Meet Lucy – she’s one of the founding members of MAA-Morocco animal aid, which is an association set up to help the street animals of Morocco.
If you’ve already visited this part of Morocco, you’ll remember all the friendly street dogs at the beach – the ones that enjoy the comfort of your beach towel and will happily snuggle up next to you, or the cats that rest on your lap whilst you sip your morning coffee. You’ll remember how gentle and how healthy and well looked after they are.
MAA strives to help dogs and other street animals like these, keeping them happy, healthy and safe.
The association runs 100% on donations and the pure generosity of volunteers, who are a mix of locals and ex-pats throughout the areas of Aourir, Tamraght and Taghazout.
The passion and commitment of Lucy has not only improved the overall wellness of these animals, but greatly assisted in raising awareness within the local community, moving from an uncontrolled concern to a respected solution for animals, residents and even visiting tourists.
We recently sat down with Lucy for an interview. Here's what she had to say...
Why did you start the association?
MAA was started out of need rather than a burning desire. There were dogs and cats in the local area really needing help and Veterinary care but we were unable to cover the cost ourselves. There are always lots of concerned people coming and going through the area but we needed more stability. So we started a small association of people who were available and here we are :)
What is MAA working towards?
Ideally we’d like to have all the dogs and cats that populate the streets between Anza and Taghazout vaccinated and sterilised keeping them healthy and at a number that is low and comfortable for both human and animal residents :)
We’d like to be able to respond immediately with the right resources to emergency call outs like car accidents and seriously ill animals.
We’d like to be able to offer advice and education to local pet owners, farmers, people who use animals for work as to how best to care for their livestock and pets.
Why are you and the volunteers so passionate about this cause?
I guess we’re just animal people. All of us are keen supporters of many causes though. This one directly affects us here where we live. If we get any donations of things that we can’t use then we pass them over to other charities in the area. There are people all over doing great things.
How can someone visiting this part of Morocco help?
We take help in all forms...
There are still medications that we can’t get in Morocco. Scalibor collars (to protect against sand mites) are something we’re always looking for. Treatment for worming and tics/fleas is very expensive here. Donations of a packet can go along way here. Especially the 3 monthly, edible tablets that you can buy. We have animals who have come to our care through tragic situations who need sponsoring. Just £10 a month can help feed an animal who cannot live on the streets anymore.
On the ground volunteering - This season we will be having weekly pick up days and regional visits to known congregations of dogs or cats. We welcome volunteers to come and see what we do and help out.
Social Media - Likes and commenting on our posts are a great way to spread the word about what we’re doing.
Fundraisers - We have had a slew of amazing inspiring people run fundraisers for MAA - Yoga sessions, cake stalls, dinners :)
If people are in the area and see an animal that needs help, what should they do?
First things first is to assess the needs of the animal
If it's an emergency and the animal has life threatening injuries then they should go straight to a vet.
Our Vet is Dr. Ramiche and he is in Talborjt in Agadir.
The phone number is +212 5 28 84 76 83
They are open Monday to Saturday until 6pm
If you’re not sure of whats wrong or what to do then you can call us. +212 0697-749863
Puppies and kittens are often taken from the street from caring passers by but this isn’t always the best thing to do. Mothers sometimes wander off to find food or water and come back to no babies. It's very distressing for the mother and babies. If you find a baby animal you think is in danger (near a road or other animals) then move them close by to somewhere that is safe. Don’t remove it. If you think it's been abandoned then we recommend waiting a day, feeding it where it is and seeing if the mother comes back. Once you know for sure that there is no mother then you can contact us for advice or help.
What are some useful items that people could bring out to Morocco to donate?
Any worming medications, Scalibor collars. Old medication from your own pets. Leads and collars.
We also love it when people leave things when they go. Old towels get used up quick and any clothes we pass on to a sister charity that helps small Berber families in the mountains.
If you'd like to get in touch with Lucy or find out more about MMA you can visit moroccoanimalaid.com or stop by the Facebook page here.
Check out this video to see the amazing work that goes on every day in our little village: