#DogHeroes – The Association for Abandoned Animals, Malta

#DogHeroes is back again, this time focusing on a place much closer to home.

Last weekend was my second visit to the Association for Abandoned Animals in Marsa (otherwise known as the AAA). I went to volunteer, and I was at first struck by the shabbiness of the place. It’s old, tired, and in much need of TLC. Thankfully, a brand new state-of-the-art premises is only one month away.

What appealed to me about this place was the generosity and humility of the staff and other volunteers. There are no airs and graces, but there is politeness and genuine gratitude. Of the 80+ dogs currently in their care, they know them all by name and character.

The facilities may be basic, but the animals seem happy. In fact, a large number of the dogs are free to roam a fairly spacious yard and essentially have the run of the sanctuary, which I think is important for socialisation, as well as exercise. Unfortunately the current location is surrounded by construction, so taking the dogs for regular walks is simply not an option.

From hosing down cages and sifting through dirty bedding and being harassed by very boisterous puppies, I found the whole experience very rewarding, and urge anyone if they can, go and volunteer. Go and give something back.

But there was one moment that truly struck me about this place. It wasn’t the staff’s openness to share their experiences or the hard truths of what they do, it wasn’t even seven beautifully adorable pointer puppies. It was Andrew. The most docile, sweet and good natured dog I’ve ever seen. He’s old, you can tell from his lumbering gate, tired eyes and cracked nose, and in his eyes, there’s a kind of sadness. I don’t know anything of his history, and he knows nothing of me but what his nose tells him. Yet instantly, his tail wagged, his ears went up and he plodded over for all the cuddles he could wish for. If that’s not rewarding, I don’t know what is. He’s a true #DogHero.

Please pop over to their Facebook Page to Like, Share and make a Donation.

What Is #DogHeroes?

#DogHeroes – highlighting the tireless work of dedicated individuals, groups and charities who rescue and rehabilitate dogs, and showcasing the difference that they make, very often relying on their own pocket and the donations of animal lovers like ourselves. Be aware, read the stories, if you see an abandoned or injured dog, pick it up, and if you can’t, give it what you can and pick up the phone. More importantly, understand that even the smallest donation can go a long way.

You can also help by sharing your own #DogHeroes. Use the hashtag, please! Share this blog, nominate your own heroes in the comments, and feel free to talk about this on social media. If you know a worthy cause, shout about it. If you adopted a senior dog, share your story. And stay tuned for the next blog where I’ll introduce the next #DogHero.

Additional reading:

https://lovinmalta.com/lifestyle/pets/maltas-adorable-abandoned-animals-have-found-a-new-sanctuary-but-theres-a-heartbreaking-catch

https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20171221/community/help-gorg-get-better-this-christmas.666192

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