British expat-run Czech dog shelter needs more volunteers

Published:  2 Dec at 6 PM
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A British expat-founded animal shelter in the Czech Republic is calling for more expat volunteers.

Almost a year ago in the Czech town of Kamenice nad Lipou, local authorities found and closed a puppy farm holding 212 adult dogs and puppies, including a partially blind terrier who’d been kept in a tiny cage. All the dogs were relocated to various shelters in the Republic, including Handipet Rescue in the town of Melnic. Handipet’s speciality is the rehabilitation and rehoming of abandoned or disabled pets via the use of fostering, resulting in their contacting British expat Jaq who lived in a small village nearby.

She agreed to take on the little, partially blind terrier, by then spinning in circles as he’d been kept long-term in the cage. At the time,Jaq was homesteading in a 19th century farmhouse she’d purchased in 2009, and already had a number of sheep and goats. After Len arrived, she decided to take on more rescue dogs and is now seen as an English-friendly extension to Handipet, currently caring for no less than 24 pets in all. She’s opened up the farmhouse to English-speaking volunteers who walk the dogs, clean the cages and cuddle pets who need affection as much as they need food and veterinary attention.

Jaq told local media she and her volunteers attempt to solve all the doggy problems experienced by her temporary and occasionally permanent canine residents, adding her vet is passionate about his work and eager to try anything new which may help. Cats are also included in the pet socialisation process, which relies heavily on the simple and effective treatment of lots of affection!

In addition to the rehabilitation of terrified dogs and cats, some from as far away as the Ukraine and Slovakia where shelters are almost unheard of, and Jaq has matched pets with adopters from the UK and USA. Some 70 per cent of rehomes go to expats living in the Czech Republic, and there’s no shortage of volunteers eager to take part in giving rescued dogs and cats every chance to find a new, loving home.

As for Lens, he’s still with Jaq and always will be, especially as he’s developed a real talent for relaxing new arrivals and reassuring them they’ll be safe and loved. As with animal rescue organisations all across Europe, Jaq’s shelter is desperate for donations both during the festive season and year-round. Right now, she’s gearing up for a Christmas Bazaar to be held at Prague’s Nusle Pet Heroes Shop on December 4. Her Facebook page gives full details of the event and she’s hoping to attract a record crowd as well as generous donations.
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