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We thought we would share with you this article about how GPAR started!

GPAR was formed when some of the founding members, Loly, Sarah, Maria Mariceli and Antonio, who are still working at the refuge today, realised the problem of so many abandoned dogs in and around Rute where they lived.

They did not want to keep looking away but wanted to try and help as much as they could, so they decided to join together rather than acting independently so that as a group force they could hope to achieve better results in helping maltreated animals. It was as Antonio says “ A union of Animal Lovers”

In November 2007 they had a meeting in a bar in the town of Rute and agreed to start up a legal Association. It was then that they decided to call this ‘Grupo de Proteccion Animal de Rute or “GPAR” It was a long hard task of paperwork and legalities but 8 months later in July 2008 they received approval from the Government of Andalucia to become a registered charity

In the beginning they had many needs, there was no shelter and only had a few foster homes which were always full.Their first refuge was at Javier’s house, a friend of Loly and Antonio’s who had an old chicken pen which was no longer used and using this they were able to take in 6 or 7 dogs. This is still used for puppies or as a convalescing area for dogs who who have had operations or needing individual care.

Very soon they realised that this shelter was too small so they started looking for a bigger place and they found a beautiful plot surrounded by many trees, but then this became too small for their needs as they were always so many dogs that needed to be taken in and they had to pay €150 a month rent which was very expensive for them.

They decided to talk to the local authorities and to get them to look into the matter and try and persuade them to provide an area of land so that they could build a bigger and better equipped shelter

The local town hall understood how important their work was for the town - they were doing a public service for free and they consequently helped them to find a suitable area just outside the town and with the help of many volunteers, some English, at the end of the Summer 2010 they were able to start building the new shelter and in October 2010 they moved into what is now their permanent home!

The pictures show this story - the first three being the original 2 refuges, and then the construction of their permanent home - GPAR today!