Luna Foundation: “We need more volunteers. More volunteers mean more rescued dogs”

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(Oranjestad)—From the time she arrives on the property at 8am up to 6pm, Zoey is still seen taking care of her sanctuary, making sure the dogs and animals are getting enough care. The Luna Foundation is a well-known organization on the island for its beautiful work and dedication for mistreated or abandoned dogs. In an interview with Bon Dia Aruba, founder and president of the Luna Foundation, Zoey Konijn, shared how the foundation is currently running and what is in store for this year.

Konijn expressed that this year started with an expansion of the sanctuary. The property expanded and the goal of this was to finally construct the retirement home for old dogs, and a yard for the puppies to play it.

She also remarked that there has been a hospital on the property since last year, but which only became active this year. This hospital is only meant for the dogs on the property.

“If they ever get sick, we don’t need to take them to the vet, because we have our hospital. The only problem is we don’t have a stay-in veterinarian, but the local vet comes to the hospital when needed,” she indicated.

She explained that they also have a nursery for dogs in labor. The Luna Foundation does not actually pick up pregnant dogs from the streets; they mostly only pick up dogs that have been abused by their owner. However, they do see pregnant dogs roam the streets sometimes, and they help. Their nursery has three cages where the dogs can peacefully give birth.

“The plan for this year is to start building the retirement home for the older dogs, and to make sure we take in more puppies, because other organizations are out of space. We want to help where we can,” Konijn expressed.

To achieve this though, they need volunteers. The topic of volunteers remains a problem and Konijn highlights that many people ask for help but no one offers help to the organization that are in need of more assistance with the dogs. “More volunteers mean more rescued dogs.”

The Luna Foundation currently houses 100 dogs, and Konijn says that she is on the property every day, with others or even alone. “It’s a lot of work. I’m not complaining though, I love my work, but it’s not easy. The more volunteers we can get to help us in here, the more dogs we can help out there,” she expressed.

In terms of funding, the foundation has been receiving donations from Renaissance Marketplace for two consecutive years now. Konijn explained that they work every day, from 6pm to 10pm, and the funds they collected from kids, parents and even tourists all go to the foundation.

“We work hard for this, and Arubans showed up. The island came together and showed us their support for our work, and with that fund, we can make the property even bigger,” she indicated.

The Luna Foundation is one of the 5 foundations that have joined forced to create the AWAA foundation. The task of the Luna Foundation is to provide education. This includes going to neighborhoods and schools to education the public on how to handle their pets.

Konijn also pointed out that they need volunteers for this task too, a problem that cannot be swept under the rug after one weekend of volunteering events. “When Aruba Doet takes place, everyone is willing to help, but the foundation needs help all year round, not just that one weekend. The more volunteers we have, the more the foundation can do,” she added.