I always love receiving stories of podencos which have found loving forever homes. Here's a rescue and rehoming story with a difference - David Tomlinson's tale is one which so many Brits moving to Spain and the Spanish Islands experience.
'We came to Fuerteventura (Canary Islands) to renovate an old stone house on a finca, about 20,000 sq meters in the middle of 400,000 meters. We live in a area used during the hunting season (here it's Bank Holidays and Sundays only Aug to Nov) by hunters with dogs, hunting rabbits. It seems now that frequently the dogs chase the rabbits for miles, get lost and the hunters leave them behind.
So one Monday in July 2005, a stray Podenco, turned up on our land. She was in pretty poor shape so we fed and watered her. We didn’t know what the system was so we contacted the local Police. They were very helpful but as the dog wasn’t microchipped they asked us if we wanted to keep her. The alternative was that she went to the dogs home and would be destroyed after 21 days. We were also told that if the owner turned up we could recover our costs. We agreed to keep her.
We took her to the vet to be checked and micro chipped, he said she was in good health but failed to spot that she was pregnant. So after three weeks much to our surprise we had 8 podenco puppies. We tried to find homes for these puppies without success. We could not bring ourselves to have them destroyed.
During the hunting season 2006, three further stray Podencos turned up. One had been poisoned and was staggering, we rushed her to the vets and they administered an antidote and she recovered. One was in fact chipped and we traced the owner who told us the dog was now useless and he would shoot it immediately, so we kept it. Also that year in addition to the hunting dogs, a stray Rottweiler came along, again it was chipped but the owners could not be traced.
2007 three more Podencos arrived on our land, without chips. Two seriously injured, more trips to the vet.
2008 friends who were birdwatching nearby found a small Podenco dog chained to a fence, the chain was so short the dog could not lie down. It was skeletal and near to death, the vet said it would have been dead in 4 hours. We nursed it back to health.
In 2009 /2010 we collected another 4 dogs, another rottweiller, a pit bull and 2 chow crosses.
By 2011 we had a total of 26 dogs. We only managed to re-home 3. Of the 23 remaining some were quite old and since then 11 have died. We currently care for 12 dogs. As we have the dogs spread over the whole land, in groups, we believe feeding them attracted wild cats of which there were plenty. By June 2011 we were also feeding 44 cats. We were very grateful to the Twinkle Trust who helped reduce this number and now we only have 2.
Fortunately we have plenty of space and we give the dogs the best care we can. One of the Podencos is diabetic and has insulin injections twice daily, she is now doing
Here is a pic of the Podenco mum and pups playing. We had to keep the black dog on a chain while we built a fence, he was gone otherwise. Podenco Mum and daughter on the sofa, these podencos make themselves at home. Cats and more cats pix below. The poor white dog below was in a terrible state but we got him well and found a new home for him.
Realistically with 12 dogs the amount of time you can spend with each dog in a day is limited. A great deal of time is spent on the dogs in one way or another. Our whole day is planned around the dogs and the other animals. I walk 5 dogs everyday so they generally get a walk every other day but they have plenty of room to run around.
Building the house has suffered. It still isn’t finished. We currently spend between £400 -£450 per month on animal food. This doesn’t include vets fees and the usual treatments that dogs need. Then of course there are the donkeys, goats and sheep. Another long sad story.'
Thank you for sharing your story, thank goodness you are there for the animals.