I’m sorry, what are we talking about here? Pedigree chihuahuas? Prize winning greyhounds? No, we’re talking about campo dogs.
So, PAWS blew 145,000€ – their figure, not mine! – to rehome a lousy 301 dogs and some 50 cats in 2011.
Sit back, let that sink in. 301 dogs = 145,000€. Every single penny donated by the animal loving slightly elderly English public of the Levante.
145,000€. For Christs sake.
The first thing that jumps to mind, of course, is that it may very well cost 415€ to rehome a dog. I’m not disputing this. But is PAWS really the only animal shelter that gives these animals away? Surely, once the animals are in Holland or wherever they go to, the eventual owner buys the damn animal? They do with every other shelter I’ve ever heard of. So what happens to that money? In fact, we know PAWS sells these animals in the low countries, because their partners (who went bust last year, I’m not surprised with this business model) used to send them around 40,000€ a year (again, figures from PAWS).
I’m sorry. Local townhalls will catch and remove stray animals they find (the mancomunidad actually employs a gentleman with a net whose only job is to go round removing strays). Take any unwanted pets to your local policeman who will send them off to the municipal pound, free, gratis, for nada. Paid for out of our taxes, as a public service.
The SP.A. Roquetas animal society manages around 400 dogs on a monthly budget of around 9,000€ (call it 108,000€ a year). Dogs come in, dogs go out. Yes, they’re always desperate for cash, but they work with local townhalls and volunteers, and manage to get by, on government grants and the fund raising of their members. (I’m going off a newspaper interview with them I found from 2010). They have a “fixed” population of older animals that they find it difficult to rehome, but manage to rehome many of the puppies that come to them in the local area. They, too, send off animals to central Europe for rehoming, and use the cash to save more pets. PAWS manages to look after 135 dogs and 25 cats, on a bigger budget (according to this news story)
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not attacking PAWS, which has worked hard for many years to rehome strays in the areas. But if these figures are true – and since PAWS doesn’t publish their annual budget, or even tell us who is the “independent auditor” who goes over their books they crow about on their webpage – then the only information we have is that which this rather secretive organisation, which publishes no accounts of its budget, doesn’t work with local authorities in order get public money and seems to want to burn through even more of our donations, wishes to reveal via sensational press releases.
And to me, it looks like their business model is a decade out of date.