Animal lovers in Spain know that there is a real problem with stray and mistreated animals. Often, dogs are used for hunting or other work. As their use is limited to certain seasons, and their usefulness fades with age, they frequently get abandoned. This culture is slowly changing with each generation, but there are still plenty of animals in need.
Rescue centres like Apasa and Little Pod Association do incredible work housing and caring for animals, but the reality is that there are many more animals in Spain needing homes than there are people looking for pets. This is where the international re-homing organisations and groups step in and help co-ordinate the re-homing and transport of pets between countries.
Social Media Power!
Official organisations and simple social media groups alike are working hard to convince new adopters from abroad to choose dogs from inside Spain. Stray dogs are actually very uncommon in some European countries, such as Finland. Facebook groups like this one encourage Finnish dog-lovers to adopt from Spain.
From the UK, we have group like this one for Scotland or many for the UK as a whole. In fact, a quick Google or Facebook search will turn up quite a few results of people or groups that help co-ordinate overseas pet adoptions. The stories of particular animals are spread to caring people using social media, and some of the luckier ones end up in great homes as a result.
The most common objection to this type of rescue is that in many places, particularly the UK, there are already many animals sitting in pounds waiting to be rehomed. While this is true, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, the threshold for adopting a dog is much higher in the UK. Older people with a large garden and good support network may still be refused an adoption. People living in apartments may be refused adoptions too, although small or older dogs who are given plenty of supervised access to the outside can thrive in these living situations. Adopting from abroad leads to more happy endings overall, for both the dogs and the adopters.
People looking to adopt a dog can also sympathise with the plight of particular breeds – for example, podencos get notoriously poor treatment in Spain, and loving families may wish to do their bit to give one of these dogs a good home.
Another point to consider is the sheer volume of the problem in Spain. Shelters are overloaded and even if a small number of dogs can be adopted out of Spain then this takes some pressure off.
Help Adopting An Animal From Spain
If you have specific questions, the groups listed above will be a great place to start. Also check the governement guidelines for moving dogs between countries – here are the guidelines for the UK.