A couple who swapped life in Fulham for retirement on the Costa Del Sol, and ended up dedicating their lives to rescuing local dogs were highlighted recently in the first of a new series of Bargain Loving Brits In the Sun, being broadcast on Channel 5
In the first episode, the show follows Joe and Janice Safont Ruiz, who left Fulham for a peaceful life in Spain and ended up running a dog charity, Animals in Distress and looking after 18 dogs in their lovely villa.
Joe and Janice, a former florist at Harrods, have been running the charity since 2008 and say their aim is to rescue abandoned, abused animals and find them forever homes.
On Animals in Distress’ website, the couple say: ” For many years we independently helped animals in England. We moved to the Costa del Sol in 1998 and helped animals whenever possible. A few years later we moved inland to Coin and became even more aware of the plight of so many animals.
“In 2006 we started as fundraisers and worked with like-minded people to help the individual Foster homes and the small Rescue Centres that look after and home animals.
“Due to the volume of Stray and Abandoned animals we became more involved in 2007 rescuing and homing animals and in early 2008 we became a registered charity. All the Dogs are based in our shelter except the young and sick, which are taken care off in our home or foster home. We also have a small cattery.
“Our mission is to try to find good secure homes for the stray, abandoned, abused animals that we take in as well as networking with other charities to find homes here and in other parts of Europe. When financially able we also try to help the individuals and small charities that are overloaded with animals and lack the funds, so we provide food and medical care.”
“In the first episode of the Channel 5 show, the pair need to raise a whopping 60,000 Euros a year to pay vet bills and buy food for the 40 dogs in their shelter – not to mention the eighteen four legged friends that have taken over their home.