"Happy Animales Spanien" is a registered charity which is committed to the welfare of impoverished and abandoned animals. You will find it, 2 or 3 km north of Villamartin on the right hand side of the canal, heading toward San Miguel de Salinas, and believe me, it is well worth a visit.
Accommodated in outbuildings in and around an old finca the volunteers look after a variety of abandoned and sick animals that would otherwise starve to death or be put down. Currently in their charge there are three ponies, half a dozen horses, two pot bellied pigs, six or seven goats, chickens and a couple of dogs, a number of which are in need of regular medication or medical attention.
Founded only a couple of years ago, in spring 2013, the charity came about when the owner of a horse riding school located on the site fell on hard times. Mona Novak Fassbinder was a regular client, she often rode out and when she began to see a deterioration in the condition of the horses she decided that action must be taken, so together with a few friends, she set about tackling the numerous problems.
Initially food was purchased for the animals with their own money. The group then embarked on a fund raising mission collecting anything and everything that they could sell on for a profit. Local companies were approached for donations; friends were cajoled into helping, and so began the formation of the Happy Animales Charity.
Since those early days there have been many developments, the charity has now been formalized, the site secured, and a number of volunteers attend the centre on a regular basis but as the establishment became known to the wider public it also attracted the regular arrival of new animals, most of them also in need of help and medication.
But the charity’s success brings with it, of course, many additional problems, not least of which is the need for additional funding and volunteers.
Financially it survives on donations from members of the public, in addition to which there is an onsite bbq and entertainment on the last Saturday of every month. When I was shown around the site by Sol last weekend local vocalist Anni Perko was singing to a crowd of about a hundred people who were all enjoying the best of German refreshment and cuisine.
“We really do need far more help and funding than we are currently able to attract” she said. “I think that there are many people who simply don’t know that we exist so close to Villamartin so I am hoping that the publicity that you are able to give us in the Leader might help to change all that”.
More information, including contact details, is available on their website at www.happyanimalesspanien.com or on Facebook at Finca de San Miguel de Salinas where you will find details of how you can either donate, become a member of the Association, sponsor an animal from just 5 euro a month, or volunteer your time and help.
Alternatively you can email sol at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will be happy to have a chat and even show you around.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/47508/