Emma Ed Bragginton is organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Louise Jones.
Firstly thank you so much to all of our supporters, readers and those who are donating to this GoFundMe account.
We are Emma and Louise from a blog called VanLifeDiary and over the last year we have been travelling around the UK in our campervan documenting our journey. Those of you who know Louise and I personally will know that we are both devoted animal lovers and have a strong passion for their welfare. We are now in the position to be able to help some amazing animals but we need your help to achieve it!
Caring for animals is a core component to who we both are as humans and how we want to help those dogs who are injured, scared, abandoned and unwanted to help them heal and find happy new homes.
Between us we have cared for cats, dogs, rats, horses, fish, snakes, bearded dragons, chicks, sheep, Guinee pigs, hamsters and rabbits (and the odd pigeon that has flown into a window and needed a few days to recover). We have had our own pets, fostered for charity, pet sat and worked in the animal rescue and welfare industry here in the UK and Canada.
After lots of planning, last year Louise and I saved up to take a year off and have an epic adventure in our campervan. Little did we realise the impact this experience would have on our lives. We became even more addicted to the outdoors and alternative ways of living. We became more conscious of our impact on the environment and really minimised our possessions to just essential items.
Throughout that time, we took park in volunteering on the road with either car park clear ups or lending strong arms and backs to help clear land in Wales, amongst other things. As dog lovers, we were also following other groups and charities which is where we came across Galgos Del Sol. Tina, the head of the charity, moved from the UK to Spain with her family and set up this amazing charity in 2007 devoted to helping the population of stray Galgos.
Due to the skills we have both acquired in the welfare field, from positive reinforcement training, target training, socialising, dog mixing, trust building, enrichment, a strong understanding of canine body language, we are set up really well to offer Tina and her team the best of our abilities.
Los Galgos Del Sol
The charity now has an amazing team looking after around 190 stray and unwanted Galgos, Podencos and their crosses in the south of Spain. A Galgo is a Spanish Greyhound, a sighthound, with the easily identifiable needle noses and slender body types. In ancient times these dogs were seen to be prized possessions however now, they are disposable hunting dogs, turfed out on the street when no longer required or able to hunt. There is a short hunting season every year and at the end of that they are abandoned or cruelly killed in their tens of thousands.
Some of the dogs they have there were saved from savage killing stations, others found in horrendous situations, often emaciated, covered in ticks, mange or suffering injuries from road traffic accidents where they have been hit. Their injuries are often life threatening and due to the demand in medical fees the funds needed mean they cannot pay for the staff needed to run the shelter.
Volunteers are a lifeline to charities such as Galgos del Sol and they are devoted to the care of the dogs in any situation. Many petrified, untrusting, fearful and in lots of pain. It can take weeks or months to capture some of the Galgos due to their fears and they often needs lots of care when they get the safety of the shelter.
Tina and her team then care for and rehome, these stunning dogs to loving homes in Spain, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, the UK and USA following a strict adoption process.
Check out their charity website and see for yourself why it is so important that we undertake this role and give the desperately needed man power they need to continue their work.
HOW ARE WE HELPING?
Having followed the charity for some time and being dedicated to dog’s welfare we want to be able to give something back. We had been in contact with the charity informally and then we were approached by their volunteer co-ordinator to see if we would be able to help them out at the shelter in person.
They have asked us out there for the end of February 2020 for 2-3 months initially to assist with the duties. Caring directly hands on with the dogs, this would be a volunteer position for both of us that would mean the world and enable us to share the skills we have and also learn some new ones with an incredible team. We feel really strongly in our hearts that we need to go and help them and turning this opportunity down isn’t something we can do. We know from UK rescue that it will emotionally and physically hard, overwhelmingly sad and at times incredibly heart-breaking.
This opportunity to help an amazing charity is one we have dreamed of being able to do. To give back to the dogs of our past that have helped us through hard times in our own lives and honour their memories as well as ensure the continuation of Tina’s mission at Galgos del Sol.
What are we asking?
Well you all know that Go Fund Me accounts are asking for financial support and this is where you will help us fulfil our dream.
In order to get there and survive for the 3 months we need to factor in costs. Before we get to that I would like to explain that we will be donating approx. 120 hours a week helping with the daily tasks at the centre. These can be feeding, cleaning, training (behaviour and crate training for their trips to new homes), feeding the volunteers and site-based night duties. We will get a place to park however we need to get there and fund our groceries whilst there.
Our outgoings shouldn’t be much when there but before we go, we need to ensure we have the funds and also cover our living costs.
£980 Return ferry. A 24 hour crossing between Portsmouth and Santander that can be quite rough – this seems to be a lot cheaper than driving through France and taking the toll roads into account. We have also managed to get discounts where we could to get those costs as low as possible.
£500 ish Fuel from Yorkshire via Santander to the sanctuary (and back again) in the south east of Spain with today’s fuel price and staying under 50MPH!
£289 Breakdown cover for Europe
We also need to
* Update our Van Insurance to cover 90 days in Europe.
* Travel Insurance for annual cover as could be longer.
* Cover living costs to include food, cooking gas, laundry and fuel.
We are hoping to raise at least £3,500 to cover our expenses and also be able to donate a chunk to the charity. Any money left over will be donated and accounted for. This does not take into account any other activities whist there or general exploring. If time allows, we will fund that ourselves, somehow, however it seems that most of our time will be spent in the centre.
Any left-over donations will be transferred to the shelter and we will constantly try to keep under cost for as much as we can. This centre is a strictly Vegan site for humans and therefore food will be both yummy and healthy, as well as a new exciting challenge!
We are desperate to be able to make a difference and have the opportunity to give back to a great cause. I know many of you are animal lovers too and will sympathise with our plight to make this work. In return for your financial support we are donating over 120 hours a week of our time voluntarily (would equate to over £14,000 at minimum wage for both of us over 3 months). We will keep the blog updated weekly on what we are up to and post on Facebook throughout out trip to publicise the charity in any way we can.
Please can you share our go fund me appeal with all of your friends and contacts as we are desperate to help and are donating 7 days a week on site for the duration of our stay, to help with them anything they need!
WE WILL DONATE ANY ADDITIONAL MONIES TO GALGOS DEL SOL.