Asociación San Francisco de los Animales

Annual Report
01.11.08 -31.12.09

Due to the fact that we have brought the branch’s year end into line with that of the main association it should be noted that this report covers a fourteen month period.

2009 has been a year of ups and downs. Most fundraising events, with the exception of the dinner in December, have been approximately one third down on income compared with the previous year. Fortunately donations increased which has helped to compensate.

Fundraising is vital for our work with the abandoned animals. We receive no government or municipal funding, thus having to rely solely on our own fundraising activities and donations from the public. Without fundraising we might just as well ‘shut up shop’. Without income we could not afford our veterinary bills, which accounts for a very large proportion of our income.

We have continued with our monthly Car Boot sales which are held at Los Gigantes Sports and Gardens on the second Sunday of each month.
In January we held our second Fun Dog Show. We were lucky to have international show judge, Brian Lister to judge. He has not only judged at Crufts but also in America and Japan. He said he was impressed with the standard of the event, held in the cultural centre car park behind the Hotel Los Gigantes on Sunday, January 25th. “The venue was ideal,” he said, “and it was good to judge a show with such a great fun atmosphere. Everybody was there simply because they loved dogs and there was none of the fierce competitiveness and back-biting that goes on in some of the more serious shows I have judged.” For all its success, entries and attendance were down by about a third on last year’s show, leading to speculation that the credit crunch is doing its worst. But the 20 entries ensured that a small profit was made for our branch which tries to do so much for animals in our municipality. It also brought the plight of abandoned animals in Tenerife to the notice of a wider section of the public, both tourists and residents.
The Pedigree Championship went to Mr Raffles, a Maltese owned by Wendy LeFevre, with 14 points overall, and Paul Marley’s 14 year old Beauty carried off the Non-Pedigree Champion title with 15 points. We would like to extend our grateful thanks to Brian Lister for judging, Lindsay Forest Gouveia for generously sponsoring the rosettes and all the none members who helped stage the event.
In March Allison Barry kindly organised her second Sponsored Walk for the benefit of stray and abandoned animals within the municipality of Santiago del Teide. Twenty three walkers and six dogs participated in the walk which took place on Sunday, 15 March from Alcalá to Pilgrim’s Bar in Playa de la Arena. Stewart, the owner of Prilgrim’s kindly sponsored a buffet for the walkers. This was much appreciated by all.
One of the dogs on the walk was a Podenco Canario which had recently been picked up by a member. She was skin and bone and brought the plight of many dogs on the island to the attention of the public. Despite her thinness she managed the walk without problems.
On October 3rd we celebrated World Animal Day in the Los Gigantes Plaza with a Nearly New Sale and Fête together with an information stall about our branch and the work we do with abandoned animals.

November was a busy month with stalls at the Santiago del Teide Lions Christmas Fayre on 21st and a Beetle Drive on 23rd. The latter was kindly organised by John Broadhurst at the Chicken Shack in Puerto de Santiago, courtesy of Steve McKenna. Di Broadhurst prepared all the food for a splendid buffet which was enjoyed by all. It is wonderful when non members, like Di and John, organise a fundraising event from start to finish with very little help from me, thus giving me more time for the animals within my care.

In December of 2008 and 2009 we held our Annual Dinner at Restaurante Azafran at the San Francisco Sports and Beach Club. Emilo provided excellent food and on both occasions the event was a sellout, raising much needed funds. In 2008 Julie Richards and DJ Geno kindly gave up their time to entertain us and in 2009 Leon the Sax Man and DJ Geno did likewise. Unfortunately in 2009 the entertainment was late starting due to an electrical storm. Both Leon and Gino were reluctant to plug in their equipment in case it blew.

In October our secretary, Heather Diss, resigned from her post but not from membership and at the end of November Shirley Cheetham resigned as treasurer. She said she had come to Tenerife to retire and was finding the job too stressful. She continues to be an invaluable member and has taken over the helm with the car boot sales in place of Heather. I am sure the rest of the committee join me in thanking them both for the work they put in during their terms of office.

On the animal front I am still the main foster person with Lindsay Gouveia fostering a few dogs and Shirley Cheetham the odd cat. During the year 59 dogs have been taken in. Of these 2 were returned to their owners – thanks to microchips, 2 have been placed in Tenerife, 28 in Luxembourg, 3 were put to sleep to save further suffering and 1 for aggressive temperament.
21 cats have been fostered, 20 of which have been placed in caring homes in Luxembourg and one went to the UK. With regards to feral cats, 26 females and 26 males were neutered and returned to their habitat, 1 very sick kitten was put to sleep to save further suffering.

All fostered dogs are tested for heartworm and in the case of cats, feline aids and leukemia. As there is no cure for these diseases in cats those who test positive are put to sleep to save suffering and the spread of the diseases. Fortunately none of our cats tested positive this year. Heartworm positive dogs are treatable. All animals are automatically wormed, neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and rabies vaccinated. This has all been carried out by our vet, Guillermo Rubio, to whom we give our greatful thanks for his unstinting support and help.

It is unfortunate that it is becoming more and more difficult to place larger dogs. This may or may not be due to the present economic climate. It is also very sad that two indigenous breeds to the island are almost impossible to place i.e. the Podenco (Canarian hunting dog) and the Dogo Canario (Presa Canario) It is even more difficult if a Presa is brindle as most of Europe seem to regard any brindle dog as a ‘fighting dog’!

Our thanks to Luxair for granting free transportation of animals and the return of travel boxes, to Angèle Stein for organizing flights and helping passengers through customs with animals in Luxembourg, Ruth Kremer the Luxair representative in Tenerife, Family Beissel and Yvette Paulus for taking cats, Marie-Anne Misteri for taking some of our dogs, Family Muller for finding homes and being at the airport in Luxembourg to greet the animals on arrival, to say nothing of selling our calendars, and lastly, but by no mean least, Danielle Desorbay for her support finding homes and raising much needed funds for us.

Without all the people mentioned above we would not have been able to place so many animals.
We do not have funding for kennel facilities. As a result I foster most of the animals in my home. There is a small kennel block (originally built for my personal dogs when I was out) which houses four dogs and is desperately in need of re roofing and a new gate. This work will shortly be carried out.

We would also like to thank Paul Marley of for sponsoring our website and Sheila Widdrington for updating our News and Events blog – they are very reluctant to let me loose on it!

On the home front I am sure that all members would join me in singling out Patricia Dawson, for a special mention. She has worked tirelessly in our store room sorting clothes and bric a brac etc.. Without her input, ably assisted by Rose Allsop, I am sure we would not have raised so much money at car boot sales, the Lions Christmas Fayre or World Animal Day. She manages, I am not sure how, to keep the store in perfect order, despite the rest of us constantly dumping new acquisitions which need to be sorted.

Unfortunately due to ill health our honorary auditor, Mike Sharps, was not able to complete the audit. We wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to working with him again later in the year. His help and advice have been invaluable since the branch began. The audit was carried out at short notice by Laurence Wildanger when she was in Tenerife for a week. Our greatful thanks to her for giving up so much of her holiday time.

Our grateful thanks too to all the none members who help at the car boot sales and other events and to all the members of the public who have so generously donated money and items for our car boot sales. We would also like to thank Di Broadhurst for baking delicious quiches and Shirley Cheetham and Avril Warburton for their wonderful cakes. These have been sold with great success at fundraising events during the year.

I would like to think that there will be fewer abandoned animals in 2010 but I am sure it is something of a forlorn hope. I wish all our supporters and four legged friends, a happy and healthy year.

Judith Noble

January 2010