Officially founded in May 2015 Angel’s Choice has been supporting rescuers of cats and dogs, mainly in North-Macedonia, for 5 full years and 8 months. 2020 is the second year Angel’s Choice no longer mediated dogs and cats for adoption. Activities have been focussed on fundraising, collecting donations, collecting necessities and shipping them to the rescuers, giving medical advice and networking. Also moral support is an important part of the job, because rescuing animals can be a very tough job: emotionally, financially and practical. The total lack of co-operation from locals and governmental institutes and more often their opposition is hard to deal with. In 2020 they also had to take the effects of Covid into consideration when organising transport for the animals that had a foster or forever home waiting for them. Lock-downs and closed borders sabotaged many transports.
Even though Angel’s Choice no longer mediates animals for adoption after-care still has to be provided for the animals that were adopted in the past. In this context Angel’s Choice provides behavioral and medical advice. One dog that was adopted four years ago had to be rehomed.
In total hundreds of dogs and cats in North-Macedonia depend on donations (money and necessities) collected by Angel’s Choice and sent to the rescuers. Because their shelters and sanctuaries have limited capacity the animals they rescue are always animals in need: ill, weak and injured dogs and cats from the streets. Kittens and puppies trying to survive without mother, dogs and cats that were poisoned, attacked, hit by a car or otherwise injured. Dogs with medical problems due to leishmania or diseases caused by other parasites and ticks.
As always we had our very sad moments, when dogs or cats died at shelter or sanctuary in North-Macedonia or happily adopted animals crossed the rainbow bridge.
In 2020 Angel’s Choice has structurally supported the following rescue organisations:
– Angelcats Sanctuary, Skopje, North-Macedonia (mainly cats) – supported since the beginning of 2015
– Friend of Animals, Prilep area, North-Macedonia (dogs, cats and also some birds and rodents) – supported since March 2019
– Dog Rescue Gastarovska, Skopje, North-Macedonia, supported since the beginning of 2015
– Masha’s friends, Skopje, North-Macedonia, supported since 2018
– Save the Stray Angels, Skopje, North-Macedonia, supported since 2018
And on a non structural basis:
– Kane Korze from Skopje, North-Macedonia
– and some individual rescuers.
At the beginning of 2020 Friend of Animals run by Vlatko and Save the Stray Angel run by Ruzica joined forces. The plan was to build a shelter near Prilep, mainly for dogs. At the beginning of August there were about one hundred dogs in this shelter when Vlatko backed out for mental and physical reasons. Leaving Ruzica to deal with the dogs on her own. On top of this villagers started a petition to close the shelter and the veterinary inspector told Ruzica to move all the dogs before October. A huge task but Ruzica made it. In October she moved from the caravan next to the shelter to a real home of her own elsewhere. A home with rooms for dogs and cats and a small yard. She could buy this property thanks to donations and two substantial 0% loans Angel’s Choice and Angelcats Sanctuary helped to secure. After Ruzica left Vlatko resumed his activities at a small scale. Angel’s Choice will try and help him with neuterings.
In 2020 the last foster dog in the Netherlands, Fina (rescued by Animalia Ohrid), was adopted by her long term foster family.
In general Angel’s Choice is not involved with individual dogs and cats from the various rescue organisations unless something specific is going on. Most of the times this means handicapped or gravely ill animals. In those cases Angel’s Choice provides medical information, sends medication or supplements, tries to find sponsors to pay for the daily necessities (diapers, wet wipes, desinfectant, supplements, good food, etc) and medical care, or fundraising for transport to their forever homes abroad. Some of these animals are Wulf (paralysed dog, shot), Bayley (paralysed dog), Malecka (three legged dog), Crni (dog without front legs, run over by train), Bibi (paralysed dog), Miss Teddy (paralysed dog, shot), Pluto (dog, pelvic trauma), Leo (paralysed cat), Max (paralysed and badly abused dog), Tracy (dog with mammal tumors), Lucky (dog with ehrlichia and leishmania), Lara (dog with leishmania), Han (dog with ehrlichia and probably leishmania), Brownie (paralysed dog), Fido (paralysed dog).
Neutering is the best way to save lives. Therefore Angel’s Choice continued the neutering project with Angelcats Sanctuary. In 2020 the miraculous number of 543 cats were neutered: new arrivals at Angelcats Sanctuary, stray cats (trapped, neutered and returned to their area), cats looked after by other rescuers in Skopje and other cities. 200 of those neuterings were paid for by a donation from Dutch organisation Stichting Dierennood. The remainder of the neuterings were paid for by donations from individual sponsors, Dutch organisation Stichting Mr Darcy, collected coupons and auctions organised by Angel’s Choice. 543 neuterings at 20 euro per neutering means 10.860 euro!
There was no neutering project for dogs. The various rescue organisations took care of the necessary neuterings on their own. Angel’s Choice did raise money for a dozen neuterings at Friend of Animals.
One of the main tasks is raising money for food, medical treatment, supplements, neuterings and vaccinations. Some of the rescue organisations and Angel’s Choice itself have some loyal supporters who donate a fixed amount each month. Some dogs and cats have sponsors of their own, mainly the handicapped dogs at Dog Rescue Gastorovska. Angel’s Choice received a percentage of proceeds from sales (Charity Solid Shampoo Bars, artist Lidwien Rouweler, sponsorkliks). Coupons from supermarkets collected by various individuals and sent to Angel’s Choice were also a source of income thanks to Kitty Maijer who knows how to turn these coupons into euro’s.
In addition Angel’s Choice organised 12 auctions in 2020 (thanks for helping out Hans Toorneman and Monique Stavast) and the proceeds (9.975 euro) were used to pay vet bills, medication, supplements, special diet food and neuterings. The items sold on these auctions are donations made by individual supporters such as books, CD’s, DVD’s, art, jewellery, utensils, clothing items, knick-knacks and so on. Shipping costs of sold items are sponsored by publishing company A3 boeken.
Once again Angel’s Choice received many necessities from people in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. E.g. deworming tablets, spot on anti-flea treatments, all kinds of medication, diapers, puppy training pads, blankets, towels, dog coats, collars, leashes, harnesses, vitamins and other supplements, snacks, toys, cages, baskets, carrier bags, bandages, gauzes, medical cones, food bowls, clothes for the rescuers and more.
In total 26 parcels of 20 kilo each were sent to the various rescuers and rescue organisations in North-Macedonia by mail (shipping sponsored by publishing company A3 boeken).
In 2020 we were lucky because in total 270 kilo of necessities (120 kilo for Save the Stray Angels and 150 kilo for Kane Korzo) could be sent with dog transporters on their trip back to North-Macedonia.
Over 100 tubes of eye-ointment Terramycine were sent to Melita at Anima Mundi (Skopje) for their kitten project. Many kittens are found with infected eyes and left untreated they will go blind. Terramycin is not available in North-Macedonia hence our campaign to collect as many of these tubes as possible.
Items that could not be sent to North-Macedonia because of size, weight or contents were distributed amongst various private sanctuaries in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Angel’s Choice (run by Adrie Beyen with moral support from Angel, adopted from a Dutch public shelter, Belco, adopted from North-Macedonia, and Oezie, former Dutch stray cat) wants to thank all the people who have contributed one way or another: rescuers, sponsors, loyal supporters, people who donated necessities, people who donated items for the auction, people who collected coupons, people who shared their thoughts and ideas, vets who offered their opinion and advice, people who bought at the auctions, and everybody I forgot to mention.