This post is about a different type of “dumping” that occurs with regular intervals on Happy Beach.
One week in May two young dogs found themselves roaming her shores within days of each other. They had been abandoned.
The first was a beautiful Jack Russell mix discovered by my calm, big hearted rescue dog Bruno. She was hiding near an empty rental house and turned out to be a playful and trusting little girl. Though obviously hungry and neglected.
We took her to the vet and named her Lula. We are fostering her until she finds a forever home that needs a fun and loving canine friend. Please see her page for details on adoption.
Three days after Lula entered our lives we happened upon by a gorgeous floppy, playful pup during a walk. He confidently joined the flock and refused to leave – despite many attempts to keep him out of the garden. Eventually his persistence and desperate longing for safety paid off. We called him Big Louis, gave him food, and started searching for a shelter that could take him in – as the house was quickly turning into a menagerie.
The shelters on the island are privately run by people who dedicate their whole lives to these animals. The influx of unwanted dogs dumped on roadsides, in fields and on beaches is so immense that it’s utterly daunting for any thin-skinned individual. I cannot underline the gravity of this issue enough.
In rural areas dogs are often treated as utility animals, and get discarded as carelessly as an empty water bottle by farmers and hunters. In rare, cruel occasions the dogs are thrown out the window without the owner even bothering to stop the car. This can be because the dog is pregnant, sick, not a good hunter, has given birth or just because the owner doesn’t want to feed it.
The dogs roam around confused, scared and hungry in search of shelter and food. During the course of the winter I have spotted at least five strays on Happy Beach without being able to get near them, as they were clearly terrified of human contact.
The way these creatures are treated like… trash… is horrific to witness. The lack of knowledge about dogs, the refusal to spay and neuter, and the general indifference is creating a desperate situation.
Thanks to the relentless and passionate work of the good people at the Stray Haven shelter currently 110 dogs are safe from harms way. The conditions are humble and rely on the kindness of donations and volunteer work. But this does give the dogs a chance of finding a new home – often in Holland, Germany or the UK.
Though she had no room at the shelter the founder accepted Big Louis. With all my heart I wish a good home for him.
Without the help of two endlessly patient and generous friends I wouldn’t have been able to organise some protection for Lula and Louis. Saving these two pups is probably a tiny drop in a dark ocean of neglect – but we managed to change the world for them.
If you can help. Please do. It will change a life.