Tuesday, July 31, 2012


A small bundle of fur was moving a
long the side of the busy highway. The morning traffic was as usual --- very busy in this southern part of Italy. In her car on her way to a clinic sat veterinarian Francesca when she suddenly spotted the little dog. She stood on her breaks and stopped.

She stepped quickly out of the car, ran to the small dog, which had now stopped and looked curiously at her. Was this woman a friend or enemy?

Francesca realized quivkly that her intention to save the little five-kilo dog could end tragically. She could see that the dog was matted and dirty, but allowed herself to be lifted up by her savior. No other car stopped, only angry horns were heard as she carried the little ball of fur back to her car.

Francesca drove straight away to the veterinary clinic where she worked and contacted Marty at Animals Without Limits (AWL). As usual, AWL did not have much time to find a home for the dog and our own hospice was full of four-footed clients.

Summer is a hardworking season for us. Every day people call us after they have found lost dogs. Most dogs are evicted from their homes while the owners travel on vacation. Dog pensions (kennels), double their prices because August is the most profitable month for them all --- they have their clients over a barrel. Many can’t afford the kennels, so they let the dogs out of their villas when they depart on their vacations. The dog owners hope that someone will pick up their dog and take care of it until they get home from their holiday.

Francesca examined the female dog. The fur was matted and there was no microchip implanted. AWL began intensive efforts to find a home for the little dog. A photograph with a description was published on AWL’s Facebook page.

The dissemination of information went amazingly fast! After twelve hours we had received a response from a Swedish woman living in Rome who fell in love with the image of the little dog.

The woman wanted to open her home to this scrubby beauty. She named her Aila. The woman later wrote to me that Aila must have had an owner earlier in life. The dog showed interest in dog toys, and also jumped happily up on the couch. Her self-confidence indoors showed that she knew what a living room was.

Many other dogs end up on the highway. Some owners let them out on the dangerous highway for a quick death. Euthanization costs a lot in the south of Italy were already many people are desperately poor. Often, they cannot afford even routine medical care for themselves or their family.

Most vets do not kill animals until they are so ill that they have stopped eating and drinking water. According to both the law, and their predominately Catholic faith, it is wrong to end a life, certainly a healthy one.

The economy in Italy is disastrous and down in Naples, where the law largely does not exist because of the Camorra (mafia), it is a human tragedy. Many young ones want to be part/members of the mafia with drugs, small crimes and prostitution as a means for getting fast money. Others try to find a way out of the country, while others are simply trying to live a normal life, ignoring as best they can the strife and corruption around them.

Suicide statistics are rising and unemployment is increasing every passing month. We are bracing for the chaos to increase in the already chronically chaotic area that we work in.

Many people have asked us why we help animals and not humans? Some ask accusingly, others asking bitterly. It is a difficult question and it hurts tremendously to turn your back to any living soul. But the landscape of Campania is almost forgotten by many aid agencies. Many look to the Italian government, or even the European Union. One would expect one of these to help, but they have their hands full elsewhere, and there is fatigue because so much has already been done over the decades, with little to show for it. The money gets siphoned off into the pockets of the Camorra and corrupt government officials.

Many of us forget that the province of Campania could be its own country. Before the unification of Italy, Naples was it’s own kingdom. It is very different from the other provinces in northern Italy. Why help the animals? We do not go and question why, for example, veterinarians are not trained as a doctors and help only people instead of animals.

Aila was lucky that the veterinarian Francesca stopped on the busy highway that morning. Francesca was very lucky to have AWL's phone number with her. AWL was lucky that the picture on Face Book produced a quick result, and we got an answer about adoption so quickly.

Cooperation is what life is all about. To dare to have an open mind for a life whether it has two legs or four.
That’s Amore.

Thank you Dr Fransesca, Animals WIthout Limits team, Mitra <3 div="div">

No comments: