Impressions from a Spanish Council Pound
A Spanish council pound is generally not the clean, well kept, safe place for dogs that it should be. Most Spanish council pounds are overcrowded and understaffed. There are hardly any funds available, as even though it’s a council pound, the councils in charge of these shelters generally don’t use the money towards what it was intended for: the dogs’ welfare.
Dogs can be taken to a council pound when they are no longer wanted/needed by their owners, or when they are picked up by the local dog catcher as strays. To keep the costs down, the policy of many of the council pounds is to destroy (kill) the dogs they get in if they haven’t been reclaimed by their owner after 10 days.
If it wasn’t for organisations like Spanish Stray Dogs, who help Spanish council pounds by providing food, cleaning products, volunteers and veterinary care, these dogs wouldn’t have a chance. They would end a life filled with sadness, cruelty and neglect in a similar way. Heartbreaking.
The Spanish council pound where my Skippy came from, and where Anuska would have ended up if I hadn’t taken her in, is located in Los Barrios, near Algeciras in Southern Spain. There are currently around 300 dogs in this council pound, where there is comfortably space for about half that number. As long as Spanish Stray Dogs and other organisations manage to support the dogs there and keep them fed and get at least some of them adopted, the dogs are kept alive.
Spanish Stray Dogs have provided the following information about how much it costs to support the council pound in Los Barrios:
- €1000 / month on dog food;
- €200 / month on medications and vaccinations;
- €300 / month on weekly vet visits;
- €500 / month of other veterinary costs;
- €500 / month to pay two local people to clean and feed the ~300 dogs, as volunteers cannot do all this work themselves;
This means the average annual costs for supporting this dog pound is €30,000. With food alone costing on average €12,000.
I visited the pound 6 months ago and took some photos. Sharing the story of these dogs and raising awareness is at least as important as giving money. If you want to help give these forgotten dogs a voice, please share this image on social media and pin it to your favourite dog pinboards on Pinterest.
Spanish Stray Dogs and other rescue organisations depend entirely on donations from the public. This is not a plea for money, although if you feel touched by this post and want to donate, this can be done in a variety of ways – please visit this page for instructions.