On dog-walking days, when you make your way down the track towards the Live PAWS refuge, you know it’s going to be quite an experience! The dogs can’t contain their enthusiasm, and their excited barking can be heard from afar!
Live PAWS, formerly known as Live Arico, began life in 2000. The refuge used to be situated in Arico, before moving to its present site, near Buzanada. Its name was changed in 2012, to avoid confusion with another charity.
Two years ago, an extension was built to accommodate the ever-increasing number of dogs which needed sanctuary. At present, over 50 dogs are on site, and another 30 are in temporary or permanent foster care. Annually, the refuge takes in around 150 dogs, with a similar number finding new homes, during the same period.
Each year, the dogs munch their way through 12 metric tons of dog biscuits, costing over €7,000. They also devour wet food, adding another €3,000 to the food expenses. But Live PAWS’ biggest expenditure is their €25,000 annual veterinary bill. Vaccines, preventative medications, testing, and the treatment of a variety of ailments, are all very costly, when a lot of animals are involved!
Live PAWS’ President, Mark van den Reek, is proud of the way the volunteers and donors have helped to keep the refuge going, during the last 18 months. Despite the financial restrictions of the covid situation, we have been touched by the generosity of people who have dug deep to donate money.
Every single person is invaluable to the charity, whether walking the dogs, or donating items for our two shops in Los Cristianos and San Eugenio, both run by selfless volunteers.
People also work quietly behind the scenes, all helping to keep the wheels turning. We are fortunate to have a team of very efficent vets on hand, to deal with treating a simple ear infection, or inserting metal plates and screws, to repair an injured leg. We are able to meet our veterinary bills, because of the kindness and generosity of our supporters.
We are very lucky to have two dog trainers, both very valuable members of our team. They work wonders with difficult dogs, enabling them to be adopted.
The charity deals with a wide range of situations. People find themselves in positions where they can no longer care for their animals, for various reasons. We are there to step in, looking after the dogs in the refuge, until such time that we can find them new, loving, forever homes, or dedicated foster care.
Abandoned and mistreated dogs are also welcomed, and every single animal receives the same amount of love as it would in a home environment. There are often tears of both joy and sadness, and no two days are the same, but Live PAWS is a family, and all its members are very special people indeed!