By Tim Fanning

PALMA Council remains determined to close the Centro Canino and remove the animals to the municipal pound at Son Reus. At a briefing yesterday, the council reiterated that the animals will be removed on February 15.

This is despite a growing campaign to save the animal refuge, which has seen animal lovers across Europe sending messages of support to the centre at Es Pilori. Among those lending their support to the campaign are the MP Roger Gale and the MSP Ted Brocklebank.

Julie Ford, the vice president of the Centro Canino, said yesterday that the phone hadn't stopped ringing since the news came out that the centre was under threat once again.

She added that she was sorry that it had not been possible physically to reply to everyone that had contacted the centre in support.
The president of the centre, Juan Gil, has been inundated with requests from the local media for interviews.
Last night the story featured on local television and at least two production companies are looking at making documentaries about the centre for British and German television respectively.

The council, while determined to remove the animals, says they will not be put down in Son Reus. The pound euthanises animals after a certain period of time as opposed to the no-kill policy of the Centro Canino.

Ford yesterday lamented this latest episode in the long and turbulent history of the animal refuge. “We have never wanted these confrontations,” she said. “We have never wanted this, we have always wanted to work with the authorities.” She said that the council was sitting on the boarding kennel licence that the centre applied for in September. “We know and they know that if we get this licence we'll be able to carry on.” She added that, while animal welfare had improved in the rest of Spain, in Majorca it seemed to be getting worse. She said that the only thing those involved with the refuge wanted was to help abandoned animals on the island. “The only way we can do that is to have the cooperation of the powers that be,” she said. “We have always gone along with what we have been told by the council.” Ford also told the Bulletin that some British sympathisers had contacted the centre by email calling for a boycott of the Island's tourist industry and saying they were planning to drive a van through Palma and the local tourist resorts with pictures of the affected animals on the side. Ford said that should the council remove the animals many of them will need specialised veterinary treatment - which the Centro Canino has been providing - as some of them are quite old and sick.

Gil has been talking to members of Palma Council and the Island Council to see if the centre's closure can be averted.
Meanwhile, the work goes on. Yesterday, a stray was found at the entrance to the centre, which Julie has decided to call Angel.
Another 16-year-old dog called Evita, which is suffering from cancer, has been adopted by two local women.