domenica 21 dicembre 2014
SPECIAL DAY, today, thanks to my friend Estér, an Argentinian vet that moved to Italy many years ago. She took me and Satoko to Zola (near Bologna) public dogs and cats shelter. We were very surprised by the good quality of the system. In Italy there are not gas chambers Ōzato-style: they are forbidden. As well as it is forbidden by the law to abandon or abuse animals: prison waits for the bad people that treat animals as ‘2nd class’ creatures.
We met the wonderful volunteers that manage the place, kept alive by public money and private donations. Every Italian town or so has a public shelter where animals are kept at their best by unpaid volunteers and by paid vets and ‘dogs educators’. Emilia Romagna region is probably the best in Italy to follow this system: animals here, generally speaking, have more chances than in other places (in barbaric France, U.K., U.S.A. and many other countries where still gas chambers exist). Volunteers were shocked when I told them about Ōzato’system (four days for stray cats, five for dogs, then CO2…), here considered almost a bad kind of science fiction…
We met wonderful cats and dogs. The shelter organizes many public events where animals can be adopted. They also have tables at markets selling handicrafts and raise funds. Every week schools come to visit the place and children walk the dogs around. At the end of the visit we gave some gifts to the volunteers (my Okinawa’s neko postcards, Satoko’s handmade key holders and neko-shaped pins), as well as a brochure of an Osaka’s group that promotes stray cats sterilization. Visiting Zola’s shelter has been a challenging experience for me and Satoko: now our hope for a better future for Okinawans stray animals is stronger. Muchas gracias, Estér!