ADANA dog shelter in Estepona is struggling to reach their monthly donation target after it was banned from fundraising at the weekly Sunday market in the town’s port.
Volunteer John Tarrant has been going to the market every weekend for 12 years but since it reopened after Covid-19, while all the other stalls were allowed back, John wasn’t.
“I don’t understand what’s changed. There are people handing out flyers and it feels like things are back to normal, so why can’t we do our fundraising?” said the 72-year-old expat.
“The port authorities haven’t really given me a reason, they just said ‘come back next month’. And so I did, I’ve been there every month since the beginning of the year. I must have been some 25 times,” he said.
“Attending the market is vital to us, we get close to €12,000 a year just from the port, not to mention it’s great for word of mouth. Adana’s buried up in the mountains so no one really knows about it,” he said.
Every day, Adana dog shelter looks after some 100 dogs, providing them with food, water, and medical care.
They rely on the kind help from volunteers to take each dog for a walk, bath them, and clean their kennels.
This is the way it’s been every day for 30 years, with president Susie Brown and partner Reg running the show for the last five.
“Having John at the market is so much more than just collecting money; he builds a relationship with people from all over the world, sharing our story with anyone who visits Estepona. And those relationships continue even when people leave,” said Susie during an exclusive Olive Press visit.
Every month, the shelter needs to raise a minimum of €10,000 a month to be able to provide the appropriate care for the dogs. And on top of that, this year they also need an additional €169,000 for important property maintenance, to bring the premises up to current European Standards to comply with it’s Zoological Licence.
Without the port, Susie and Reg have been forced to spend any free time they have asking for money, emailing and calling people to beg for their support.
“We have two full time employees to pay, vet bills to pay, food to buy, cleaning products to buy – everything. And without John spreading the word about us, it’s really having a knock-on effect,” she said.
Adana does it’s best to be as self-sufficient as possible, using only solar power and doing all the heavy lifting themselves – they even installed a water filtering system a few years ago, which has made a huge improvement to the dog’s health.
“Most of our volunteers are expats, whether they live here or are visiting. Karen and Sally, two women from the UK, come out here for a month at a time and work at the shelter every day. It’s these types of connections we need, and these come from John.”
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