Fostering Dogs in Tenerife

Today’s guest post is from a lady by the name of Steph Tufft,  a Veterinary Nurse from the UK living here in the South of Tenerife.  Having studied behaviour as well as grooming Steph set up Waggytails in 2002 after being forced to stop nursing due to illness.  Steph can help you with any area of animal care and with her wide range of experience and knowledge is fully competent to provide  various  services through her business.

Tenerife is a beautiful island, there is no question about that.  Unfortunately however, it suffers massively with neglected and abandoned animals – predominantly dogs.

One way to begin solving the problem is to introduce a complete ban on the sale of puppies in pet shops.  This was adopted in England several years ago but here in Tenerife such sales are still allowed.

Another way, perhaps easier to introduce and promote, is to re-home and foster dogs that were once cherished pets but have now been cast aside due to owners relocating or, sadly, in a lot of cases sheer neglect.  My view is that if each person does their bit, then we could start to make positive changes here.

Some months ago we decided to rescue a lovely Doberman from one of the many refuges on the island.  We didn’t intend to have a fourth dog but when we saw him we just couldn’t leave him there!

Then, in January 2010 we took in another 4 dogs – a Pointer, a Podenco, a Labrador X and a small mix.  They were living in squalor, rarely got to eat and sadly one of them had been regularly beaten making her extremely timid.  We wanted to give them a chance at finding a home, something which they wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

The first port of call was to go to the vet and get everything done for these dogs that they had never had done before; microchips, de flea, worming, Heartworm test (luckily all negative), and all their vaccinations for the 7 canine diseases, Rabies and Heartworm.  They were painfully thin and absolutely stunk so they all got bathed (several times) and given a hearty dinner.

With much campaigning the first 2 were rehomed almost immediately.  The Pointer now has a fantastic home on the Golf del Sur and the small mix went to a nice family on the coast.

This still leaves us with the Podenco and the Lab X (Zuri and Lina).  They are both wonderfully fit and healthy, at their correct weight and, having been socialised ‘to the max’, are just amazing dogs and so willing to please.

We have had some hurdles along the way, people saying they want one or the other (or in one case, both) and then backing out, but it doesn’t dampen our spirits.  Somewhere out there is a home for Zuri and Lina with people who will give them the love and attention they deserve.

They have even hit youtube, local papers, Facebook, Twitter, various forums and I even wrote to the BBC (still waiting on that one)…….still though, they are looking for homes.

One of the problems we are finding is that people still (think they) want pedigrees, hence the Lab X remaining un-homed.  If people looked past the fact that she doesn’t come with papers they would be blessed with an amazing dog.

Fostering is something I wish to continue doing.  No one said it was going to be easy and, in a house of 6 large dogs, it has its struggles, but these dogs deserve so much better than they had and if more people could come forward to re-home on a permanent or temporary basis then we could start to reduce numbers in refuges and on the streets.

No dog deserves the lives they have sometimes and ultimately it is us who have put it on them, we now owe it to them to change the situation.

So, please, next time you are walking past a pet shop with cute puppies in the window, keep walking.  If a dog really is for you then go to a refuge or a foster carer like myself and allow a “second hand dog” into your heart.


Thanks, Steph.  It looks like you are doing a great job there, let’s hope you find a home for these guys very soon!  Steph’s contact details are shown at the end of the YouTube video, just click on the YouTube link above.

Could you provide a home for Zuri and/or Lina?  If not one of these two, maybe consider one of the many others that could benefit from being brought in to a warm and caring home environment.  Leave us a comment to let us know how you think you can help.

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