The Perrera de Mogán, in Motor Grande at the back of Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, was for a long time in the past just a place to dump stray dogs waiting to be put down or transferred to the the main pound where less than 1/3 the animals who arrived ever left alive.
Over the last decade a culture shift has been led by various Animal Protection organisations, with the help of many volunteers, to move the focus away from eradication of stray animals, to their protection and instead the promotion of adoption for those found and the eradication of abandonment by irresponsible owners who should be held accountable for the cruelty of neglect.
Though often controversial, the policies now employed by the main dog shelter in the southern municipality, better known for its tourism, have really started to bear fruit. Though there is still occasional outcry regarding how the policies are affected, Mogán today is one of the leading municipal administrations on the island when it comes to humane animal control, the administration and natural management of feral feline colonies and has spearheaded an adoptions process and “no sacrifice” policy that is now seen as an example of best practice in the control and management of abandoned animals.
In 2016, following a serious shakeup of the animal protection services, the main Alburge de Bañaderos shelter, which had been run primarily by volunteers, was put under new systems management structures and refocused to work alongside the main Veterinarian College of Las Palmas to try and assess the viability of working to educate the population and to protect vulnerable animals so as to greatly reduce the need to put down the excessive numbers that were ending up in the shelters. Mogán, thanks to some of the pioneers of this work having operated among the foreign resident communities of the south, has managed to maintain a leading place in the development of animal welfare facilities and has gone on to become a progressive leader in the field.
The Municipality has once more awarded an ‘Animal protection and veterinary advice’ contract to the company Arpiplan, which is to include the collection of stray animals, the care of those in the municipal shelter and found on public roads and advise on any subject related to the veterinary field .
Mogán plans continue on its path of “zero sacrifice”, established in the municipality over the last few years.
With this agreement, the Town Hall say they have demonstrated their commitment to the protection of animals and concerns for their welfare, ensuring that there is social progress in this matter so that in the near future abandonment can be completely eradicated and adoptions be made responsibly.
Animals taken to the municipal shelter located in Motor Grande will be registered in a book of entrances and exits and, in cases of having been found wandering or been abandoned, their microchip will be read so as to enable proper identification and the locating of the legal owner responsible. In addition all will receive veterinary inspection, disinfection and deworming.
Likewise, in the case of unidentified roaming cats, these will be collected for sterilisation and returned to the same place to establish feline colonies, acting in accordance with the municipal ordinance on Protection and Tenure of Animals and the Project of Capture, Sterilisation and Return (CES), in which volunteers work together with the Town Hall of Mogán to control and properly feed the now sixty official colonies registered in the municipality.
Among the range of expected benefits from this well studied approach will be the ability also to monitor the sanitary status of the animals and the municipal shelter in which they are staying, so as to better carry out cures and treatments for any injured on public roads, a feeding program that should allow for better understanding of the feral population, their proper identification, and modifications necessary to the Zoocan Animal Registry as well as proper veterinary supervision of the Mogán adoption service, including “zero sacrifice” of animals.
Since 2016 no strays in the municipality have been unnecessarily put down and for at least ten years no animals have been taking to the main Bañaderos Alburge, the island animal refuge, managed by the Cabildo of Gran Canaria in association with the main veterinarian college, which has now officially asked the island’s municipalities to assume their proper responsibilities for animal welfare by creating similar types of municipal animal shelters or through agreements with recognised animal protection organisations, which up until now is a practice that has only been fulfilled in just three of the island’s 21 municipalities: Mogán, Ingenio and Agüimes.