ACCION del Sol’s main goal since opening their refuge at Granadilla five years ago has been to reduce the number of dogs abandoned on the streets over here.
That is why they have accepted the official rules and regulations and have reached agreements with Tenerife Cabildo (Government) and its various municipalities in the South of Tenerife.
The centre’s aim is to press forward towards responsible management concerning the issue of animal protection by both parties.
- The local police notify the collector and arrange the collection of the abandoned dog.
- The Civil Protection, or the probation officer, picks up the animal and transports it in a specially-adapted to the shelter.
- On arrival, the dog is issued with a serial number for registration and documented. Three copies are made and all are signed and sealed by the manager/centre veterinarian.
- The official document states the meeting site, date, time, race, sex and colour of the dog. The dog collector will also take a picture of the animal for the document and checks with a microchip reader to see whether it has been chipped
- If the animal has a microchip, the owner will be notified immediately. He/she then has 21 days to remove the animal from the centre, after passing through the local police or Town Hall and showing the relevant documents.
- If, after 21 days, the dog is not claimed, the dog will be in the custody of the shelter.
- If the owner had not registered a “lost pet” complaint at the local police, he/she faces a substantial fine.
- Who holds the registered document? One copy stays in the shelter, the local police have another, while the third goes to the relevant Town Hall.
Although the Accion del Sol shelter can house up to 150 animals and is regarded as one of the largest refuges in Tenerife, there is insufficient space for all the stray dogs.
That means there are strict controls in place, which are necessary to prevent overcrowding and enable staff to maintain the relevant standards of animal protection and welfare.
For that reason Marion Gonzalez, who runs Accion de Sol and is a director of Aktiontier – the German charity which sponsors the refuge – stresses that it is not a place where people can simply offload their pets.
“If a person decides to have an animal, then he/she must maintain responsibility for the pet’s lifetime. The refuge is not obligated to accept pets which are no longer cherished by their owners,” said Marion.
“Although this sometimes causes arguments with people who want to abandon dogs at the shelter, there can be no exceptions to this rule.
“The refuge takes in only those animals which have been abandoned in those municipalities where there is an agreement with the Town Council.”
Marion adds: “We have never said we can solve the global problem on this Island. We simply want to be an example of how you could take the issue of animal protection from the authorities and other protectors.
“As some municipalities receive Government payments, it is our duty to comply with the agreements. Naturally, this also includes crimes of mistreatment.
“We all need to work together without repercussions, and to ensure that people who abandon their pets are punished.
“If we fail to do this, then the problem of abandoned and non-neutered dogs will continue.”
Source: Canarian weekly