By Euro Weekly News Media • 17 March 2011 • 14:47
AUTUMN FETE: Stalls helped to draw the crowds
Photo credit: PAWS-PATAS
PAWS-PATAS, the animal rescue shelter which has operated in the Mojacar area for 20 years, may have to close at the end of March. “As things stand at the moment, our bank account will be empty at the end of the month,” said PAWS treasurer Janet Franklin during her interview on Spectrum Radio on Monday 14th March.
“We will simply not be able to carry on. The collapse has been triggered by the sudden announcement two months ago that the support organisation PAWS Holland was to close on 1st March.”
“We had no prior warning at all,” said Janet Franklin. “They had homed over 1.000 dogs from Spain and supplied us with €25.000 annually in direct financial support. The loss of that financial support has been catastrophic and under Spanish law we are not allowed to continue if making a loss.”
This news was a complete bombshell for Richard Shanley and Helen B of Spectrum FM who simply could not believe their ears. Holding back the tears Janet continued “I haven’t slept for the past two months because of the stress of the situation, I would just hate to see all our hard work be in vain with the closure of the shelter.”
PAWS tried to carry on, slashing costs wherever possible. The Shelter Manager was laid off. Volunteers under the direction of committee members took over care of the 120 dogs and 20 cats in the shelter.
“But it was like the iceberg which sank the Titanic,” said PAWS Communications Co-ordinator Mike Dornan.
“In the midst of a recession, with our shop income down, our local fundraising struggling – once the ship was holed below the water line and starting to tilt, water rushed in everywhere.”
So what will happen to the 140 animals currently in PAWS care, plus the twenty or so being fostered in private homes? “We will carry on feeding them as long as we are able” said Janet Franklin.
“Luckily we still have a consignment of free food arriving from Holland. We will search desperately for homes for those we already have. But we have had to close the shelter gates to any more new animals.Veterinary care will have to be severely curtailed because we can no longer pay for it. We are relying entirely on the income from the charity shop to cover all our expenses.”
The irony is that PAWS has assets which could help to see them through this crisis – but they cannot realise them.
“We have been willed a house,” said Janet Franklin, “but the probate and paperwork has taken ages – and cost us money! The property needed attention … and who is buying property in Mojacar these days?. We are urgently looking to rent it out in the meantime. If we could find a lifeline to see us through the next couple of months, we might be able to salvage the organisation. But we need a miracle from somewhere.”
You can contact PAWS at www.paws-patas.org – [email protected] – tel 678 490 208/217.
Immediately after Monday’s show in conjunction with Don grpm Supersavers in Turre Richard decided to launch the save PAWS appeal by trying to get local businesses and individuals to pledge €50 per month for the next six months to keep PAWS open.
If we can get 20 or more involved then PAWS can remain open albeit on a reduced scale. At the time of going to press already committed were Spectrum FM, Supersavers, Mojo’s Cafe Bar and Bob & Sue Fletcher of Vera Playa had very kindly pledges €20 per week.
If you can help in any way, however small please contact Spectrum FM on 950 61 51 42 or email [email protected]
With your help we can save this extremely worthwhile charity that has worked tirelessly with abandoned animals for the past 20 years. It would be one of the saddest days in the area’s history if PAWS were to close.
By Richard Shanley
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