(Agencies) The Protectora de Animales del Campo de Gibraltar (Animal Protection, or Prodean in its Spanish acronym) is overwhelmed by almost 600 animals it is taking care of at its shelter in La Línea: some 400 dogs and 180 cats. About 700 dogs per year are adopted by families abroad. The President of the society, Carmen Ardilas, knows that the arrival of summer brings with it an increase in abandoned pets. She also says that over the last few months there has been an unusual increase in cats being taken to the shelter, kittens as well as adults. “We have never known anything like it,” she adds. These are the reasons Prodean will begin a campaign>
in the Campo to increase awareness of the problem. “Previous campaigns have been very successful,” says Ardilas, “and the level of awareness has increased considerably in the district.”
But Prodean also collects animals from the province of Cádiz, as well as around Sevilla, where there are no animal shelters. “The problem in the rural areas comes from hunting dogs being abandoned at the end of the season because not all dogs in a litter are good at their jobs,” says Ardilas. She estimates that some 250,000 animals are abandoned in the country each year, mostly hunting dogs. And another 50,000 are killed outright.
Many of Prodean’s dogs ed up adopted by families in Holland, Belgium and Denmark thanks to arrangements with two animal welfare societies, one in Belgium, the other in Holland. “People think that a puppy will adapt itself better to a home,” says the President of Prodean, “but in fact this is not so. An abandoned adult dog will take about a week to adapt to a new home. And they are always so grateful…”