Altea residents urged to adopt, not buy pets at Christmas

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Altea residents urged to adopt, not buy pets at Christmas
CHRISTMAS CAMPAIGN: Marijke Viezee, Jose Luis Leon Gascon and Mariola Terrer Photo credit: Altea town hall

ALTEA town hall is currently spreading the message that animals are not toys.

Launching the Los animales no son un juguete campaign, Health and Animal Welfare councillor Jose Luis Leon Gascon pointed out that animals are often given as Christmas presents.

“Animals feel and suffer like us,” Leon Gascon said. “They have to be looked after and fed, we must guarantee their wellbeing in society and provide them with respect.”

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The councillor was accompanied by Marijke Viezee, representing the Gatos Felices association and Mariola Terrer from Somos Gos. One hundred animals were abandoned or lost in Altea during 2021 and all stressed the need to adopt, not buy, pets.

“What is most important is that we are on the way to ethical management of the cat colonies feeding, de-fleaing, worming and sterilising the animals,” Marijke Viezee said.

“We have carried out a census and visited the colonies but there is a lot of work ahead of us,” she added.


Eighty-eight female cats and 63 males were sterilised this year in Altea via the trap, neuter and return (CER) method with a €13,000 municipal grant, Leon Gascon said.

In 2022, the town hall will allocate €38,400 to local animal protection associations, of which €12,000 will be assigned to the cat colonies and neutering.


Linda came to Spain to live when she was 24, just over 52 years ago, and her husband is Spanish. She began writing for English-language local newspapers in the mid-1970s and hasn’t stopped since! She leads a Spanish life, which she believes is vital when conveying the news to English-speaking residents, and along the way she produced two editions of Expand Your Spanish, helping English-speakers to enlarge their knowledge of the language. She was excited to be in at the birth of the Euro Weekly News in 1999 and is still passionately writing for the paper 22 years later.

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