We recently interviewed Hayley from Akira Dog Sanctuary – Protectora de Animales de Teulada, Moraira y Benissa, which is a registered Charity CIF No G54557574 based in Benissa on the Costa Blanca. Akira Dog Sanctuary was formed in 2011 to rescue and re-home abandoned dogs. The team at Akira Dog Sanctuary work extremely hard to fulfill their mission to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home abandonded and abused dogs in their area.
As you can imagine, there is a huge amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to finance the operation. The charity runs the Akira charity shop, and they recruit businesses to sponsor them and organize many different types of fundraisers such as local quiz nights and auctions. Akira have an informative website where you can view the dogs in need of homes, the "Dog" of the week, catch up on the latest news, find out about the next fundraising event and hit the donate button, go on… you know you want to!
I personally have 2 rescue dogs that i rescued from Akira Dog Shelter back in 2017 and another in 2019. The first is Bernie who was 6 years old at the time, he was one of the first dogs brought into the shelter when it first opened. Bernie was a long termer and had been at the shelter for 3 years in the temporary kennels before the permanent Akira Dog Shelter was finished. He is now is around 11 years old and is a Leishmania positive dog.
My other dog is Rosie-lee, she was found as a stray and no body came to collect her, so she started as a foster dog in my home and became a happy foster fail, never leaving our home! Rosie-lee is another senior dog, we are not sure of her age but it is definitely double figures!
The previous social media profiles we had for Akira Dog Shelter didn't reach as many people as we needed for some reason. We needed and therefore completed a Social Media "revamp" to attract more followers, we now have consistent features, more interactive videos and updates about what´s going on at the shelter. We continually need to reach more and more people to show them what we do and to help raise money for Akira. Every year it costs around 117,000€ to run the shelter and our vet bills are close to 37,500€ obviously varying on what cases and treatment is needed.
The Akira board discussed that we needed a new start, so a fresh new Facebook page was created in 2019 with a new style and much more activity to try and reach new people. The page has evolved over time, with regular features and building a stream lined appearance for certain posts to make them easily recognisable. We strive to show that we are a community, a family and not a corporate business. It is important to us at Akira to keep a family feel to the Facebook page.
We also promote Akira on Instagram, Twitter and even Tiktok now! Its a great way to show off photos and videos of the Dogs that need re-homing, the videos particulary help prospective adopters to see the temperament of the dogs!
I share dog appeals and notices directly from the Akira business page to our followers, and on occasion use my own profile to post into many different community groups on Facebook.
We have our "Happy Tails" group, this is for regular physical volunteers only and is run jointly between myself and another member of the team, Rachel who is a dog behaviourist. This group has been running approx for a year and we have 55 members who are Akira volunteers
When the physical shelter was first opened back in 2011, the president remembers a Mastin named Dave who was adopted by the Akira Shelter´s manager at the time. Mastins are a lovely giant breed.
Akira has been going for many years and we now average approx 250 adoptions a year. Last year we had 254 found and 52 surrendered and this year we´ve had 34 puppies at the shelter.
When someone wants to re-home a dog, we invite them where possible to come and meet the dog first, but obviously this is not possible on all occasions. We ask for a 20€ reservation fee which will be deducted from the adoption total if the adoption is a success. We then arrange a home check in person or via live video, so we can assess and make sure that the home is secure and suitable for the individual dog. If the home check passes then the chosen dog will have a 2 week home trial to ensure everyone, dog and humans are happy. Once the home check and trial is passed ,the adoption is completed and the change of ownership is done at the vets.
We ask for an adoption fee of 195€, this covers the costs of sterilisation (where applicable) full vaccinations, microchip, passport and treatments for parasites worming tablets, flea treatments.
Yes, always because we need to make sure that the property is secure and that the home is the right environment for the chosen dog. Every dog has their own individual needs, it might be that the potential owners lifestyle is not compatible, for example some dogs would be ok to be left alone for a few hours whilst the owner works, another dog would struggle with separation anxiety for instance. Some dogs absolutely need a home with a garden, other dogs would be happy in an apartment.
We have all sorts of dogs from puppies to adult dogs who have been found as a stray. There are dogs who have been surrendered by owners for various reasons, quite often the owners are old and have to go into care but can not take the dog. So, we often have some very much loved pets with us who need to find a new home. We have all different breeds including pure breeds here at Akira, it is not only mixed breeds who find themselves looking for new homes.
We ask for fosters only when a dog is in need of medical care. They often need a bit of calm and quiet time for recovery after certain operations.
Yes, all costs are covered if you foster a Akira dog.
We have a bonded pair called Dobby and Jessie. They were found together wandering the streets and were the most unlikely couple. They were skinny, covered in ticks and both needed treatments and some tlc to bring them back up to full health.
It later transpired they had belonged to an elderly couple and they had escaped. The family were not able to take them back and care for them so they are still searching for a new home. Dobby is 5 years old and Jessie is 4 years old. They are a the ultimate “Triple Threat Duo” because they love kisses, cuddles and kiddies. Jessie has the most adorably toothy smile you just have to meet them! They are house trained, walk well on the leash and are both sterilised and vaccinated.
We would love to find a forever home for Dobby and Jessie where they can stay together forever.
you can see the cute couple "Dobby and Jessie" (above) that would love to be part of a loving family!
Speak to a member of the team at Akira about adopting, maybe you would like to give a lovely home to Dobby and Jessie! You can view all the dogs that are waiting for their furever home at Akira on their website or via their social media profiles.
Maybe you are not sure if you can commit long term to the responsibility of having a dog in the family. If so, fostering a dog could be an option for you. Fostering a dog would make a space in Akira´s shelter so that they could save and care for another abandoned dog!
Volunteer at Akira Shelter - help out, cuddle and walk the dogs.. they need very much to have quality time with humans and build trust.
If you can, donate... every little helps. Your donations will help provide shelter, food and treats for the dogs, blankets and beds, cover medical expenses, transportation costs for rescue dogs and more.
Please get following and sharing the posts that Akira make, there are appeals, dog of the week, and schedules of up and coming Akira charity events. Use your social media to help to spread the word to friends and family. If you are local, attend a quiz night where you can socialize, help raise funds and have fun at the same time!
We at Protectapet want to help raise awareness of the work that Pet Charities & Organisations do in the community to protect animals. The Animal charities work tirelessly to rescue, rehabilitate, provide medical support, food and shelter to animals in need. Some animal charities also implement vaccination and sterlisation programmes, to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases and to help control the stray dog population of Spain. It gives us at Protectapet much pleasure to be able to spotlight the people behind the scenes, and hopefully help to build more support for these Animal charities and organisations.
If your Animal charity or organisation would like to be involved in a feature by Protectapet - to be published on our website, and included in our corporate social media campaigns, please contact Tangalina and let her know of your association or animal welfare cause.
We hope you enjoyed reading about Hayley and Akira Animal Sanctuary here in Spain.
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