The Four-Legged Orphan Sanctuary ( FLOS) www.flosanimals.com
During our time here in Morocco, whilst we´ve been building the hotel, sourcing furniture from souks, and fussing over the right curtains and cushions, it is the animals that have captured our hearts. Over the years, we have rescued a motley crew of four legged friends...our Chappy boy was found in a pitiful state in the main square in Essaouira, and several months and lots of tender loving care later, he is now the happiest, (and probably most spoilt!) little dog in Morocco! Polly and Patty were abandoned by the sea wall when they were just days old, and two little orphaned kittens found their way to us in an old flour sack, courtesy of some of the children from the village. Danny l'ane (the donkey) wandered into the garden one day and decided that Dar Danse would do very nicely for his retirement...he had obviously been terribly ill-treated during his working life, and had then been abandoned by his owners when he became too old and lame to be of any more use to them. He was one of the lucky ones. Countless donkeys are abandoned in this way, left to die a slow and lonely death, but many more are simply tossed out to sea when their owners can no longer afford to feed them. Danny l'ane was the deciding factor - we could no longer be here and let these things happen around us.
So began the quest to set up an animal sanctuary. We seemed to go round in circles until, one fine day, out of the blue, appeared Matthew the vet (who we have since re-named Saint Matthew!) Having recently qualified, he originally came with the intention of volunteering for a few weeks, before going back to the UK, but he took our mission to heart, threw caution to the wind, and promised to return for several months to get the project underway. Now, with his guidance, knowledge, reassurance, perseverance, and a good dollop of sense of humour on all sides, the Four-Legged Orphan Sanctuary has finally become a reality.
Alongside giving a loving home here, to those animals most in need, we hope to be able to re-home some of the young, healthy dogs with families in the UK and Europe. Two of our rescue puppies have already been adopted by lovely guests, who fell in love with them whilst here on holiday, and they will soon be on their way to their new forever home in England!
In time, we hope to implement a programme of neutering and vaccination for dogs and cats in the local area. Long term goals also include being able to offer workshops for local children, raising awareness of animal welfare, teaching them the basics of animal husbandry, and how to forge a good working relationship with their dogs, donkeys and horses etc, without having to resort to violence, abuse and neglect. Animals are an essential part of everyday life in rural areas such as this, and the local people rely on them for their livelihood - it will be a long time before the donkeys, camels and horses are replaced by cars or tractors here! We have been apalled by the long up-held beliefs and training methods of (in theory) well meaning local people. The smallest of changes in mindset could put an end to the unecessary suffering of so many animals. We obviously cannot give every stray a home in our sanctuary, but we hope at least to create a circle of awareness amongst the local community.
This is our greatest challenge. There is so much to do...for now we have just a small ´family´ of loveable waifs and strays who have found their way to our Bubble, but we hope, with the help of our like-minded guests and volunteers, to be able to grow, and be able to do so much more for our four-legged friends.
Help (both practical and financial!) is always wonderfully welcome - please do get in touch!
Just by enjoying a holiday at the Bubble on the Beach, you will be helping the animals, as 10% of all hotel bookings, goes directly to FLOS!