ANIMAL Care España (ACE) An animal rescue shelter in Spain has given the perfect Christmas present to more than 40 rescued dogs.
ACE was founded in December 1999 and has a rehousing programme for rescued animals, especially dogs, in various parts of Europe.
The charity recently found homes for 42 rescued dogs in Belgium. The dogs left the refuge centre in Spain last month and were delivered by a German company who specialises in the transportation of animals.
The journey to take rescued animals across the Spanish boarder, which took place at the end of last month, was was the third organised by ACE last year.
Since its beginnings in 1999, the charity has rescued and re-homed more than 23,000 cats and dogs.
The journey from Spain to Belgium took just under 24 hours where the dogs were met by their new owners, just in time for Christmas.
Before travelling overseas, the dogs were wormed, bathed and given a flea treatment. They also needed an official document from the OCCA (Spanish Ministry of Agriculture) confirming that they are in a healthy condition and fit to travel.
The administration side of the journey, paperwork, organisation of health checks and passports in advance is quite a major operation and actually takes longer and is often more complex than the actual journey.
The dogs themselves were loaded in less than an hour and with two drivers to take shifts behind the wheel, the journey took just over 20 hours.
The new, adoptive families, who of course have already been vetted, excitedly wait to take the dogs to their new, forever homes.
Experts in this area estimate that many of the animals that end up in shelters are lost and not abandoned. Therefore, people need to be aware of the importance of inserting their pets with microchips.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of animals all over the world become homeless.
The largest statistic of pet abandonment in Spain occurred in 2008, at a whopping 156,858. In 2016, that number fell to 137,782, the lowest to date, sine then Spain has seen a slight rise again in abandoned pets.