Volunteer access to Adeje’s animal rescue centre

Adeje council will soon vote on regulations allowing volunteers to assist in the municipal animal rescue centre

The Adeje council organised a meeting this afternoon (June 15th) to outline and seek reaction to the proposed regulations allowing volunteer access to the Adeje animal rescue centre. The meeting was called by the councillor for health promotion and quality of life, Amada Trujillo Bencomo, with Adolfo Alonso, in the role of council spokesperson, Manuel Luis Méndez Martín, councillor for local development, Oliver Tacaronte, councillor and member of the Coalicion Canaria party and Inma Évora, a well-known animal rights activist. The other political groups represented in the Adeje council were unable, for various reasons, to attend but have indicated their interest in the text of the document which will be sent to them over the following days.

Councillor Trujillo said “we are making good the promise to allow volunteers to carry out some duties in the centre with a series of agreed norms for their benefit and that of the animals in the centre. This will be a partnership which is why we have held this meeting and are open to opinions and reactions. The meeting was very positive and we have taken board a number of suggestions that will strengthen the final document leading towards a better response to the needs of the centre and thus helping the wellbeing of the animals that find themselves there”.

The document prepared by the Adeje council is based on a 1998 law on volunteering in the Canaries. Among the requirements those wishing to enter the centre to volunteer must be over 18 and registered with a legally constituted volunteer organisation. There will be 10 places open to volunteers and people will be allocated their place for a set period of time to allow others also take up the opportunity. Each volunteer who is granted a place will also be asked to undertake a month-long training period where they will be trained in agreed duties and obligations and then given full accreditation. After one year as a volunteer they must reapply and places will be granted on the basis of availability, priority given to those applying for the first time.

Among the duties will be walking the animals, brushing and showering, play time and training geared towards their socialisation, always under the supervision of the centre’s administrator. Other duties would include feeding and care for puppies. The volunteers may also assist in the adoption of animals within the established norms of the centre.

Those individuals who are successfully incorporated into the volunteer team must attend for at least 50% of the agreed times, carry out their activities in the agreed time slots and follow the instruction of the person in charge. There will be certain limits to their involvement; they may not carry out administrative tasks, enter or involve themselves in the veterinary area, change dogs from one cage to another, give food or drink or any medication to the animals, etc. These and other duties will remain in the hands of the official personnel.

The Adeje animal rescue centre was built in 2010 at a cost of over 100,000 euro and is a municipally controlled centre, “from which we care for animals that have been abandoned by their owners, and we have a vet who works with us to mind the animals from the moment they enter the centre. They are given a check-up, and any medication they may require. We also have a team from the council who work at the centre, maintaining hygienic standards, and feeding and caring for the animals as well as carrying out any administrative work needed. The council also has a covenant with an animal protection association who helps in the adoption process with families who will offer the animal a home and love. Our commitment to zero levels of euthanasia is solid”, added the councillor.

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San Sebastián, Adeje pays homage

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With Christmas and the Three Kings celebrations out of the way Adeje is now ready for the next annual fiesta –that of the town’s co-patron, San Sebastián.

This is one of the most popular and engaging fiestas in Tenerife, with the bathing of horses and other four-legged mounts at the La Enramada beach the highlight of the festivities. According to the councillor for culture, Nayra Medina Bethencourt, “San Sebastián is a perfect coming together of people who live in Adeje and those who are visiting the borough. The plaza de San Sebastián in La Caleta is the perfect stage for this celebration of harmonious co-existence on January 20th”. And this year too the borough begins to celebrate the 100th year of the presence of the statue of San Sebastián which is carried ceremoniously to the sea, brought to the parish in 1916 by the parish priest of the time, Eulogio Gutiérrez Estévez.

In fact the celebrations begin on Monday January 19th with a two-day open air exhibition of municipal photographs. The ‘pinchos’ competition also returns. Pinchos are small tapas on a cocktail stick, cheap and tasty, and ideal for eating on the street. You can vote for your favourite pincho from 7pm to midnight. Mass with the Santa Ana folklore group in honour of San Sebastián will be celebrated at 8pm followed by a procession with the Adeje Municipal Band, and fireworks.

From 7pm there will also be a ‘Parrandas’ evening, with small music groups playing in public, among them the Paranda Boleros de Armeñime, G. F. La Diata, A. C. Cultural Imoque, the Parranda El Mesturao and the Adeje Municipal Folklore group.

The 20th of January is the actual feast day of San Sebastián and events begin at 12 midday with mass in honour of the Saint sung by the Santa Úrsula de Adeje parochial choir. The procession with the image of the saint then moves outside and takes the pilgrims down to La Enramada beach where the crowds will be waiting to see the traditional bathing of the horses, and quite often a few donkeys and maybe a camel or two.

This is a fiesta stepped in local traditions and was first celebrated here in the 18th century. Over the years country people and local Adeje farmers and beyond continued with their devotions to the saint in a very particular and special way. Many have attributed miracles to the statue of San Sebastián, including cures and favours granted.

Security
Given that up to 20,000 people take part in the celebrations every year, the council has made sure there will be more than adequate security cover, with personnel from the Policia Local, the Civil Protection Unit, the Sea Rescue service, ambulances and health professionals. Please take note of any access restrictions on the streets or on the beach in advance of the procession as they are there for the public’s security.

Some parking restrictions will be in place to facilitate free flow of traffic and allow people walk along the streets. There will also be a zone cordoned off for farm animals who are taking part in the festivities.

People are also reminded that they should come in time to park and walk, wear clothes and shoes that are comfortable, use sun cream (particularly with children) and bring water. If you are bringing you own pet/animal they must be on a lead and bring food and water for them too.

‘Adeje Clean and Healthy’ campaign concludes

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The mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodriguez Fraga, with the councillor for the environment and with responsibility for the campaign ‘Adeje, clean and healthy’ Esther Rivero Vargas, met with the different groups who have worked on various aspects of the campaign over the last six months.

During the meetings the mayor said, “the campaign has been well received and has served to mobilise and encourage a lot of people to think about how they treat their animals and their environment, thanks to the collaboration of volunteers and professionals. The commitment of those people and those who work in this area has allowed us move forward. The result of this initiative has been very positive, and we will continue to work to raise awareness and educate our citizens in this regard”.

Esther Rivero Vargas said that the activities on responsible ownership of pets had also shown “positive results in just six months. People have become much more aware, educated and informed about what having a pet entails. Thanks to this initiative more people in Adeje are registering their dogs on the census”, she added.

Jose Miguel Rodríguez Fraga explained that the new system of adoptions was also working very well. “We live in a changing world. Dogs help us too during times of catastrophe, they saves lives in many ways. Dogs are not toys. They can be the most amazing companion you will have and help resolve problems. Its important that we respect these animals, and society in general has to learn to be more aware of the needs of animals”.

To show their appreciation, the mayor and councillor gave those who had worked on the campaign a box and dog model created by those who attend the Los Olivos Centre for Special Needs Persons. Collectives thanked included the Guardia Civil airport dog unit, the Protección Civil La Laguna, Terapia Canina/TCAN and Star Agility club as well as the Adeje hunters association. The teams also received a special photograph of their participation in the campaign.

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During the campaign, which saw public meetings held all over the borough of Adeje, workshops were also held for children teaching fundamental concepts and practises of recycling. The campaign organisers worked tirelessly to promote and raise awareness in this field too. Vets from different clinics in Adeje and beyond also assisted at the meetings giving information and answering questions from the members of the public.

During the same time and in parallel Adeje held the first canine behaviour course in the Youth Centre the aim being to “educate the younger members of Adeje and give them the tools necessary to train their dogs to behave in a manner proper to a civic society”, said Esther Rivero Vargas.

Another arm of the campaign was the employment of four young women who had been actively seeking work to train them to go door to door with the campaign information, which they distributed around the borough in Spanish, English, German and French.

The mayor and the councillor also paid tribute to the workshops organised at each meeting by the Cruz Roja, a fundamental part of the neighbourhood events, and “a door to dialogue via which we can share, listen to and discuss in a constructive way the concerns of our citizens”, said Jose Miguel Rodríguez Fraga.

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Overall both the mayor and the councillor praised those involved in the campaign for their ability to teach, listen and help the people of Adeje move forward. “We will keep on this positive and sensible path. We looked for the participation of the people, and we are winning that challenge. That’s why I want to thank you and it has been splendid to be able to count upon each and every one of the people involved in this campaign. Furthermore the help and tireless contribution made by Esther Rivero Vargas in informing and training has been exceptional”, the mayor concluded.

“Walkies”

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The course is part of the Adeje: Clean and Healthy campaign

The Adeje Youth Centre is currently running the first dog training course offered by the council, and it lasts until May 8th. The course leader is professional trainer Juan Carlos Gaspar Abreu. The initiative comes under the borough-wide Adeje Clean and Healthy campaign and is now entering the practical phase where participants, human and canine, will begin to demonstrate what they have learnt in the workshops.

According to the councillor with responsibility for the campaign, Esther Rivero Vargas, “the main objective is that citizens take the care and education of their pets seriously At the practical classes we will now see how the lessons learnt during the theoretical phase can be put into practise in the areas of behaviour and obedience”.

This practical part of the course will concentrate on the civil training – in other words how the dog behaves in public, how it walks, does it listen to the owner, wait when told to, etc..

At the same time participants will be shown the right way to address the behavioural problems of each dog and how to react as owners. The trainer has carried out an assessment of each dog and owner to get to this part of the course and will give individual tips on correcting any particular problems. Students will also receive lessons in sport training adapted for each dog and owner as well as different habits and behavioural patterns of dogs.

Good News for Adeje’s Abandoned Animals

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Adeje Council has signed an agreement with two animal protections agencies regarding adoption of abandoned animals.

The Adeje Council has signed an agreement this week to work in conjunction with the animal protection association MADAT, the Dogs Welfare Trust and the veterinarian Nahum García del Río to promote and advance the adoption of abandoned animals that are cared for in the Adeje Animal Refuge. The associations will have preference when it comes to adopting dogs from the centre who have stayed beyond the normal legal limit, with no financial benefit to either side in this regard.

The councillor with responsibility for Municipal Services, Gonzalo Delgado Díaz, says “we have been working on this initiative for some time, and in recent months met with all the animal protection agencies on the island who had shown an interest in the Council coming to an agreement with one or more of them to speed up and assist the adoption of animals, mostly dogs, who have been abandoned by their owners. From the Council’s point of view we see these agencies are the ones who can help to promote the adoption of these animals”·.
Under the agreement MADAT (Manos Amigas de los Animales en Tenerife / Friends of animals in Tenerife) commit to taking, over a period of 15 days, all the dogs who can be adopted, and who have passed the 20 days they need to have stayed in the centre, under the municpal by-law, so that owners my reclaim them. The by-law states that once that period has passed the Council is allowed to seek a new owner for the animal, or pass it on to an animal protection agency.

The Dogs Welfare Trust Tenerife will meet the costs of the vet who is also a part of the agreement, and who will include a health report, check for worms, and carry out any other treatment required by the animals such as vaccinations and microchipping.

The current agreement will last for a year and will be overseeen by a committee made up of representatives from each of the involved associations and the Council. An abandoned animal, under the Adeje Council Municicpal Ordenance Regulating The Ownership of Animals, is one wearing no identification, whose owner is unknown to the authorities and is not registered on the census. The Council identifies the animal if it has a micro-chip and lets the owner know he or she has ten days to collect the animal. Once this period of time has passed the Council and the protection agencies who are named in this agreement may offer the dog for adoption.
The Adeje Animal Refuge was created in 2012 at a cost of 120.000 euro financed under the Plan E of the central government. The Centre has individual spaces for up to almost 100 animals depending on their size and whether they are considered dangerour or not. There is also an office and a veterinary zone. The animals are fed different foods according to their age and size and are visited by a qualified vet who attendts to any medical needs they may have.

Councillor Delgado Díaz added that “since October we have been running a wide-spread consiousness raising campaign making people in Adeje more aware of the responsibility that goes with pet ownership. We have placed particular attention on sending out the message to anyone who is thinking about getting a dog to come along to the Refuge first and consider adoption. At the same time, as part of the camaign, we outline both the rights and duties that having a pet involves, such as vaccinations, care and hygiene and particularly the need to be aware of your pet’s behaviour in public spaces, with one of the biggest complaints from the local population being the amount of dog droppings left on the street. To drive the message home the Council, along with the borough’s sanitation company Ascan Torrabonaf, have undertaken a number of wide-ranging initiatives including public meetings, dog exhibitions, workshops in schools, competitions, etc. “