Dear Sir, It was with great interest that I read your article over a fortnight ago that Majorca is stepping up its campaign concerning abandoned pets. Well done I thought when I saw the posters appearing of a very cute puppy and kitten with the slogan “Don't abandon us”. Then an event that happened on 31.01.03 made my husband and I critical of this campaign and the so-called animal shelters of this island. Whilst travelling to Palma on the freezing snow blizzard road from Sineu to Palma on Friday, we came upon a very large St Bernard type dog standing in the middle of this sometimes very busy road and due to Friday's weather conditions quite dangerous. We slowed down as to overtake or swerve for this dog could have resulted in a very nasty accident. My husband then pulled over about 20 metres down the road and watched for a minute or so to see what the dog did. About 20 more vehicles passed us in both directions, some of these were lorries, and all had to slow down as the dog was still in the middle of the road. When the traffic was clear, we turned around to get closer to the dog to try and entice him away from the middle of the road and out of danger. My husband then phoned Emergency 061 to inform them that the dog was creating a traffic hazzard and that we would stay until some form of help could arrive, even though we were on our way to a very important meeting in Palma. My husband was then told to phone 112. At this time other traffic had started to appear and the dog was once again venturing to the middle of the road. I had to stand at the side of the car to encourage the dog out of the road and believe me it was freezing. My husband, meanwhile, got through to 112 and was asked to hold the line and started to play music.
Around 30/50 seconds later a woman asked for details, then put my husband on hold again. Around 15 minutes later she came back to him saying that she had been in contact with Police/Guardia Civil and an animal protection shelter in Palma. All had refused to attend due to weather conditions (which believe me we knew about). So, we were left with a dilemma. Do we leave the dog and wipe our conscience clean if the dog created an accident (as we had reported it), or do we try and get him into our small car and take him ourselves to the Police? Problem was even though we have dogs of our own we do not carry spare colars and leads with us and this very large dog, even though he seemed quite friendly, growled when my husband tried to get him in the car by the scruff of his neck as he wasn't wearing a collar. After about 15 minutes or so, my husband and I both very cold and very wet sat in the car for a minute or two with the passenger door open hoping the dog would just jump in. He didn't. Instead a car came and turned toward a finca and the dog ran after the car over the road. We turned around and followed to see if he was the owner of the dog. He wasn't, but very kindly gave us a length of rope to enable us to get the dog into the car. Once this was done, we then went the 3 kilometres back to Sineu and took the dog to the Guardia Civil. After explaining the situation, they took the dog and we left. Wet, cold, disheartened, disgusted and disillusioned as yet again the powers that be have got it wrong. What's the point of a campaign when there is no back up service, ie dog wardens as in the UK, Germany, France, etc. Posters don't stop people abandoning animals, action from putting by-laws into enforcement works better.

Name and address supplied.

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