The dog walking areas around the island could soon be reverberating to the commands of ‘ven’, ‘junto’ and ‘sientate’ (come, heel and sit) after 10 dogs arrived from Spain to settle in with Manx families on Sunday.
The animals were all strays suffering a life of misery and neglect in Spain before being offered a new life by the Helping Hands charity run by British ex-pats living over there.
Toni-Ann Harvey from Anagh Coar is the charity’s island representative who deals with paperwork and assessing potential new homes for the dogs.
She made the trip over to Heysham at the weekend, courtesy of the Steam Packet, which gave the charity a free crossing, to collect the latest dogs to arrive from Spain.
‘They settled in the van really well and the Steam Packet staff were really kind and helpful keeping an eye on them during the journey. Then when we arrived for a short time it was chaos,’ she said.
She said the economic situation in Spain had not helped and there were many stray, abandoned or ill-treated dogs left to fend for themselves in Spain.
‘People sometimes treat them awfully and there are stories of ex-pats living there who keep getting dogs dumped at their doors because people know they won’t turn them away,’ she said.
Some of the dogs that arrived this time were siblings dumped in a box in the sun in a very poor condition and left to die, until the charity stepped in.
Over the past year, 15 dogs have come over to the island after being adopted by Manx families via the Helping Hands Facebook page. The dogs stay with volunteers in Spain who can assess their temperament and they arrive vaccinated and complete with pet passports.
Adopters pay a share of the transportation costs, which varies depending on how many dogs are being brought.
The dogs go to new homes not just in the Isle of Man but in the UK and on the continent as well.
Miss Harvey, who is 29, gives her time voluntarily to the charity but said they are always looking for donations or new families who might want to adopt a dog.
For more information about the charity, take a look at the Facebook page or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org