Dreams DO Come True. The Heartwarming Tale Of Jamie The Pitbull.

A Happy Ending For Jamie Credit: Paws Patas

YES, apparently they do, and after almost four years, that is 1,441 days, the dream of living in a caring and loving family home finally came true for Jamie.

In 2019 on November 3, a distressed and forlorn looking Pitbull was left tied to the PAWS-PATAS shelter gate in Los Gallardos, Almeria. Frightened, hungry, very thin and with some terrible wounds and ears cut to give a more menacing look, the poor pup, estimated to be around five years old, was named Jamie by one of the volunteers. It didn’t take long to find out that Jamie was indeed a huge softie and he became a favourite among the shelter workers.

Jamie was also suffering from leishmaniasis, a disease which has many symptoms, including fur loss, enlarged lymph nodes, spleen and eye problems and nosebleeds. The disease, which is caused by a parasite, can be treated with lifelong medication but there is no cure. Shelter Manager, Vanessa Maipauw, was aware that it would not be easy finding someone to adopt him due to this. 

Although Spain does not have breed specific bans, there are restrictions on certain ones such as Staffordshire Terriers, Rottweilers and Pitbulls. There was a massive sigh of relief for Jamie in August 2021, when he was adopted by an English couple, but sadly, due to Brexit rules, after a couple of months he was returned to the shelter because they had to go back to the UK. Another stressful episode in this poor animal’s life.

Then, a miracle occurred when a Dutch couple contacted Vanessa, stipulating that they were keen to rescue an elderly dog and didn’t mind if there were any health issues. Whilst on holiday in Spain, they came to visit him and were immediately taken with his calm and friendly manner. Finally, at nearly nine years old, Jamie had found his forever family, complete with adorable parents in a safe, secure and loving home.


Christine Logan, who has been a volunteer for the past five years, fell instantly in love with Jamie and felt a very special bond between them. Unfortunately, she was unable to adopt him because she already had four animals of her own to look after. However, Jamie occasionally accompanied her when she planned a fundraising event, and even walked a millions steps by her side, raising 2,000 euros! Then, last year Christine thought of another wacky way to raise some much needed funds and decided upon a sleepover with Jamie in his kennel, collecting a further 1,800 euros from the generous public! After his adoption was finalised, with Jamie being the second longest resident at the shelter, Christine decided that he couldn’t possibly leave without a farewell party, and so he enjoyed a succulent steak dinner, plus a specially decorated pup cake…and of course another sleepover to snuggle with her. 

As the time came for Jamie to finally say goodbye to the shelter for good, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as the volunteers waved him farewell. Of course, they were happy tears, to see this beautiful boy free at last.

The story of this animal shelter begins in 1985, when a couple of British expatriates decided to start doing something about the number of abandoned and mistreated animals roaming wild in the area. They built a shelter to attend to their needs and find them loving “furever” homes.

In 1996, ‘PAWS-PATAS’ was officially registered as a charity. PAWS-PATAS receives no statutory funding and relies heavily on the financial backbone supplied by their four outlets in Mojacar, Turre and Las Buganvillas, plus people‘s generous donations and the aid of fundraising events. 

The monthly outgoings at the shelter can amount to over 14,000 euros, which includes vet bills, food, water, fuel, maintenance, etc. Thankfully, the recent instalment of solar panels has reduced the electricity bill immensely. The shelter is currently at bursting point with so many kittens, cats, puppies and dogs. Even though they continue to have local people adopt and arrange several oversea transports to the UK, Holland, Germany, Belgium and Italy, they also desperately need local fosterers and food, bedding and medication.

If you wish to adopt, all the animals are vaccinated, neutered, micro chipped and have their passports. They can also help you with paperwork and possible transport if you live outside of Spain.

The charity also needs voluntary help in so many different areas, and even if you can only offer a few hours per week, every little bit makes a difference!  Dog walking and socialising with the cats, administration (which you can also do from home), fundraising, shelter shopping, driving dogs to the vets or oversea volunteers to Almeria airport or Vera bus station. 

For all information please visit their website: www.paws-patas.org or email: dogs@paws-patas.org or cats@paws-patas.org.

Finally, if you have a motorhome or caravan which you no longer want, please email: chrissie@paws-patas.org

This charity will continue to do their incredible and much needed work, no matter what. But, if we all pull together, we can make a huge difference in the lives of these innocent creatures who, due to no fault of their own, desperately need our help. 

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Written by

Jennifer Popplewell

Jennifer is a proud northerner from Sheffield, England, who is currently living in Spain. She loves swimming in rivers, talking to the stars and eating luxurious chocolate.