Axarquia Animal Rescue

Taking care of abandoned & abused animals

Our Stories

Ellie's Story

In all we now have 8 cats. I noticed a little Kitten on the `Axarquia Animal Rescue site ` and never thought any more of it, then I brought a small cat basket advertised online. I mentioned to Teresa that the basket was rather small, and joked it needed a large hamster or small kitten. She mentioned the `little kitten` looking for her forever family, and out of the blue my husband and I agreed to have her. What’s another cat? We live in the campo and it is such a good life for a cat. We went to collect her from the lady that had hand reared her. She was still being bottle fed, but what a delightful little thing she has turned out to be. We believe she thinks she is human as she still lays on her back with her bottle, with her paws tightly round it like hands and sucks. She should be lapping by now, and we have caught her at it now and again at the big cats bowl having a go. But she much prefers her bottle and cries for it, looking at me, then back at her bottle on a shelf until I get it down. Then she purrs like mad and lies on her back and waits. I cannot imagine our lives without her now. We have had her for 4 weeks and she is so sweet.

If you have room in your heart and your home, please think about adopting or fostering an animal, the emotional rewards you get are massive. Sometimes even just providing a kennel or an outside shelter is preferable to the many animals who are left desperately needing help. If you think you can help please contact us.

Back to Our Stories





Our Animal Adventures - by Penny

It is so rewarding looking after animals that may not otherwise have survived, they are all the more loving. Here’s the story of just a few of the dogs and puppies that we have helped over the years - or maybe it is they who have helped us - WHO KNOWS WHICH WAY ROUND it is meant to be:

When we moved to Spain Sept 2003 we had 3 dogs, 1 cat and 3 parrots. We began our journey from Santander to Almayate with all the animals stowed in our 4x4. We said to each other ` when anything happens to these animals NO MORE ` - famous last words! 3 months later on dropping our rubbish off at the bins, my daughter said `mum there are 2 tiny kittens in here. It turned out they were puppies, both white with black markings who we called`MEG` and `MO` After a trip to the vets we had bottles and formula as the puppies were just hours old. We went through some emotional times when we thought that they might not make it. It had become so important to us to keep these poor little things alive (we were told that at 2 weeks pups and kittens often just die for no apparent reason). The dreaded 2 weeks came and went and all was fine....another 2 weeks and they were running around on little fat legs with little fat bodies. MO had been fed by Garry ( hubby) and MEG by me and when they were small as they scurried out for milk on their bellies still with their eyes shut. They always came to the same `Mummy ` and `Daddy` for feeding, NEVER making a mistake....maybe it was the smell to them (or my nice perfume ha ha ). When they were 5 weeks old we went to the bins as usual and there sitting in the same small bin were 2 five week old boy puppies so at least they could lap. The person that had dumped them had left with them a huge rib bone, but they didn’t have strong enough teeth, so they would have starved to death. We found loving homes for all of them.

A little girl dog had started living at the bins. She was clearly in season as she had 3 suitors hanging around her, 2 golden labs and a terrier type that lived with some Dutch people nearby. Weeks later on the way home from our bar we saw she had given birth to 4 pups, 2 looked like `andrex pups’ and 2 were smaller. Some other people had been feeding her and between us we constructed a barrier around the box the puppies were in. We tried to catch the mummy (nick named `BABY`) but she was too scared, however after the pups were born she became more friendly. At 5 weeks the pups starting climbing the barrier we had made and night after night on the way home 1 or 2 would be in the middle of the road. We decided we had to take them all home for safety. We took them to our Bar and instantly re-homed 1 to my daughter who had moved over and another 2 to our customers. We decided we would take the other home and just keep trying. One of them, Bailey never got re-homed and is now a part of our family.

We stopped going to the same bin after `BABY` left when we took her puppies, and then 3 months later we saw her curled up in a gateway near the bins. She didn’t move when we approached her and we were able to pick her up. She stank of nasty chemical smells so we took her home with us. She was so very ill, we bathed her 4 times in fresh water and our hands burned with what had been poured on her and her skin was burned. We took her to the vets and were told all we could do was give her TLC which of course we did. She survived, we had her spayed and she is still alive with us today 10 years later.

We get nervous going to the bins because we are afraid of what we might find, and low and behold, one day there were 2 Hamster cages! The cages were full of bedding and food and there in the middle of the road standing on his hind legs was a HAMSTER. We caught it and I gave it to a little girl I knew and it lived a wonderful life for another year.

We moved further inland to a typical Spanish village which is quite remote and in beautiful surroundings. By now we had 12 dogs and 3 cats. Then a podenco turned up and just stayed, we found her living in our woodshed. She kept stealing clothes from goodness knows where, shoes, jumpers, slippers and even some toys. Then she had 8 puppies and we re-homed them all and had her spayed.

I had been to the vets and noticed 2 lovely pups in a cat basket. I asked what they were doing there and was told that they were going to be put to sleep at 6 pm if no-one wanted them. Guess what - I took them to our bar and re- homed them both. We were beginning to get a reputation of ‘THAT BAR WHERE YOU GO IN FOR A COFFEE AND GO HOME WITH A DOG`. Still the system works well and locals and even tourists brought in the puppies and kittens they had found and left them with us for the day and we got them re-homed. And so it went on. My daughter lived in Velez Malaga and found a MASTIN at the side of the road, he also still lives here.

More recently my daughter found 2 puppies barely alive in the scorching heat at Trapiche in the bins under people’s rubbish. They were tied up in a carrier bag along with 2 dead pups. The Vet said they are pretty poorly as they were squashed and were filthy dirty and only hours old. We will do our best for them and we will get very upset if they don’t pull through. We have now found wonderful homes for them. But despite the emotional rollercoaster we have to do our best for them and get them a loving home. We hope we don’t find anymore, but there are so many more out there who need to be found.

Back to Our Stories




Ruby was previously known as the ‘Riogordo petrol station puppy’. We noticed her a couple of times when we came in to get fuel at the Riogordo petrol station – a lovely, playful 6 month old puppy who was a bit timid to start with, but happy to play. Speaking to the guys who work at the garage it turns out a car came in, kicked her out and drove off. The guys had been feeding her and she had been sleeping next to the petrol pumps at night.

Although a bit on the skinny side and nervous, she otherwise seemed fine. In our 6 years here, we have seen so many strays in desperate need of help who were emaciated and ill. She wasn’t like that – yet. The thing that got me about her was that she had so much life in her and obviously so much love to give. We knew that in a couple of months she would be pregnant, covered in ticks and maybe even dead as the garage is on a busy road. We just couldn’t leave her there.

We decided to leave the decision to our dog, Harry Potter. If Harry liked her she came home, if he didn’t we would foster her and re-home her. I was so nervous when we drove up with Harry and let him out the car. He basically gave her a sniff and ignored her – he was more interested in the guy working at the petrol station. So we got her in the car and brought her home. She was terrified in the car, shaking and whimpering. I sat in the back with her and she just tried to bury herself in my lap.

Our big concern was about how Harry Potter would tolerate another dog. He is a Cairn Terrier (dumped on our doorstep aged 8 weeks) who is now 5. I confess he is a spoilt ‘only child’ who doesn’t like to share our attention or his toys. From day one he has loved her, tried to work his way through the Karma Sutra with her on arrival (he is neutered!), but now sees her as his best mate. They play all day and sleep in the same bed. He is still the boss and disciplines her on occasion. She never leaves his side.

She had obviously been in a house before (not one puddle or poo indoors!), but we think she had been kept in just one room. We put her in our study with a baby gate across the door so she could get used to all the new sounds and smells. She was terrified when we tried to get her to come out of the room. She hugged the walls and wouldn’t go downstairs or go out on the balcony. She desperately wanted love but every time you went to stroke or cuddle her she ducked as though we were going to hit her. Fortunately Harry Potter came to the rescue and showed her how things were done. She follows him everywhere and if Harry thinks something is OK (even bath time!) then she thinks it is OK.

Our one concern was that she is a Podenco cross. We have two rescued campo cats (Becks and Sarah) and were worried she might think they were prey. From the first meeting the cats established they were the bosses. They get on wonderfully now and even sleep next to each other. We will never know Ruby’s full story. We think she must have been part trained as a hunting dog because of the way she ‘stalks’ Harry when they are playing. She has the most wonderful nature, gentle and loving and adores cuddles – which is a bit of a lapful as she is now 13 kilos and knee height! Now that she is more confident and knows she is loved, she seems to be having her puppy hood. Yes - she digs holes in my garden, yes – she has eaten the doormat, yes – she steals clothes out of the ironing basket, but you only have to look into her eyes to know that we did the right thing and that she is now home where she belongs. She has made our little family complete.

Back to Our Stories

Sam & Jo's Animals

In December 2011, we had 3 lovely dogs and thought our family was complete when sadly 2 of them went missing, the lovely Mork and Rosie. Robbie remained as a lone dog for a couple of weeks. He and Rosie had been found in a rubbish bin by Diane McClelland at 4 days old and bottle fed until they were old enough for us to adopt them.

Robbie was pining desperately after Mork and Rosie went missing, I have never seen a dog look so sad and depressed. We were then asked to look after a friend’s rescue dog, Hugo, on New Year’s Eve. The overnight transformation in Robbie was amazing. Hugo was just the tonic he needed, so we agreed to adopt him. Hugo had been found, by friends of ours, dumped in a bush with all his legs tied together, he was skin and bones with sores from the ropes. Hugo is the most gentle dog you could ever wish to meet. He was terrified of plastic bags which has made us think he was initially tied up in one although he somehow managed to remove it. He is now overcoming his fears and is totally relaxed and settled into his new home and family.

In February we saw Kitty on the site for re-homing. Her eyes were so gentle and loving, but I resisted. We had awful weather in February, and Kitty was being kept outside as the dogs of the lovely people who rescued her wouldn’t let her in the house. I finally weakened, contacting the people and asked if I could give her a try with Robbie and Hugo. We never looked back. She is a very nervous dog and like Hugo and Robbie has clearly seen some sad things and suffered a great deal.

Then came Maj. At our fundraising car boot sale in March, Maj was brought along by her rescuers in the hope of re-homing her. When they found her, she had been hit by a car and left for dead. As a result of the horrific accident she developed epilepsy and is now partially deaf and blind. There is no doubt that the rescuers who took her to the vets saved her life. At the end of the boot sale it became clear no-one was going to take this funny little girl with special needs. I looked into her sad eyes and could see that all she wanted was a safe home and a family who could love her – that’s when I realised - that family was us. My heart ruled my head and I brought Maj home on the understanding that if my 3 did not accept her she could be returned. There were 2 dodgy incidents where Kitty went for Maj and she had to be reminded that she too had been taken in and given a chance.

I needed 4 dogs like I needed a hole in the head and my partner Jo, who was in Australia for a few months, returned to discover that our family of 2 dogs had now grown to 4!. I knew she was not happy about Kitty (number 3 dog) and definitely would be unhappy about the fourth - slight understatement! Jo arrived back home in April and immediately fell in love with our new additions and Kitty took to her really well in no time.

I know we made the right decision in taking these dogs in as the four of them are now best buddies and keep us amused for hours. All four are really just pups and are loopy. Hugo and Robbie are just over 1 year old, and Kitty and Maj are about 2 years old. Kitty is still frightened of her own shadow and I suspect will always have hang-ups, but as each day passes there seem to be slight improvements. Now our family is complete again, 4 dogs, 3 cats, 3 strays we feed daily and 6 chickens and a cockerel.

If you have room in your heart and your home, please think about adopting or fostering an animal, the emotional rewards you get are massive. Sometimes even just providing a kennel or an outside shelter is preferable to the many animals who are left desperately needing help. If you think you can help please contact us.

Back to Our Stories

Tia & Sky

 A true story by Becky ‘Tia & Sky; dumped twice in two days’.

The first time that I saw them, they were outside the shop as we drove past. I said to Andy, there are two pups over there, and his answer was, yes, they will belong to someone in the shop, as if to say ‘you are not having them’!! After I got home he went back to the workshop, which is next to the shop and phoned me to tell me that they had been dumped, but I was stuck in the house waiting for someone so I couldn't do anything.

He rang me about an hour later to say a guy had turned up with his dog and had spent ages taking ticks off the pups and that he was going to take them. How nice I thought, and I was happy that they were going to have a home.

Later on that day we had been into town, and stopped in for a drink at bar Trapiche. As I walked to the door I could see a pup under the table. As I stopped to have a look, some guys said there's another one here, and told me that they had been dumped.

Andy said that they were the ones from earlier on that day – poor things were dumped twice in two days! Whilst Andy went in to get the drinks I scooped them both up and sat with them on my lap. That was it – I couldn’t leave them.

I held them and they were shaking so much. Some friends turned up and we gave the puppies water and tapas as the poor things were so hungry and thirsty.

We took them home in a box and let our other dog say hello outside which went well, so into the house they came. Our plan was to look after them till we found a forever home for them.

Andy suggested taking them to the farmers market to try to re-home them together. If someone can’t take them both, then don’t let them go he said! Tuesday morning came and I had been dreading it. I sat on the sofa cuddling both of them and said that I might as well take the beds and the food just in case anyone wanted to take them there and then. My wonderful partner looked at me and said - do you want to keep them? What a stupid question. They have settled in really well and are now thriving. They are called Tia and Sky and are now part of our family, and are already bringing us so much joy and love.

If you have room in your heart and your home, please think about adopting or fostering an animal, the emotional rewards you get are massive. Sometimes even just providing a kennel or an outside shelter is preferable to the many animals who are left desperately needing help. If you think you can help please contact us.

Back to Our Stories