Working as a volunteer at the Scooby Shelter in April 2011

After spending the last 5 years of holidays at a dog shelter in Macedonian, the owner is now trying to close down the shelter because of the very bad conditions she is forced to work under from the culture towards animals in the country.

Even though the owners and the very few volunteers who come from abroad are fighting for the rights of the animals, she has now reach a point where she can no longer go on. Sadly sometimes the opponent with the locals and government is just too hard to fight.

Therefore I started looking up other shelters in Europe where I could go and work as a volunteer. Soon I was looking into The Scooby Shelter in Spain. I was able to read a lot about the shelter and the animals there, because of a very informative homepage and other links and videos. Sadly Spain has a long history of treating especially the galgos very badly. The galgos are used for hunting and bread all over the country. But at the age of 2-3 years, they are not considered to be useful anymore and therefore are thrown away as garbage.

Luckily Scooby has been taking care of these poor souls for over 22 years now, and has saved innumerable animals as well as given them a second chance in life. The size of Scooby Shelter makes it the biggest one in Spain, and because they also take care of other animals such as cats, horses, donkeys, pigs, birds and any other animal that need help, I decided to offer my help. Therefore I visited Scooby for the first time as a volunteer in April 2011.

I was very pleased to see, that the organization of Scooby has rules and guideline to follow, also for the volunteers to come work there. All for the sake and safety of the animals. If your heart is at the right place for the animals this no problem at all to follow. So even before coming to the shelter for the first time, I felt very much informed and had been in good contact with the people involved. Everyone from the beginning was very friendly and helpful towards me.

So, with a lot of excitement to go work with animals again I arrived at Scooby , and was overwhelmed by the size of the place as well as the amount of animals. But from day I saw, that even though this is a everyday challenge to overcome for the people working at Scooby, everything is very well organized.

The daily routine for a volunteer starts in the morning and includes everything from cleaning out the cages, to feeding the animals, looking out for any sick or injured animals, preparing the food, any help needed around the shelter and of course attending care and support the animals.

During my stay for ten days about 25 dogs, mainly galgos, were brought to Paris by some of the workers of the shelter. It was very nice to see, that this happens so that the animals only stay at a shelter for as shortly as possible. Since then Scooby has sent on even more dogs, which they do as often as possible. This is only possible because of hard work from Scooby as well as the organizations aboard, which they work together with.

I loved every minute at Scooby, and even though the animals are brought in with injuries and a very sad past, everyone does his best to give them all a second chance in life. The time together with the animals, is so rewarding and I´m always amazed to see how much faith they still have in people. The love that they give is priceless and I can only highly recommend others to work as a volunteer for these animals. They need all the help they can get.

Working at Scooby is in itself a very pleasant experience, everyone treated me very nice and there was also time to have a bit of fun and good laughs together.

I´m looking very much forward to coming back this summer, and to see all the animals and the people again.

By Malene Andersen, Denmark.