As soon as we parked our car we were greeted by a parade of wagging tails and excited dogs who came running towards the fence that separated us from them. Some were more excited than other....but I guess we were the most excited of all! Never in our lives had we seen so many dogs in one place. At that moment some of them were doing their morning exercise, others were being walked by a couple of helpers who had some time to spare and went up to Mellieha to spend a few hours with these beautiful creatures.
One of the helpers gave us a tour of the place and introduced us to the dogs, and then we were taken to Fabio and Richard who explained to us the reality behind those wagging tails and pretty smiles.
In this interview with Mark Vella Bardon, we find out more about the necessities to keep a place like this running as well as how the general public can help!
1. When and how did noah's ark start?
2. How many dogs do you have now?
Currently around 90 dogs.
3. Why do these dogs come to you?
Either because they are found abandoned and not claimed, or because their owners cannot keep them any longer for some reason. I have to clarify, however, that we only accept dogs for good reasons; we're not a "bring in site".
4. What ages are the dogs that you have?
They start from babies and go all the way up to 16 and 17 years old.
4. What are the most difficult aspects you encounter on a daily basis?
Obtaining enough funds to keep it running on our now-established standards.
5. How can people help?
Either by donations, cash or dog food (even vouchers from our suppliers) & by volunteering at the sanctuary. Sharing on the social media to spread the word also helps. You never know which kind laps our pleas fall on!
For those who are interested in hands-on help, visiting hours are from 830am - 1130am every day - Monday to Sunday. Volunteering includes taking dogs out for walks, helping us with keeping the place clean...we have something for everyone. People can come individually or in groups. We accept both children and adults because there is something for to do everyone. This week we had a visit from a group of ex-convicts who came over and did a brilliant job. To us, such groups are a God-send because there's never enough time or enough hands on deck!
Donations can be made here.
6. what's the adoption process?
People who want to adopt have to come and look around. We asses them (grill them) and if they find a suitably-matched dog they are asked to come a few times and spend time with it... only then do we conclude the adoption. It's not a "take-away" system. As much as possible we try to ensure that dogs find a forever-home.
So what are you waiting for? Help these good souls by donating something, or by organising a day out with your friends and going there to help. I can promise you that once you go, you are surrounded by so much pure joy that you'll regret having to leave!
We will certainly be back!