paw The sun shone, the shoppers came out in force to stock up for the weekend – and a group of 12 tireless PAWS volunteers working in shifts manged to collect a hugely impressive 668 kilos of free food for the shelter. It was the kind of fundraising event which has been the absolute bedrock of PAWS survival as a self-supporting charity over the past 25 years.

Supermarket collections, both locally and in Holland, have become more regular in recent years, including a similar one last year outside Mercadona. They have all made useful contributions to the shelter food stocks, although none had previously collected quite as much as this one, held on Saturday 28th March, between 9.30 am and 8.15 pm.

It is not just a valuable occasion for the free food collected, and the saving it brings in food bills at the shelter; it is a first-class opportunity to keep PAWS – and its 365 days a year needs – firmly in the public consciousness. There were PAWS informations tables both outside the main entrance and on the way into the car park. The majority of shoppers stopped to ask what was happening, giving volunteers a chance to explain why food was being collected and to urge a an extra purchase to be donated to PAWS on the way out.

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A delighted shelter manager Yvonne (centre, pink top) talking to volunteers outsidee the front entrance.
The information table, stocked with information leaflets, photos and a collecting tin

paw The food collected covered every part of the shelter’s needs: dry and wet food for both dogs and cats, puppies and kittens .. and even some extra treats tossed in as a bonus. The shoppers who gave so generously were also a wide cross-section of Mojácar’s cosmopolitan community – local residents and visitors, both Spanish and a variety of expat nationalities.

Food bills are the shelter’s second largest expense (after medication and veterinary treatment). But the outlook for 2015 is very good. With a major new sponsorship deal from the food suppliers MedicAnimal, combined with local food collections both in Spain and in Holland, it is possible we may not need to spend any money on purchasing food for the shelter. Shelter Manager Yvonne Tromp reported recently that we are “currently in better shape now than for a very long time as regards food stocks at the shelter.”

The collecting day was organised by Anika and Martin Poort, with enthusiastic help from volunteers Kate, Ana, Giovanna, Nora, Bunny & Trevor, Ann & Brad, Marguerite, Rosemary, Karina, Ismael and Maria del Mar. PAWS grateful thanks go to all of them, to Mercadona for allowing us to collect outside their premises and the Ayuntamiento de Mojácar for granting the necessary collecting licence.