Learn here about what GASAH's been up to in 2017
Dear animal friends and GASAH members
Not wishing to intrude on your precious time and knowing you will be inundated with letters and cards as we near Christmas, I will come straight to the point. I am writing to inspire and encourage everyone to support us further in our valuable work.
It has been a special year, especially raising Rufus the lamb, who we decided to rescue from the dinner plate and was later rehomed with Steve our caretaker, who has 2 other tame sheep. Unbelievable too was the rescue of Teddy, whose owner we reported to the police, which led to his arrest. A court case will follow.
Regarding the latter, I firmly feel after years in animal welfare that this truly is the best way forward: to make sure EU laws which protect animals are implemented, not ignored. For example EU law states farm animals must have permanent access to water and all animal cruelty must be punished. Actually, we hardly ever see this; most cows dehydrate without shade in high temperatures, sick cows never see a vet, countless canines vegetate on chains, and cuddly kittens become diseased, often resulting in blindness.
Thanks to GASAH and your donations we are able to get medical help to these animals when they are suffering most. We are also able to encourage more farmers to use our solar fences, which indirectly prevents suffering too.
This year also saw a record number of animals being sterilised. This was largely due to Holly having a good team of volunteers to support her now legendary feral animal catching skills as well as GASAH having your financial support.
It is a joy to witness what our little organisation has achieved in such a short time. Stepping Stone has now become a real education centre. This year over 20 volunteers received training, an insight into animal welfare work of a high calibre, and not least a valuable education for life at our much loved animal centre. Word spreads fast and this year demand to join our GASAH team on Kos far outweighed our ability to accommodate all the applicants.
Thank you to each and every one who worked as a volunteer!
Another big thank you goes to all those behind the scenes, too numerous to mention, who have assisted GASAH in 2016. Running an organisation like ours year in year out requires determination and a passionate love for animals. We are reliant on the help of our volunteers, and here Carol Siegenthaler requires special mention, as despite a challenging year health-wise, she has truly been my greatest support. We wish her good health in 2017 as we do each and every one of you as well.
My team and I faced many challenges, some enough to make your hair stand on end. Resilience and wisdom were called for, on almost a daily basis. When I reflect on 2016, I wonder how we coped – but we did because in difficult situations we had a loving, dedicated and well trained core team which gelled, and creatures which co-operated with us well, even when severely injured or sick. Many times when I made my daily check of the animals in our care, I felt I was walking through an animal hospital. Their beautiful characters, which anyone fortunate enough to adopt a GASAH dog or help those creatures in our care has certainly experienced, are the reason why we keep on keeping on year in year out.
Make no mistake: YOU enable us to keep on keeping on! You inspire us to continue educating ourselves and giving our best to GASAH. You are the sunshine on our GASAH horizon.
When the beautiful sun sets over Kos, showering our tired team with a feast of colour at the end of each challenging day, we are so grateful in our hearts that we have the finances to say yes to an essential OP or to another sterilisation the following day.
We feel it is a great honour to help these beautiful creatures and on behalf of the GASAH committee may I say how extremely privileged we feel to be part of an experienced, ever-developing animal welfare organisation. You are very much our inspiration and you enable us to play a major part in a wise and loving way in preventing the suffering of countless innocents who without GASAH would often have no hope of help.
As president, I would like to wish you and your loved ones a Happy Christmas, and remember: when the sun goes down on the horizon over a little island in Greece after the latest Aegean patient has been tucked up for the night, we feel thankful in our hearts for everyone who has donated and thus enabled each furry patient to get our help.
What more can I say except I wish you many wonderful sunsets in 2017!
On behalf of the GASAH Committee
Marion Jarvis, President