Last week, one of our supporters, Karen Jones from Plymouth UK staged a special Ashtanga yoga class at the Royal William Yard in Plymouth to raise funds and awareness of the plight of the street animals in Morocco.
Karen visited Agadir, Morocco back in April, where she ran a yoga retreat in Tamaraght and enjoyed walking along the beach each morning. This is where she met some of the beach dogs. These dogs are very friendly, love company and will walk with you every time you go on the beach.
Paul at one of our carer’s homes
Despite having nothing, the dogs are always pleased to see you and love cuddles and fuss. The problem is they have no protection from diseases, many are pregnant time after time and some get treated cruelly by locals. They must feed in bins and on scraps of food left behind, so life can be tough on the beach.
Karen discovered the work being done by Morocco Animal Aid, an organisation made up of volunteers who work tirelessly to protect and look after the beach dogs and cats. MAA provide accident support, vaccinations, worm and tick treatment and neutering for as many dogs and cats as we can.
Karen made a personal donation to help us look after some puppies with horrendous tick problems, but soon wanted to do more.
On returning to the UK, Karen decided to raise awareness and funds to provide support for the work of MAA by running a yoga class and asking for donations. She had done a similar event to raise funds for animals in Asia, so knew this would work and provide some much-needed funds for the beach dogs in Morocco.
Having seen one of our very sad cases, Paul, a very gentle dog with an advanced case of Mange, who sadly died from the condition, the event was created and run on International Peace Day (a coincidence but very apt) and Karen’s students were very supportive and generous – even those that could not attend made kind donations.
Whilst we could not save Paul, our volunteers made him comfortable, gave him a warm bed, a full tummy and lots of love and cared for him as he passed over the rainbow. We were all very moved by him and just wished we could have found him sooner and saved him.
For every Paul, there are 10 more dogs in need. Every penny donated goes towards medicine, treatments, food and care of the animals we find and look after.
We are working with a Moroccan Association (L’association le Coeur sur la patte) to provide neutering and vaccination programs which are pioneering the TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) method of population control in Morocco. In the past, mass culling of dogs has been the only method of population control, but through all our effort and work we are changing the way populations are being controlled, and relieving the suffering of the animals.
This year, over 600 dogs have been through the TNR program, and are now living happy lives back on the streets without fear of disease and poisoning. We are also educating the public that dogs with tags are safe and not to be feared (rabies is still feared in Morocco, so the public call for removal of dogs).
Karen, the dogs of Agadir thank you and your students for their time, effort and money, we at MAA also thank you and hope your story will inspire others to do the same. All our activities rely on donations and generous support from caring members of the public just like you.
If you would like to donate or sponsor please click here for more details – a few pounds per month makes a huge difference to our ongoing efforts.