Thank you for being you

It is in moments of humanitarian crisis, in the eye of the hurricane where you encounter the most precious things. A gentle gesture, a friendly face, purity and selflessness. We found this at Casa di Axel, an extraordinary animal shelter in Emilia Romagno (Italy) whose founders saved countless animals from drowning in the flood.

La Casa di Axel run by Francesco and Francesca is anything but ordinary. Why? Because they dedicate their lives to giving a second chance to the most aggressive dogs in society. Dogs that were on death row. Francesco is specialised in working with aggressive dogs and with patience and respect, he works to reeducate aggressive dogs and gives them a second chance in society.

Sadly it doesn’t always work, so they created an area of paradise where dogs that can never be adopted again, mainly pit bulls, can live a life without fear, with stimulation, and with respect.  

Their kennels are kept meticulously clean, and three times a day the dogs are able to roam around on a large field, surrounded by trees and endless agricultural fields. There is only one volunteer (Christina) brave enough to handle these dogs, and the dogs have accepted her presence. It is fascinating to see how Christina adapts the way she interacts with each individual dog in order not to stress them.  

They were saving money to build an on-site infirmary, but during the flooding, Francesco and Francesca used this money to supply food in the adjacent villages and to rescue animals. Adaptable as they are. they turned their shelter into a base camp and helped hundreds of animals in their region. Francesca organised the delivery of industrial quantities of animal food to save hundreds of animals in need; she took in evacuated dogs and organised temporary housing for countless pets.

Even though she clearly has her hands full running her own shelter, every day she drives food to the next-door villages to make sure no animal goes hungry.

Their own shelter was also affected by the bad weather, but when they heard that the fire brigade didn’t allow people to take their pets on the rescue boats, Francesco took a rowing boat and walked through the water for 5 km, stumbling on cars and drowned tractors to save trapped animals.  

In an abandoned house Francesco found 50 little birds in cages in a room that was filling up with water. He had to find a way to rescue the birds, but didn’t know how. He went to the garage, where the water was to his chin and there he found car tires. He used those to create a floating device. All of this while risking his own life as the water was rising at an alarming rate. Francesco managed to take all the birds out safely and transported them on the flooded streets on the improvised boat made of car tires.

This is our definition of animal heroes! Two selfless people that care for animals in the most difficult situations. Sacrificing so much for animals can be very lonely, because who supports them?  Who pays their bills? Who helps them with the car of their animals and who helps them to repair the damages done by the flooding and storm?

This is why we started Animal Heroes, an organisation that is not ours, but that belongs to each and every animal friend wherever you are. Our single aim is to serve animal heroes, so they can continue to save lives or to make their life a little bit easier. We make people like Francesco and Francesca visible to animal friends wherever they are, not just to get financial support, but also to make them feel that people care and that they are not alone. We are proud to call Francesco and Francesca our friends.

We would like to help them build their infirmary. Should you wish to support them, you can contribute to our crowdfunding at the link below:

How can we help you?