Save Our Spaniels
How it began
Save Our Spaniels (SOS) started from humble beginnings in 2015 with one poor emaciated, flea ridden cocker in Spain called Snoop. Laura Hurt and another like minded person, at different parts of the country, had a meeting of minds and desperately wanted to help other Spanish spaniels abandoned on the streets or dumped in the kill stations (perreras) across Spain.
With 400,000 strays in Spain, they can only help the tip of the iceberg, but in the last few years, they have managed to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome over 800 bretons (Brittanys) and spaniels. Whilst not exclusively assisting in Spain, SOS have taken dogs from the kill stations and shelters in the UK, Bosnia, Serbia, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and China.
What is their role?
They have volunteers in the UK and in Spain, who give their time and energy to assist these rescues. These volunteers (who receive no renumeration) may work and have families but still manage to put hours and hours of time each week into saving lives. 2022 was their busiest year – 247 dogs rescued; funds raised, exited from kill stations, transported to our Spanish residencia, microchipped, vaccinated, neutered, bloods taken, wormed\flead, Passport issued, surgeries performed,
medications administered, fosterers readied, UK transport booked.
Most of the dogs are emaciated with ear and eye infections, but quite a few have been abused or run over and have broken legs, hips, head injuries so they require a little more TLC to get ready for transport. We always prioritise the older or sick dogs first. Then they arrive in the UK to the wonderful loving arms of our volunteer fosterers, where they are house trained, washed, recall tested, fed until the spine and ribs aren’t visible anymore and loved, loved, loved.
The dogs are advertised on their website and Facebook page, applications are sent out, home-checks and meet and greets organised, adoption contracts typed up, and finally, the excited families get to meet their dogs!
What can be done to help?
The cost to prepare and transport each dog to the UK costs between £650-750, and all their funding comes from generous donations, fundraising and adoption fees (£400 for adult dogs and £475 for pups). They are truly grateful for all the help they receive through sponsored walks, auction donations, raffles and their legendary "Thermometer Emergency Fundraisers" run on their Facebook page (with over 50,000 members).
Sadly, not only has Brexit placed more pressure providing increased import documentation but import taxes have raised per dog and per transporter trip. The cost of transporting one dog from Spain to UK has risen from £300 to £400 per dog. All our rescues are health checked and microchipped. They all travel in DEFRA registered transporters vehicles with full IPAFFS (DEFRA registered) paperwork.
Initially they go into foster homes across the country to be assessed in order to match the right rescue to the right loving family. SOS offers lifetime rescue back up (should the adopters circumstances change in 6 months or 6 years time), the rescue dog will be returned to them and all dogs will be rehomed with an Adoption Contract detailing this information. In 2017, they became a registered Charity and in March 2019, Sue Johnston, Actress joined SOS as their Patron.
In 2017, they became a registered Charity and in March 2019, Sue Johnston, Actress joined SOS as their Patron.
If you are interested in fostering or adopting you can start by completing an application form via the website and if you have time to give to help them with other activities or fundraising they would love to hear from you. SOS Grantham, NG33 4PA.