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ACTIN, making changes for animals in Spain.

Animal care Treatment International Network has been set up to make changes for the animals in Spain, who suffer abandonment and cruelty. What we plan to do is to bring awareness of the problems to the world’s media. We need to promote education, new legislation and support neutering campaigns. It is necessary to get support Internationally to put pressure to bear on the Spanish government and to persuade them to take more responsibility for the lack of animal welfare in Spain. ACTIN plans in the future to bring about these changes through media awareness. Actin will tell the truth of how it is on an everyday basis, particularly in the country villages of Murcia, where there is a lot of ignorance and abuse. They will tell of what the volunteers deal with and how the abuse of animals is getting worse. ACTIN will endeavor to bring about campaigns for sterilization and education in schools. There is a need for a Society to protect the animals and this is what ACTIN aim to do in the future but we need much support to achieve our aims.

GRAPHIC .. Life in a Spanish village has broken my heart into a thousand pieces
19 November 2013 @ 18:07

Sometimes we on the front line desperately want to share things with you that we find difficult to say.   We don’t want to give you sad and bad images but we also realise that from a practical point of view, if you don’t know how it is, how can we get help and awareness?

I live in a very typical village in the countryside, rural and very much behind the modern world, where animals are treated really badly because of the culture here of the attitude towards working dogs.  Anywhere in the world this can prevail towards working animals, possibly due to economics and ignorance and sometimes because of greed and heartlessness.  In Spain however, it is more than just an attitude due to economics or ignorance.  There is a deep-rooted cruel and barbaric streak in some of these people, which is kept well hidden and is shameful and disgusting.

Here in my village I have learned first-hand about ruthless hunters with no mercy for their animals.  The residents and neighbours too, know no different way to treat animals and their so-called pets, that are simply there to bark at intruders and passers-by; they are treated with disdain,  nothing more than a commodity with less value than a piece of kitchen equipment.

These animals have no status in their owners homes and dogs that are pregnant will either disappear, or their puppies are just never seen.  I see it every day, cruelty, no food, water, or protection, chained up, day in and day out with no apparent reason, or left to run in the road and be killed, or eventually cause an accident.  I have tried my best to speak with them, kindly, diplomatically and have taken their puppies (with permission), rather than see them killed, or wandering the streets.

Just today I visited a neighbour who asked me to sell his eleven Mastin puppies; does this ignorant idiot have any idea of the trouble and the costs we go to, when we take their unwanted dogs?  Apparently they believe I sell them to the UK, where we have no dogs!!!  No reasoning with this one, or understanding of the dilemma for animals, no – he tells me that he is going to sell them because he is poor and needs the money!!

Worst of all I am living amongst hunters, in an area that is rife with it, these callous people are also breeding Galgos and Podencos and I can do nothing because these people are dangerous.  Only yesterday I discovered that one of these neighbours had a prison sentence for illegally running a dog selling business. No, not because he was cruel to the dogs and kept them in appalling conditions and the dogs cry and scream daily with stress and God knows what, but because he was running an illegal and un-registered business.

I met him on the road just a few days ago, I was walking with my group of  Yoga ladies, peacefully and happily in the lovely Spanish countryside with some of my smaller rescue dogs. My guests only see the beauty, but I walk out with a heavy heart, could this be a day when I see something, as I often do?  On this day, I could hear gunshots and realised there was hunting going on nearby, I am tuned in to it but no-one else noticed.  My heart skipped a beat when one of this man’s Galgos, who had recently had puppies, teats dangling, came running towards us, along with a second handsome male Galgo and a large Bodiguero type dog.  We picked up our little dogs quickly, as suddenly we were threatened by this aggressive female, trying to get to one of my tiny dogs.  The men did nothing, said nothing, they continued walking with their huge 8 ft rods/sticks over the shoulders, ignoring us, with a callous shrug of the shoulders and not minding their dogs.  They walked past us, and then we were behind them, clutching our little dogs in our arms.  To my horror they opened the gate of a large warehouse and there I saw, what could have been up to a 80 or more Galgos; not separated but all together in one big pound.

This is in a hamlet just outside my village, I had known there were dogs there, I have heard them but seeing them like this was too horrible.   I live near a farm that also houses this many animals and I listen to their cries every day, especially bad at weekends.  I tried to get photographic evidence on a number of occasions and have been threatened.

We the people who care are known as ecologistas, (ecologists or green people), but the hunters call us ecologetas which changes the word to mean something horrible and to show their contempt for us.

We heard just the other day how the hunters discuss between them, how they can kill their dogs in spite of having a microchip. How low can they go?

I can no longer live in this hell, a prisoner in my home which is beautiful and is also my business.  Outside the perimeters of my home, is a holocaust for dogs and my heart has broken into a thousand pieces one too many times.

I have started Actin and will continue no matter what.  We have many ideas and have some good people with us but the changes won’t come soon enough for me.

Viv Wharton, ACTIN’s President


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mike_walsh said:
20 November 2013 @ 22:57

The French often say the Third World begins at the Pyrenees. I do believe that the psyche of most, not all Spaniards, is alien from northern and Eastern Europe. Callousness, lack of empathy and self-centeredness has its roots perhaps in occupation (and assimilation) of nearly 600 years under North African rule.

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