Annual report 2017

This is the second full year Angel’s Choice has operated. And once again it was an emotional rollercoaster: immense sadness, anger, frustration, relief, gratefulness and joy painted the animal rescue landscape.
Angel’s Choice mainly supports animal rescuers in Macedonia. This is a non-EU country which means that adoption of cats and dogs abroad is more complicated than adopting animals from a EU country. Also sending money and donated goods is very difficult, sometimes impossible, and very expensive. The possibilities of transporting animals by plane are limited. Transport by road takes a long time and there are no professional transport companies that take animals from Macedonia to Western Europe.
The animal rescuers in Macedonia are getting exhausted by the continuing fight for animal welfare in general and the well-being of individual animals. Lots of horrific events take place: animals being murdered with axes, mass poisoning (even neutered stray animals are being poisoned), bestiality and mass abandoning of pets. Lots of medication and analytical tools are not available or of poor quality, which means a diagnosis cannot always be made properly and accurately, diseases and damage caused by trauma cannot be treated adequately.
Every life saved and every forever home found are the fuel to keep the animal rescuers going despite everything.

Organisations supported
In 2017 Angel’s Choice supported:
– Angelcats Sanctuary, Skopje, Macedonia (mainly cats, but also some dogs) – supported since the beginning of 2015
– Animalia Ohrid, Ohrid, Macedonia (mainly dogs, but also some cats) – supported since spring 2015
Support of Dog Rescue Gastarovska, Skopje, Macedonia, ended in March 2017, because communication had become impossible due to continuing personal problems of the animal rescuer.
Full support means trying to raise money for medical treatments, food and other necessities for daily care, trying to find a forever home for some of the animals and organising transport, networking, providing information and second opinion from vets and specialists, moral support, et cetera.

Individual animals supported with fundraisers
Lunita, handicapped dog from Argentina, rescued from adopters in USA in 2015, now long term fostered in USA – facilitating fundraiser for medical expenses
Doris, handicapped dog in Argentina, facilitating fundraisers for medical expenses
Manjar, handicapped dog in Chile, facilitating fundraisers for medical expenses

Special medical care
In 2017 two animals were brought to a foster home in the Netherlands to make better medical treatment possible. In January cat Pepper from Angelcats Sanctuary arrived. Due to a dog attack she had lost a hind leg and part of her ear. After that she developed severe gingivitis. She went to a specialised vet and had surgery: all teeth except the fangs were removed. She made a good recovery after surgery and after a failed adoption she finally found her true forever home.
Dog Sharko was rescued by Dog Rescue Gastarovska and treated with Milteforan for leishmania in the summer of 2016. Since then he had been in paid pension, but this could not continue. On arrival in April in the Netherlands it was clear the leismania was active again and his kidneys were not in good condition. He was treated with Milteforan in May and his kidneys recovered. However after several months it was clear the leishmania was still active and he was treated with Glucantime injections during December. We hope his leishmania will be under control. New bloodwork will tell us in 2018. He is still looking for a forever home.

39 dogs and cats went to their forever or foster home
For some of the dogs and cats in this list Angel’s Choice found a home and organised transport. For others only transport was organised, e.g. when tourists visiting Macedonia found a stray animal and wanted to take it home. This is not possible straight away, because the cat or dog has to receive a rabies vaccination, chip and passport. After that several weeks have to pass before an animal is allowed to enter another country. During those weeks the animals were fostered by Animalia in Ohrid or Angelcats Sanctuary in Skopje.

Goldie, dog, private rescue by Dutch tourists in Ohrid, went missing before she could be taken to the shelter of Animalia. She was dislocated by the hotel owner and turned up in another village months later. Organisation transport.
Pepper, cat, rescued by Angelcats Sanctuary when she was tiny after a dog attack, lost a leg and part of ear, developed severe gingivitis. Had surgery during foster care in the Netherlands and recovered fully. Had a failed adoption (appeared not to be very fond of men) and found her true forever home later this year. Medical care in the Netherlands, organisation transport, finding foster home, mediation for adoption.
Zaga, dog, rescued by Dog Rescue Gastarovska when found paralysed, had bad wounds. After 2 years brought to the Netherlands to a foster home. Had a failed adoption and at the end of 2017 still in foster care. Full support from the moment she was found, mediation for adoption, organisation transport.
Molly, dog, rescued by Dog Rescue Gastarovska when she was still a baby. One hind leg or hip was not in the right position. Adopted in Germany. Mediation for adoption, organisation transport.
Dushi, cat, rescued by Angelcats Sanctuary, had major surgery on disjointed hip. Adopted in the Netherlands. Mediation for adoption and organisation transport.
Sharko, dog with leishmania, rescued by Dog Rescue Gastarovska. Went to foster home in the Netherlands, intensive medical treatment, still in foster home at end of the year. Medical care in the Netherlands, organisation transport, finding foster home.
Alice, dog, rescued by Dog Rescue Gastarovska. Went to foster home in the Netherlands, found forever home in the Netherlands. Organisation transport, finding foster home, mediation for adoption.
Alba, dog, rescued by Dog Rescue Gastarovska. Went to foster home in the Netherlands, found forever home in the Netherlands. Organisation transport, finding foster home, mediation for adoption.
Nika, cat, private rescue by Macedonian woman in Nigeria. Providing information and finding trustworthy animal rescue organisation in Nigeria
Lily, cat with three legs, rescued by Angelcats Sanctuary. Adopted in the Netherlands. Mediation for adoption and organisation transport.
Rory, CH kitten, rescued by Animalia’s Cat Sanctuary. Adopted in the Netherlands. Mediation for adoption and organisation transport.
Gianna, dog, rescued by Angelcats Sanctuary in cooperation with Iva Zafirovska. Fostered in the Netherlands, adopted in the Netherlands. Mediation for adoption and organisation transport.
Ziggy, dog, rescued by Angelcats Sanctuary. Fostered in the Netherlands, adopted in the Netherlands. Mediation for adoption and organisation transport.
Bea, dog, rescued by Animalia Ohrid. Adopted in UK. Help with organisation transport.
Lian, dog, rescued by Animalia Ohrid. Adopted in UK. Help with organisation transport.
Roo, CH kitten, fostered by Melita Ivanova, Skopje. Adopted in the Netherlands. Organisation transport and temporary foster care.
Max, cat, rescued by Angelcats Sanctuary. Adopted in the Netherlands. Mediation for adoption and organisation transport.
Tea, paralysed/wounded cat found by a girl. Responsible animal rescuer: Tatjana Atanasova. Rescued from scam foster home in Skopje. Fostered by Angelcats Sanctuary. General support, fundraising, organisation transport.
Luna, dog, Private rescue by Dutch tourists. Fostered by Animalia Ohrid. Adopted in the Netherlands. Organisation transport
Aron, dog with three legs abandoned by owner. Fostered by Animalia Ohrid. Adopted in Spain. Arranging foster care, organisation transport.
Simba, cat with broken hip. Rescued by Angelcats Sanctuary and fostered by Melita Ivanova. Mediation for adoption and organisation transport.
Louisa, CH kitten, rescued and fostered by Melita Ivanova. Mediation for adoption and organisation transport.
Rostislav, cat with mild CH, rescued by Angelcats Sanctuary. Mediation for adoption, organisation transport.
Lola, dog, rescued by Angelcats Sanctuary. Adopted in Belgium. Mediation for adoption, organisation transport.
Rina, dog, rescued by Animalia Ohrid. Fostered in the Netherlands. Adopted in the Netherlands. Organisation transport and mediation for adoption.
Meglena, cat, rescued by Angelcats Sanctuary. Adopted in the Netherlands. Mediation for adoption, organisation transport.
Madonna, cat, rescued by Angelcats Sanctuary. Adopted in the Netherlands. Mediation for adoption, organisation transport.
Tommy, handicapped dog, rescued by Animalia Ohrid. Adopted in the Netherlands. Mediation for adoption, organisation transport.
Pepe, cat, rescued by Melita Ivanova. Adopted in the Netherlands. Organisation transport.
Jiji, dog, rescued by Animalia Ohrid. Adopted in the Netherlands. Mediation for adoption, organisation transport.
Marie, cat from Macedonia. Help with emergency rehoming in Germany after failed adoption.
Bolvi, dog, rescued at the request of a German tourist. Fostered at Animalia Ohrid. Adopted in Germany. Organisation transport.
Ani, dog, rescued by Animalia Ohrid. Adopted in Germany. Organisation transport.
Mimi, dog with leishmania and injuries after being hit by car and , rescued by Animalia Ohrid. Adopted in Belgium. Mediation for adoption, organisation transport.
Gamma, dog with three legs, rescued by Animalia Ohrid. Adopted in the Netherlands. Mediation for adoption, organisation transport.
Garo, dog, member of Belco’s pack. Responsible animal rescuer: Tatjana Atanasova. Adopted in the Netherlands. Mediation for adoption, organisation transport.
Piccolo, dog, rescued by Angelcats Sanctuary. Failed adoption in Macedonia. Adopted in the Netherlands. Mediation for adoption, organisation transport.
Roxy Marmalade, cat, rescued by Angelcats Sanctuary. Adopted in the Netherlands. Mediation for adoption, organisation transport.
Pixie, dog, rescued by Angelcats Sanctuary. Adopted in the Netherlands. Mediation for adoption, organisation transport.

Visits
Maja Popovska of Angelcats Sanctuary brought animals to the Netherlands or Germany several times. The opportunity was seized to visit as many of ‘her’ rescued animals as possible. Also Adrie of Angel’s Choice visits adopted cats and dogs regularly. In 2017 some of the visited animals in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium were Teo, Mali, Lily, Mika, Lily Rose, Rory, Jane, Olly, Aya, Ava, Lajka, Marlo, Kees, Olav, Kaja, Mona, Civki, Freckles, Belco, Rainbow, Sarina, Tea, Dottie, Gianna, Lola and Little Prince. It is always a joy to meet them again.

Donated necessities
Many necessities were donated by people, vet clinics and organisations in the Netherlands and Belgium. E.g. deworming tablets, spot on anti flea treatments, all kinds of medication, diapers, puppy training pads, blankets, duvets, towels, dog coats, collars, leashes, harnesses, vitamins and other supplements, snacks, toys, cages, baskets, desinfectants, ointments, cleaning products, carrier bags, transporter benches, bandages, gauzes, medical cones, food bowls and more. The main part of the donated items were transported to the animal rescue organisations in Macedonia. Items that could not be sent to Macedonia because of their size, weight or contents were distributed amongst various private sanctuaries in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. 

Fundraising
One of the main tasks is raising money for medical treatment, food, neuterings, vaccinations and transport. All supported organisations and some of the individual dogs at their shelters or sanctuaries have loyal supporters who pay each month a fixed amount (10 euro or more). Unfortunately there has been a decline in the total number of loyal supporters, but even if the total number had been the same as in 2016, their donations would not have been enough to take care of all the needs. Fortunately there are also one off donations and fundraisers for special cases or urgent situations help getting more donations. The fundraiser for the new home of Angelcats Sanctuary that started in 2016 is still running at the end of 2017, because not enough money has been raised yet. The fundraiser for a badly needed car for Animalia Ohrid was closed because there was enough money raised to buy the car. But the fundraiser for food for all dogs in the shelter of Animalia Ohrid and lots of stray dogs in Ohrid is still running.
Other ways to raise money are collecting coupons and auctions. Once again in 2017 the coupons raised a few hundred euro’s. In 2017 seven auctions were organised. Items were donated by private sponsors and auctioned on a special page on Facebook. The money raised by the auctions, in total several thousands of euro’s, is mainly used to pay vet bills and other medical expenses.
In October 2017 Belgian organisation ARAS organised their second benefit event in Gent. It was visited by Maja Popovska of Angelcats Sanctuary and Adrie Beyen on behalf of Angel’s Choice. It was a big success. Maja went home with 90 kilo of donated items and Adrie drove home with a car filled to the brim with mainly blankets and baskets. Also the main part of the money raised was donated to Angel’s Choice.

 RIP
As the animals rescuers have to restrict themselves to helping the dogs and cats that need their help the most, they get a lot of ill, injured, maltreated, undernourished, abandoned and handicapped dogs and cats. This means quite a high percentage of them dies. This has always a huge impact on all involved and many many tears have been shed in 2017, but it is a comfort to know that the animal did not die alone and knew human love before it crossed the rainbow bridge.
We also lose animals because of their age, like this year poodle Leo and spaniel Mickey, both adopted in the Netherlands in 2016.
In 2017 we also mourned husky girl Hana, who lost her fight against leishmania, and handicapped cat Lily Rose, who developed scoliosis. Both were adopted in Belgium.

Thank you
Angel and I (Adrie Beyen) want to say thank you to all the animal rescuers for doing what they do every day of their lives. They are the first link in the chain to a new and happy life for a dog or cat. We really admire and respect them for their tenacity, perseverance, expertise and endless TLC.
We also want to thank all the people who have adopted or fostered a dog or cat, the people who were flight volunteer, helped finding the animals a home, donated money and items, helped running the auction, shared information and expertise, offered moral support and made it possible to go on.
I do not give the names of all those people because I am afraid I will forget some. When you read this and have helped one way or another: thank you ❤ And yes, this text is the same as last year, because in fact nothing has changed: we are still very grateful because without all of you nothing could have been achieved.

31122017

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