A dog is for life not just for Christmas

in Features

The Animals in Need Foundation (AINF) is a Gibraltar registered charity that has been operating since 2016, and has focused on helping the most mistreated, vulnerable, and ‘invisible’ of dogs.  They have successfully rehomed over 2000 dogs during this time – the majority of which have lived in or have connections to Gibraltar.

Most of these dogs have required substantial veterinary care and different degrees of rehabilitation.  AINF is run by a small group of volunteers who give up their time day and night to work tirelessly for the charity.

The Animals in Need Foundation (AINF) is a Gibraltar registered charity that has been operating since 2016, and has focused on helping the most mistreated, vulnerable, and ‘invisible’ of dogs.  They have successfully rehomed over 2000 dogs during this time – the majority of which have lived in or have connections to Gibraltar. Most of these dogs have required substantial veterinary care and different degrees of rehabilitation.  AINF is run by a small group of volunteers who give up their time day and night to work tirelessly for the charity.

The charity has on average 60 dogs under it’s care at any given time and around 30 dogs are usually rehomed per month. The dogs are rehomed in Gibraltar, Spain, Holland, Germany, Finland and Sweden and every potential new home is carefully vetted and approved prior to the adoption. The charity has also rehomed cats, rabbits, and even hamsters! 

During the COVID lock down the small team of AINF volunteers were inundated with requests for help from the most vulnerable demographics; front line workers, individuals with mental health challenges who were unable to look after their pets and those who were scared that they were going to die and needed help with their canine companions in the event of their death. 

AINF, together with Save Gibraltar Street Cats have launched a campaign this year to remind people in Gibraltar that animals should not be given as presents. Both charities seek to remind the public about the long term commitment required when getting a pet, to try and reduce the post-Christmas abandonment of puppies and kittens.  

It’s been 40 years since the iconic phrase ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’  was coined in the UK by the Dog’s Trust, however people still buy pets as presents over the festive season and unfortunately many of these end up in shelters or on the streets.

The charity has stressed that bringing home a pet needs to be a much considered decision as to whether they are right for our lifestyles and whether or not we can give them a home for life, which can be 15 to 20 years. It is a lifelong personal and financial commitment and should never be an impulse buy. 

The campaign has partly been triggered by the unprecedented number of requests that AINF have received recently to rehome dogs from Gibraltar.  In the last few months alone AINF has been asked to rehome or rehabilitate over 50 dogs in Gibraltar. 

With the cases of pet abandonment or rehoming increasing so much recently the charity has struggled to find sufficient funds to continue its work as the burden in meeting monthly financial commitments and rehoming these dogs is significant.

The charity is extremely grateful for the generous donations from the people of Gibraltar that allow their work to continue. Without the ongoing public support and generous donations many animals would have been left to suffer alone, however the charity is entirely reliant on public donations and the charity incurs continuous ongoing costs to save and rehome animals in need.

To raise funds to allow the continuation of their work the charity is undertaking two events during December. Their annual flag day is on 3rd December when volunteers will be in various locations throughout Gibraltar promoting the work of the charity and fund raising. In addition, they will be hosting a Christmas Quiz on the 8th December at the IPA Hall – this is a great fun night out where teams of up to 8 people compete to take home the quiz prizes and the much coveted winner trophy. The evening also includes a fantastic buffet dinner a prize raffle draw. Teams wishing to compete can check the AINF website or email for further details.

You can donate to AINF or find out more about the charity, including dogs available for fostering or adoption, forthcoming events, and volunteering opportunities via email, their website or their social media accounts:

info@ainf.gi  •  www.ainfgib.com
Facebook: Animals in Need Foundation
Instagram: @ainfgibraltar

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