For the second time this year (2013), young volunteers from the Animalia charity in Germany arrived to stay in the shelter caravans and help with the dogs. And for the second time this year they brought a donation with them. Carina (right) and Annika – seen here with shelter manager Yvonne Tromp, handed over a cheque for €200 – bringing the total donations from Animalia up to€750.
In April it had been the turn of Stephanie, Mayleen and Ann (pictured below with joint manager Didi Arias) to spend 10 days with us and hand over €400. The full story of of how Animalia volunteers came to forge a link with PAWS is toldbelow the video which Mayleen made of her latest visit.
Already seasoned animal activists – at 19!
(May 2012) Carina, Andrea and Mayleen (above left to right) are three 19-year-old German girls who chose to do their first stint as volunteers at an animal shelter with PAWS. But they are no strangers to animal activism. Five years ago, at only 14, they helped found an animal protection group (first called Teens4Animals, now Animalia), to try to educate other young people about animal rights and welfare. .
“Volunteering at an animal shelter has always been a dream for every one of us. We’ve all had animals since we were little (cats, dogs + rabbits) and we can’t imagine a life without our beloved four-legged friends. None of us has volunteered regulary at an animal shelter before, but we still tried to help by being foster families for dogs or cats or helping at open days.”
When another member of the group moved to Madrid for a couple of years, she wrote back about the days she spent volunteering at a local animal shelter. “We were all impressed by what she told us and therefore decided that we’d like to work at an animal shelter abroad as well. We found the PAWS website on the internet and loved it immediately. So we booked ourselves in to come at the beginnig of April, and our dream began to come true.
They arrived at a time when the shelter was under real pressure – a whole raft of very young puppies had been abandoned and brought in needing intensive care, and there were a couple of shocking cases of animal cruety to deal with. But the girls got stuck in from the first day and worked really hard. “It may have been the first time they had volunteered at a shelter” said Shelter Manage Yvonne, “but they came with a lot of knowledge and they took direction very well. It was a pleasure to have them here working with us.”
Mayleen was the best English-speaker of the three, and became the spokesperson for the group: “Our time at the shelter has been a wonderful experience and we loved every second of it. All the people who work for PAWS are dedicated to the dogs and really friendly, and the dogs themselves are just lovely. We got especially attached to the G-Pups George, Geronimo and Geoffrey who were dropped at the gate during our stay. To watch them turn from scared, malnourished babies into happy and cheerful puppies in just a few days was great. We do hope they’ll find great homes soon!“
(photos above and below by Lina Forslund Löfgren)
Even before George, Geoffrey (above left) and Geronimo arrived the girls had beed busy working their contacts back in Germany to raise money for another small dog, Tessie, who had been brought in with horrific injuries. Before they left to return home they were able to hand over €150 to help pay for Tessie’s treatment (see the story here). And they are already at work collecting food and medicines for the PAWS shelter, to be brought back on the next PAWS van to transport dogs to Germany. They had a lot of success doing the same thing in 2010 for the shelter in Madrid where their friend was volunteering.
“We were so sad that we had to leave after not even two weeks and are already planning to come back this summer or autumn!”
Andrea, Mayleen and Carina handing over €150 to Joint Shelter Manager Didi Arias
Yoy can see the video below which Mayleen made of the girls’ visit to PAWS