Miss W’s blog: Help Ibiza’s furry friends!

Anyone who knows me, reads my blog or follows me on social media knows that I like to have the occasional rant. Weekly, daily, hourly… whenever it strikes me really. But for all my complaining (which might I add, is always with the greater good in mind), I also gush about things, places and people on a regular basis – and so with that in mind, today’s blog will be on a positive tip.

One of the (many) things that totally amazes me about the community in Ibiza, is the way so many people on the island come together on behalf of those little Ibiza residents who don’t have a voice – and by this, I mean animals – to find them, protect them, rescue them and care for them.

Contributions can be as small as finding a lost pup on the road, taking a picture of it and sharing it on one of the ‘lost and found’ groups on social media set up especially for reuniting lost pets with their owners in Ibiza. These message boards can be totally heart warming – most recently I saw someone post a photo of a gorgeous tabby cat, then post the news that her owners had claimed her, after searching for her for FOUR whole months!

Of course, they can also be also heart breaking, when you see people posting news about a lost furry friend, but the fact that the medium is there, and allows your pet’s photo to be shared with literally thousands of other animal lovers (plus the vets in Ibiza) definitely increases your chances of locating them. Much more practical than photocopies stuck up on telegraph poles (though I still see these around too – never give up hope!). While I hope both of my kitties never manage to escape my loving clutches, I also hope they’d also be found quickly thanks to the eagle eyes of the island’s animal lovers.

Gratuitous shot of Miss W’s cat in captivity!

Making a financial or food donation to one of the animal charities on the island – the most notable being Mojis Animal Sanctuary and Care 4 Cats – is another way to contribute. These worthwhile non-profit organisations are totally self-funded and so every little bit helps. It’s easy to think you can’t make a difference, but a donation as small as 5€ can help feed a little mouth. So can a bag of cat biscuits (as little as 2€). You can also donate toys, old blankets, baskets, litter, old newspapers… and of course, bigger financial donations can ensure these agencies can keep doing what they do best, such as trapping and neutering stray cats to prevent overpopulation, treating sick, injured and unwanted animals and providing a safe shelter for rescued animals to live.

It’s not just all about dogs and cats either – beyond the humble household pets, there are also abandoned goats, pigs, horses, birds and many more. These poor little (and sometimes big!) critters have no way to fend for themselves after being bred in captivity then dumped in a garbage bin or released into the countryside, nor do newborn animals who are simply tossed aside as an inconvenience. It breaks my heart that there are people whose conscience allows them to do this. And don’t get me started on those who intentionally poison animals to keep them off their properties – vile human beings.

Volunteering is yet another way to contribute to the welfare of animals. Mojis Animal Sanctuary has two open days a week (Monday and Wednesday from 10am) where Ibiza residents can interact with the animals, help feed and clean them. Care 4 Cats is constantly looking for hands-on volunteers to help feed colonies of homeless cats, and to also help with the trapping of cats so they can be transported to the local vets to be neutered. Sa Coma and Can Dog, the island’s official animal shelters, allow visitors to come and walk the dogs, ensuring they get valuable exercise outside of their cages while waiting for adoption. Or perhaps you’re a tradesman (or woman!) who can help to build shelters? Maybe you’re a social media whizz who can help raise awareness of the charities. Or do you have space in your home to foster a kitten before it goes off into the big wide world? There is always a way you can help.

But surely the very best way you can help Ibiza’s unwanted animal population is to welcome a rescue animal into your own home. There is a constant stream of newborn kittens who’d much prefer a warm, safe home to living on the streets of Ibiza, being fed twice a day in a clean bowl rather than rummaging through garbage bins or having to hunt for food where very little wildlife exists. There’s no need to buy a puppy from a pet shop when rescue dogs who are a few months, or even a few years old, or in fact, even in their old age already can make wonderful companions – they’ll love you even more for saving them from a potentially terrible fate. Both of my cats are rescue animals and make me so happy each and every day – if anything, they enrich your life with their funny little ways and unconditional love. I couldn’t live without them!

Gratuitous shot number two, of Miss W’s number two (slightly cross-eyed but still beautiful) cat!

Sunday April 17, 2016 sees a special fundraising event held at Mojis Animal Sanctuary – an amazing place to see first hand all the love and work that goes into caring for these creatures. Warm-hearted founder Abraham works selflessly, tirelessly and passionately on behalf of the abandoned, injured or helpless animals in Ibiza, donating his space, income and time to provide them with a safe and cosy home, food and medication and even therapy where needed. There are no government subsidies or support from any authorities and so every donation counts. You can simply pop in, buy a raffle ticket and have a snack, you can get more involved and play with the animals, or who knows? You may even opt to go home with a furry friend of your own…

Photography by Sofia Gomez Fonzo (Ed’s note: Yes, Miss W has professional photo sessions with her cats)