ORIHUELA animal lovers breathed a sigh of relief recently, when the PP town hall reversed a decision to award the contract for the Animal Protection Centre in San Bartolome to a waste disposal company from Murcia.
After promising the contract last November to the animal charity ASOKA, which had been running the shelter, Mayor Emilio Bascuñana’s minority council then claimed that the zero kill animal association did not have sufficient financial backing to operate the centre, even though they had survived after the town hall were often months behind with their monthly payments to ASOKA during the previous contract. After a very impressive online petition gathered more than 6,000 signatures and a vocal campaign of newspaper, radio and TV coverage, the council looked again at the decision. ASOKA were concerned that the paperwork and figures had not all been taken into consideration and successfully asked for the decision to be reconsidered.
Nick Moore, volunteer at ASOKA said: “We’re relieved the decision went our way and we have a new two year contract renewable after two years. ASOKA’s mission has always been to re-home and care for all abandoned animals in our area. We feed and treat them if they’re ill. This is obviously not what a ‘for profit’ company would bother to do.” He added: “We’re aware though that the work across Spain to get a zero kill policy in every animal pound continues. Centres like Los Infiernos, near Murcia, had an identical scenario to us but lost. We need to shame those town halls that allow businesses to run these centres for profit and let them know that in 2017 it is barbaric that abandoned animals are treated so badly.”
ASOKA currently houses 160 dogs, 100 cats, eight pigs, two goats, two ponies and three pigeons. If you are interested in adoption, fostering or volunteering then please email [email protected].