This week’s ‘Woof Wednesday’ story is about a tiny podenco, ‘Little Pod’, who stole a lot of hearts and made a very big impression, and the loving people who set up the Little Pod Association.
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The story of the Little Pod Association really starts before ‘Little Pod’ herself was born. A podenco called Tara was being cared for by vets Wills and Eva at CanisaX, a veterinary clinic. Tara needed many months of intensive care. Her story has a happy ending – dog-lovers Angela and Richard decided to rescue her, and give her the home she deserved. They realised that the vets who looked after Tara had funded all of her treatments themselves out of compassion for abandoned, mistreated animals. They decided to help raise some funds to keep their good work going, and started a tabletop sale. This snowballed over the years, and the profits were used to fund food and vets bills for various animal charities and associations.
In 2011, Angela and Richard fostered a little podenco puppy, who they saved from a perrera. Known by those who met her as ‘Little Pod’, she got used to home comforts quickly, enjoying being cuddled and having the chance to be a normal puppy after her tough start. However, despite getting the best care, Little Pod had contracted parvo and was too weak to fight it. She passed away after only a few days in their care.
She had made a big impression on everyone who met her, and had become a bit of a social media star. Hundreds of people loved following her progress on Facebook as she had grown into a happy, confident little puppy. Everyone was heartbroken at her loss, but there was comfort to be found because she had bought about a greater awareness of perreras and animal welfare problems. Her legacy hadn’t finished growing, though.
Little Pod Association
Meanwhile, the tabletop sales and fundraising had been increasing in size. They decided to register as a charity, so in May 2011 the ‘Little Pod Association‘ was founded by Angela Stacey, Nicky Kehoe, Jan Joines and Marie Stacey in memory of Little Pod to help even more cats and dogs in the Orihuela Costa area.
The role of the association evolved from just fundraising, and they now have rescue dogs and cats in their care, too. The funds they raise go directly towards helping animals in need, whether that’s giving them shelter or funding medical treatments. They work with vets and rescue centres to help as many animals as possible, but podencos and kittens/cats are their real passion.
They also run a feral cat programme in the local area, which includes getting them neutered/spayed to control the population and checked over before being returned to their colony. It’s not unusual for abandoned kittens to be bought to them for care.
Little Pod’s Legacy
Many of the animals that the Association look after or fund have been very badly treated. Estrella for example is a dog who arrived absolutely terrified of people, and in a very bad way. After months of love and care she built confidence, and this video of her in 2015 shows how far even the most terrified dogs can come with gentle treatment. Estrella eventually found a loving new family who take care of animals who need special care. Anglea says that although she still has her problems, Estrella is safe and loved and that’s what’s important.
Currently, the Association looks after 16 dogs and over 70 cats and kittens. The youngest kitten they have at the moment is Humbug, who is less than a week old. He really is tiny, but as you can see, he’s a little fighter!
Because of Little Pod, and the loving people who work hard in her memory, hundreds of animals have had their lives saved or improved. Kittens like Humbug have a fighting chance, and more pooches like Estrella end up in loving homes. That’s a big legacy for such a little podenco!
Thank you to Angela for giving me the information needed to write this story. If you’re touched by Little Pod’s story then you can visit the association on Facebook or on their website to see more of their work, and find out how you can help or donate to the cause.