Go To Spain To Live

There are many to go to Spain to live, not least of all is the culture.

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San Juan - accommodation in Spain where you can take your pets

Alberg d’Animals dog shelter

Go-to-Spain has chosen Alberg d’Animals dog shelter, in Terres de L’Ebre, as the charity we are going to support and promote. The shelter is easily accessible from most towns and villages long the Ebro Valley. A visit can be arranged at very short notice, and there are English speaking volunteers there to welcome you.

A member of the Go-to-Spain team has personally spent some time at this shelter, and on her first visit was totally unprepared for what greeted her. She was expecting to find around 50 or so stray or abandoned dogs; imagine her shock at finding 300 dogs, of all shapes and sizes, from 8 week old puppies to literally a 15 year old ‘lame dog’ along with over 60 cats and kittens !

Alberg d’Animals was set up by a stoic Spanish lady called Encarna, who, after rescuing her first group of dogs some years ago, inevitably found that she needed a safe secure place for the increasing, abused, abandoned and stray dogs, which just kept on finding their way to her door.

Alberg d'Animals Dog Shelter in Spain
Alberg d'Animals Dog Shelter in Spain

Situated on an abandoned former ‘community tip’, a few miles from the popular ‘ex pat’ resort along the Costa Dorada coastline, the shelter is now home to dogs and cats that have been picked up by the local police as stray’s, or that have abandoned by British people, who for whatever reason have returned to the UK. 

Prior to January 2012 the DEFRA rules and regulations for dogs returning to the UK were to just too drawn out for those needing to return to England in a hurry, and too expensive for them to go down the quarantine route if they decide to take a chance and go anyway, which may account for the large numbers of dogs more associated with English people, that are in the shelter.

Now, any dog, once micro chipped and vaccinated can be repatriated to the UK within about 3 weeks. There are many pet couriers such as Trans-pet, doing regular trips throughout Spain who can safely transport a rescued dog back to England.

The time and devotion that the volunteers give to caring for these beautiful dogs and cats is immeasurable, and let’s face it, pretty thankless, unless you count the waggy tails and absolute unrequited love that these dogs give back at every opportunity.  There is always a dog wanting a cuddle, a cat wanting a stroke, and with nearly 400 animals to cope with every single day of the year, there is often not enough love, or time to go round.

Cleaning the kennels on a daily basis is a must, due to the number of dogs here. Food has to be carefully distributed as on some days, stocks are very low.  Any infections must be treated immediately and therefore medicine and vaccines are constantly needed.

Alberg d'Animals Dog Shelter in Spain
Alberg d'Animals Dog Shelter in Spain

However, for whatever reason any dog or cat that finds their way through the doors, here, they are at least safe, fed and watered, and have shelter, which has to be better than living on the streets which is their only alternative.

It is difficult to choose which dogs to feature on Go-to-Spain, but it is clear that some of these dogs are more than like to have been owned in the past by British people. For example, this beautiful English Setter is not a breed favoured by the Spanish, who usually prefer smaller dogs, more easily suited to living in apartments, or alternatively own dogs more suited to hunting.  Perhaps this Setter has been genuinely ‘lost’, or maybe it was abandoned simply because its owners were in too much of a hurry to return to the UK. 

Inevitably, there are 2 Staffies in the shelter, both very loving dogs, who would guard you, and your property with unquestioning loyalty, but who will always want to be ‘top dog’ and don’t want to be bothered being part of a ‘pack’.  Here in Spain, as in the UK, these feisty little dogs, are unlikely to find a forever home.

If you are planning a move to the Ebro Valley region, or live there already, do please consider giving a home to one of the deserving dogs or cats from

Alberg d’Animals. The adoption process is very simple, and before any animal leaves for a new home, it is micro chipped, and given the necessary vaccinations in readiness for their Pet Passports if needed.

We will be happy to give you any further information about any of them.

It is impossible for one person to ‘save’ every animal at the shelter, but it is possible to give just one of them a new home, and a better life, and by either donating the price of one Cafe con Leche, or Cerveza per month, collectively, you could help to improve the lives of the cats and dogs left behind.

This shelter, like so many others, relies solely on donations to survive, and their need grows every day, as more dogs arrive. If you would like to help support this shelter, every little helps, and they are grateful for every single euro. 

Please get in touch with us at info@go-to-spain.com