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. “