At the end of August 2010, a dog was found by a passerby on the main road to Bournezeau. She took him to the vet to check whether he was identified. By pure chance I happened to be there with one of our cats. The dog did not look unhappy, although very scared. After all, he had been brought into a strange environment with a rope round his neck. As is the procedure, the vet checked whether the dog had a tatoo or micro chip. He had neither. He remained at the vet’s practice for a while and was later transferred to the town kennels.

It was a couple of weeks later that I got a phone call from our vet's assistant. She told me that the dog’s euthanasia was programmed for the following Friday afternoon – i.e. the next day!  As we had already helped the vet with placing other animals, especially cats, she asked me if we could do something for this dog as well. It was only later that we heard that the vet had refused to put him down, or at least had tried to postpone the evil day. The dog was (and still is, because he was adopted later) not only very beautiful, but also very friendly. He was only young and should have had his whole life in front of him.

Of course we promised to make an effort, so we called some friends of ours who were more familiar with the French rules at the time. The woman phoned the Maire himself with great urgency. They discussed the matter and agreed that he would give the dog to us, on condition that we would create an association for the protection of animals. This was confirmed in a letter to the Maire dated the 3rd of September 2010.

And that is where it all started! The statutes of the association were drawn up and signed on the 10th of September and the association was declared active from the 15th of September onwards. Soon after that the dog was released, brought to the vet to be micro chipped and vaccinated and a couple of weeks later he was adopted.

Since then, to date the association has successfully placed 215 animals (mainly cats, a few dogs, two sheep, a rabbit, some birds and a chicken) into loving and responsible homes. This alone is a good reason to celebrate Nala's fourth birthday with pride and joy. (And why not with a bottle of wine and a birthday cake, too!)

We would like to thank all volunteers who have helped NALA over the last 4 years with this sometimes impossible task. But hey, it was worth it! 215 animals saved! Thank you all! We and all our animals wish you a lovely, sunny, NALA Birthday. And a little “hello” from our smallest protégé now one month old.