One of the greatest pleasures for everyone associated with Live PAWS is seeing our dogs adopted. That magical moment, when the papers are signed, and the dogs begin their new lives, stays with us for a long time.
What we are never sure of is how long an animal will be with us, before it starts a new chapter in its life, or which one will melt the heart of a particular person.
The cutest, prettiest, young dog may be overlooked for an older one, who bears the battle scars of a previous, hard life. Who knows what will be appealing, as people look at our website or Facebook page, when they search for that special companion.
Every dog adopted remains in the hearts and memories of everyone at Live PAWS. It never ceases to amaze us how they can endure the worst abuse, before they arrive at the refuge, yet eventually recover, both physically and emotionally.
To see photos of them in their new, forever homes, relaxing on comfortable sofas, surrounded by luxurious cushions, is unbelievable.
One day they are getting on with their lives in the refuge, and the next they are swimming in the sea with their new owners, or going for long walks in the forest. How quickly their lives can change!
Our dogs are adopted by people from many other countries, too. We have built up strong relationships with organisations in Italy, Germany, Holland and Belgium, and many of our Podencos find new homes in these countries.
It isn’t only this breed that is popular overseas, though. Sometimes, out of the blue, someone will adopt one of our dogs, and they, too, find themselves at the airport, ready to fly away to pastures new, in countries such as Sweden, Finland and the UK.
Preparing the dogs for their new lives abroad has to be undertaken with the utmost precision, and attention to detail. Passports have to be prepared, and vaccinations and blood tests organised.
One slip up would result in the dogs not being allowed to fly, so there are sighs of relief all round when the planes take off, with their precious cargo onboard!
Several months ago, two people here on holiday from Finland fell in love with one of our beautiful dogs, Guapo. They decided to adopt him, and drove him all the way home in their car! These sorts of happy stories more than outweigh the sad times!
Before a final decision is made to adopt on the island, Live PAWS offer the chance of taking a dog home, to see whether it fits into its potentially-new surroundings. We understand that things may not always work out as anticipated or planned, but the dog will always be welcomed back to the refuge.
For varying reasons, several of our dogs find new homes without actually being adopted. They may have ongoing health problems, in which case they can go into long-term foster care. Live PAWS cover all future veterinary treatment, which enables the animal to leave the refuge, and be cared for in a home environment.
Some dogs may need to be nursed in quiet surroundings, until they have recovered from treatments or operations. On these occasions, short-term foster carers fit the bill. We are always looking for new foster carers, because they make such a huge difference to the welfare of our dogs, especially those with special requirements.
Healthy animals are fostered, too, such as small puppies, who we feel would thrive better, surrounded by home comforts! Occasionally, our dogs just can’t settle into kennel life, but really blossom when away from the refuge.
So, whether you are thinking of adopting or fostering, pop along to the refuge, or take a look at our Facebook page: Live PAWS Rescued Animals Tenerife.