling their drive to succeed.
"We are dog lovers to the end, and we believe that the world is made for humans and animals to live together, not to destroy them, or do them harm," Vera declared.