The Adeje council have given provisional approval to a ruling that will allow volunteers to work in the borough’s animal rescue centre. According to the councillor for health promotion and quality of life, Amada Trujillo Bencomo, “We are making good the promises made at the start of our term of office, that we would welcome volunteers into the centre. We know there has been a call for this from the public and we know too it will make the animals’ lives happier, to have more people in to care for them, befriend them, take them for walks, play with them, etc.”
After this initial approval, the document will be published in the official Canarian statute bulletin, the BOC, with a set time allowed for members of the public to comment and/or present proposals. Thereafter the appropriate regulation will be presented to a meeting of the council for full approval.
Among the duties the volunteers may undertake, though not with dogs registered as belonging to dangerous breeds, will be walking the animals, brushing and showering, play time and care for puppies. The volunteers may also assist in the adoption of animals within the established norms of the centre. However at no time will volunteers be allowed undertake the work of the staff of the centre, such as feeding the animals, administering medication, cleaning the cages, etc. Dangerous breeds will always be under the control of the centre staff who are licenced to handle them. Full rules are available on the council’s website, www.adeje.es
The councillor explained, “this is something we are happy to encourage. Recently we carried out a restructuring of personnel and some improvements in the centre. In 2016 we signed a covenant with an animal protection agency to help in the adoption process. Now we are about to regulate volunteer aid in a move that has the support of all the political parties in the council. We would also like to thank, in particular, Inma Évora, a well-known animal rights activist, for her participation and assistance in this matter.
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.
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. As mentioned, 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.
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