Alejandro Davidovich Fokina has turned his lifelong love for animals into a project that aims to ensure that no pets in Spain are abandoned or abused.
The Spaniard, ranked No.56 in the FedEx ATP rankings, took time during the Open AnyTech365 Andalucia in Marbella to raise awareness of a growing side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pet abandonment has skyrocketed around the world as families struggle to cope with financial hardship, including in Davidovich Fokina’s native Spain.
In response, the player launched Adoptas.org, their own online pet adoption platform that aims to connect anyone wishing to adopt or foster a pet with shelters and rescues across the country. Spain.
“Announcing this makes me more nervous than playing tennis,” Davidovich Fokina told a Zoom press conference. “I do this out of love for animals and because I am outraged by the abandonment of animals.
“After the lockdown due to the pandemic, many pets were abandoned, a sharp increase of 25%,” he added, referring to statistics in Spain.
The project aims to leverage the increased visibility enjoyed by the player to support Spanish animal shelters across the country by speeding up the adoption process and facilitating direct fundraising from donors. At the same time, Adoptas.org also hopes to educate the public on the benefits of adopting and rescuing animals in place of pet stores and breeders, and how to take care of their animal welfare.
For 21-year-old Davidovich Fokina, it’s a question close to his heart. The Malaga native has always had a deep love for stray animals – in part because he didn’t have his own pets at home as a child.
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“[I’ve loved animals] since I was little, even though I wasn’t allowed to have pets when I was a kid because my mom thought they gave me allergies. After school I would play for hours with a dog that would come to my door and stroke it, ”he said.
“Every time I see a stray animal, I go to the store and take something to feed it. And if it’s in bad shape, I call a shelter. Pets are not plush toys and should not be abused. I have two cats and they are like my children to me, it would never occur to me to abandon or mistreat them.
The platform already includes over 50 registered animals from shelters across Spain including Marbella, Valencia, Toledo and more. For more information and to view adoptable pets, visit Adoptas.org.