We recently spoke to Becky who used to live in Spain and is now based in the UK. Becky runs a Dog re-homing Facebook group with over 21,000 members called “Just a chance Spain and UK”. She uses "Just a chance" to open up adoptions of Dogs from Spain to the UK, giving Dogs a bigger chance of finding a new home. Becky has been involved in re-homing Dogs in Spain via Facebook for over 11 years, so she has been able to use her connections in both countries to very effectively co-ordinate the re-homing of Spanish homeless dogs to families in the UK.
this helps to relieve the pressure on dog shelters here in Spain! The experience Becky has gained in re-homing dogs, and the large network of people that support her work now means that she has a very high success rate of rehoming dogs. What keeps her going is her passion for helping any dog in need, making her highly admired in the dog re-homing community. It has to be said that she works very long hours, which also demonstrates her hard work and commitment to the cause.
It was lovely to be able to ask Becky about what started off this journey for her, and learn a bit about how it all works. If you would like to adopt a dog either here or in the uk, or help by way of sharing her posts on facebook, please don't hesitate to get in touch with either Just a chance Spain and UK or our team at Protectapet Spain.
I have two dogs and a mad cockatoo! My babies are my life, Tilly is now 11 years old, she was due to be killed in one of the Spanish killing stations and we got her out. At that time I had three German Shepherds (rescues), so i was fostering Tilly until she went to a UK rescue centre. When Tilly arrived i rushed up to give her cuddles! Mark said no!!! Tilly was so terrified , that if anyone went near her she snapped at them. Even the Pet transporter who brought her to us refused to attempt to get her out of the van! We had to basically very slowly, show her love, build her confidence and let her see that she was safe. Now she is the most loving little girl in the world.
So many give up on dogs that need re-homing when they start off being afraid and perhaps sometimes aggressive, and this is living proof that dogs must be given time, love and patience. Tilly is my very precious baby. Her only hang-up now is if she hears a 'ping' on a computer or mobile phone she goes into shake mode!!!! Still no idea why!
Pepe, another dog that was living with a hoarder in Spain who had 50 dogs, which was rescued, i ended up fostering ! He too, was terrified and all of his fur was heavily matted. He didn´t like other dogs, probably because he had always had to fight for his food. When you cuddled him he looked at you as if to say, what are you doing? He clearly never had any “one to one” time in his life. He did not understand what a toy was, and still doesn´t. .. Many, many times we have tried to get him to play, but he wont. Pepe is my little shadow. One thing he does, which still bewilders me, is that he nibbles my hair! No idea why!
I started using Facebook to help re-home dogs in Spain in 2011, so about 11 years ago now!
One day Mark, my husband, and I set off to a car boot about an hour away. When we got there they were full, so we turned round to go home. On the motorway Mark noticed something in the road, it was a battered and broken Belgian Shepherd dog. We thought she was dead, she was in fact very close to dying. We got her in the car and shot to the vets. They basically said she was in a very, very, bad way and they wanted to put her to sleep. No way were we doing that! We took her home, named her Cindy, fed her through a syringe, and took turns in watching her and talking to her.
After many weeks Cindy actually stood up! She was very wobbly, and had no balance. We could not keep her, as much as i wanted to because my 3 Shepherd dogs would not accept her. That is when i found Facebook. We found her a wonderful home up in the mountains and visited her every week. She never forgot us and i cried every time we left. She was always a bit off balance, but she was happy and lived for years after.
Cindy was our very first successful adoption!
I use my own profile and only use it to promote dogs that need a home. I also have my own group where i share posts about homeless dogs for UK rescue centres, they save the dogs from Spain, as well as Spanish rescue centres. The way i see it, the more dogs I can home in the UK, the more dogs the UK rescue centres save from Spain! I do not know how to thank the UK rescue centres for all they do.
My Facebook group is called “Just a chance Spain and UK” I have 21,400 members and have been running it for nearly 2 years. It is dedicated solely to the re-homing of Spanish homeless dogs in Spain or to the uk, members are therefore based either in Spain or the UK. We share posts and updates in the group and on our personal Facebook profiles to get the biggest reach we can get. We encourage new members to join us and get involved and share my posts.
Oh crikey that´s a hard one. For the first few years we never really kept a count, but when we did, we averaged 1,400 dogs a year.
The normal process is to first have a really good chat to the potential adopter. Then a home-check would be done, we use a fantastic network of home-checkers in the UK that will visit the potential home and ask many questions. They will also fill in the paperwork. The report would be sent to us for assessment. If the new home is in the UK we would work with the UK rescues centres to arrange a rescue “back up”, just in case the adoption failed for any reason.
Yes, an adoption fee can vary from shelter to shelter. It is usually from 100-200€. This cost would cover the passport, all relevant vaccinations and a microchip. If the adoption is in the UK, then transport costs would also have to be paid, which can vary from £300.00 - £500.00.
Home-checks are vital, we would never home a dog without one.
I always feel so, so sad for the ones that are called 'PPP dogs'. They are classed as dangerous dogs. Staffordshire bull terriers and Pitbull breeds are always in need of a home.
Yes it is very helpful, it could mean a dogs life could be saved. It can also help a stressed and scared dog learn to trust humans again. I should also point out that foster homes can often get help with dog food, medication and vet bills if needed.
I was a registered charity in Spain until almost 2 years ago. I handed my charity over with the thought of retiring after a health scare, but here i still am!!!! When it's in your blood, there´s not a lot you can do about it!
APAMA Nature rescue centre have poor, poor Romeo. He was in such a bad state when he was found, he had high levels of Leishmania with sores and ulcers all over his body. Additionally, we have since discovered he has a hole in his heart - he is the one holding my heart right now.
Because of the Leishmania, it is not easy to find him his forever home as he needs to take one tablet a day at a cost of 1,50€ per day. It is very, very sad. He is 8-9 years old and so desperately deserves lots of love and cuddles. Romeo is looking for his "Juliet" and he is ready for a LONG term relationship!
If you would like to re-home the gorgeous Romeo or you know someone who might, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Becky via her dog re-homing Facebook group.
If you have doubts regarding the fact he has Leishmaniasis please read our article "Leishmaniasis in Dogs and Cats in Spain". It will tell you what Leishmaniasis is, what the symptoms are and most importantly, going forwards with Romeo - living with Leishmaniasis. As you can see from the photos of Romeo, now that he has Leishmaniasis under control with his daily medication, his health has improved dramatically!!
Of course, its not always possible to simply adopt a dog... However, there are other ways you can help:
- Consider Fostering a dog, this is usually a short term stay whilst Becky continues to try and find a permanent loving home.
- Join Becky´s Facebook group "Just a chance Spain and UK" and get involved with the online community by "liking and sharing the appeals".
Help us protect and rehome those pets most vulnerable in Spain.
Protectapet support most dog and cat related issues including re-homing dogs, dogs for the blind, charities and organistions that offer shelter and care to animals that have been rescued. These articles are part of Protectapet supporting these organisations within Spain. If your charity or organisation would like to take part in, or be featured by Protectapet on our website, and within our corporate social media campaigns, to create additional awareness, then please contact Tangalina and let her know of your association or animal welfare cause.
We hope you enjoyed learning about Becky´s dog re-homing Facebook group and the progress she has made to find new homes for lots of abandoned dogs in Spain and the UK.
You may also like to read about:
Mandi at Apama Nature animal rescue and re-homing.