Tenerife is great for tourists. All that sun, sand, sea and sangria – what is not to like? And as a place to live, the island offers a friendly, relaxed pace in a pleasant climate. No wonder so many expats flock here to retire or looking for a new life in the sun.
Unfortunately the island is not always so kind to its four legged residents. Hunting season here is notoriously hard on the podencos and the treatment of older dogs by some hunters after the season is over is heartless – in cases, even sadistic. Then there are those who may not mean to be cruel, like the short term ‘swallows’ who come and go. Some of them casually leave behind the pets they picked up at the beginning of their stay like old socks that won’t fit in the suitcase. Maybe they think it does not get so cold here so hey.. the pet will survive just fine. Except of course it won’t. An abandoned dog left to its own devices could starve to death, die of thirst, get run over by a car, get sick – or it may join a pack and add to the current problem of wild dogs in the hills.
Then there are the feral cat families which can manage reasonably well as long as there is enough food to sustain them and they have access to water. In some areas, kindly individual Tenerife residents feed the feral cats and sometimes participate in trap, neuter, release programmes. There are also larger groups and registered charities that focus on rescueing, neutering and homing cats and kittens. But no amount of spaying and rehoming ever seems to put as much as a dent in the flood of new kittns born every spring.
Tenerife Animal Shelters
There are several animal shelters in Tenerife and all need support. Not everyone can donate money but dog and cat shelters need other things too. Bleach, food, blankets, newspapers…or some of your time… as Live Arico say on their Facebook page:
We also always need volunteers, your unwanted items for the shop, blankets, cleaning materials and food for the refuges. Please don’t throw anything away….you will be amazed at how resourceful we can be
There are usually one or two of the shelters represented at local car boot shows and markets so donated old books, clothes and household items for them to sell is a good idea and ther are also fund-raising shops and donations jars in different places around the island. Watch out too for fundraising events for the various groups that pop up throughout the year.
Very few of the animal shelters in Tenerife seem to be very good at updating their web pages. K9 is an exception but for the others, you are more likely to find the most up to date information on dogs looking for foster or forever homes on their Facebook pages. If any shelter has been left off the list below it is by oversight only. Just let me know and I will add links to any other groups supporting as Let me know in the comments or by email and I will glady add and I will be happy to add to the list who is working to benefit the island’s abandoned pets.