Animalcouriers travelled to Ibiza to collect Danielle’s 10 dogs and 20 cats. Danielle and her partner Morgan have spent a number of years on this delightful Spanish island, where they have adopted (or been adopted by) many dogs and cats. Now they’re heading back to the UK, and have found a suitable property in Kent to move into with their much loved brood.

Morgan went on ahead to start getting the new place ready, while Danielle stayed behind to see the pets away safely.

Many people and organisations have supported the move of these 30 pets. They include:

  • A kind philanthropist who prefers to remain anonymous
  • Care4Cats on Ibiza, who masterminded the vet work at the departure end and stumped up a proportion of the cost
  • The Balearic government vet, whose support went beyond the call of duty
  • The ferry company, Balearia Ferries

We teamed up with our colleague Matthew from GoFetch to ensure we had two well fitted out, air-conditioned vans to easily accommodate this number of animals, and keep them comfortable in what we knew would be high temperatures on the journey from Ibiza to Kent.

From Portsmouth to Ibiza

We left Portsmouth on the overnight ferry, then motored south through France as far as Narbonne, where we spent the night.

10 dogs and 20 cats: A glorious sunset as our ferry left Portsmouth harbour

A glorious sunset as our ferry left Portsmouth harbour

The next day, we headed to Valencia to catch the ferry to Ibiza

After overnighting in Narbonne, we headed to Valencia to catch the ferry to Ibiza

Animalcouriers and GoFetch vans

Animalcouriers and GoFetch vans

Early morning arrival

The ferry reached Ibiza at 4am! So we stopped in a nice quiet coach park and caught a few zeds.

We snoozed under the gaze of this very traditional Ibizan church

We snoozed under the gaze of this very traditional Ibizan church

On an early foray for coffee, courier J admired driftwood sculptures

On an early foray for coffee, courier J admired driftwood sculptures

There was promise of a hot and sunny day ahead

There was promise of a hot and sunny day ahead

Everywhere she looked, there was something wonderful to see

Everywhere she looked, there was something wonderful to see

She felt many pairs of eyes on her as she strolled and, sure enough, there were cats all around

She felt many pairs of eyes on her as she strolled and, sure enough, there were cats all around

Coffee at last!

Coffee at last!

And bacon and eggs for courier M

And bacon and eggs for courier M

Meeting Danielle and her pets

Danielle and Morgan have been living in a private area of a larger animal sanctuary, which is home to more than just dogs and cats.

We met resident horses…

We met resident horses…

…and some unusually long-legged pigs

…and some unusually long-legged pigs

This is the yard where Danielle's dogs could safely run about — with a satellite dish as a water bowl!

This is the yard where Danielle’s dogs could safely run about — with a satellite dish as a water bowl!

Government vet Jordi and Danielle's local vet Tony spent a long day prepping the pets and their paperwork for the journey to the UK. Jordi was involved because the number of pets meant they had to travel on TRACES certificates, rather than simply under the pet passport scheme.

Government vet Jordi and Danielle’s local vet Tony spent a long day prepping the pets and their paperwork for the journey to the UK. Jordi was involved because the number of pets meant they had to travel on TRACES certificates, rather than simply under the pet passport scheme.

Danielle with Lettuce

Danielle with Lettuce

Danielle with Lavender

Danielle with Lavender

Danielle with Beautiful

Danielle with Beautiful

Someone poured boiling water over this cat when he was a youngster. Danielle and the vet worked long and hard on his recovery and she gave him the well deserved name of Phoenix. Although he ended up losing an eye, he's a very happy chap.

Someone poured boiling water over this cat when he was a youngster. Danielle and the vet worked long and hard on his recovery and she gave him the well deserved name of Phoenix. Although he ended up losing an eye, he’s a very happy chap.

Cheeky Flower

Cheeky Flower

Schubert — a proper little gent

Schubert — a proper little gent

Getting the pets settled for their journey

Danielle was keen to see every cat and dog settled into their bedrooms for the journey. You can tell they have all been taken care of with a lot of love — all are friendly and well socialised and enjoy having attention.

Danielle chatting to the dogs, who travelled in one van

Danielle chatting to the dogs, who travelled in one van

Here she is reassuring the cats, who all had bedrooms in the second van

Here she is reassuring the cats, who all had bedrooms in the second van

Little Bear, Lettuce and Lavender

Little Bear, Lettuce and Lavender

Schubert and Chino

Schubert and Chino

Scarab

Scarab

Bono

Bono

Ginger and Rastretto

Ginger and Rastretto

A very pensive look from Ginger!

A very pensive look from Ginger!

Missie

Missie

Snow

Snow

Rockie

Rockie

Lulu

Lulu

Egbert

Egbert

Leaving Ibiza

Danielle came to the port with us to say goodbye.

Here she is with courier M

Here she is with courier M

It was 29C by the time we boarded the ferry to mainland Spain. After some negotiation, we were invited to place our vans in the shady spot where horse boxes go.

It was 29C by the time we boarded the ferry to mainland Spain. After some negotiation, we were invited to place our vans in the shady spot where horse boxes go.

Looking back at Ibiza town, shrouded in a heat haze

Looking back at Ibiza town, shrouded in a heat haze

Walking the dogs

We got to the know the dogs as we took them for regular walks on the trip.

Diego (here) and Pele (below) — both are very elderly so we walk slowly with them

Diego (here) and Pele (below) — both are very elderly so we walk slowly with them

…but they're not too elderly to love a lamb and vegetable dinner!

…but they’re not too elderly to love a lamb and vegetable dinner!

Pickle is a feisty character who takes a while before trusting anyone. But once we persuaded him out for a walk, he loved the sights and scents of a French vineyard.

Pickle is a feisty character who takes a while before trusting anyone. But once we persuaded him out for a walk, he loved the sights and scents of a French vineyard.

Pickle is sharing with super-friendly Aslan who helps to keep Pickle calm and relaxed

Pickle is sharing with super-friendly Aslan who helps to keep Pickle calm and relaxed

Pointer Arthur is the biggest dog and a very friendly fellow

Pointer Arthur is the biggest dog and a very friendly fellow

Amelie is blind in one eye but manages very well. She's sharing with Arthur who takes good care of her.

Amelie is blind in one eye but manages very well. She’s sharing with Arthur who takes good care of her.

Little Humphrey has the strongest personality and likes to think he's in charge (but is actually as soft as butter!)

Little Humphrey has the strongest personality and likes to think he’s in charge (but is actually as soft as butter!)

UK arrival

We drove up from Spain to the French port of Calais, with a couple of overnight stops en route. At Calais there were issues with the TRACES certificates, but we were able to call on Defra to help us get everything sorted out.

We finally pulled up at around midnight to be greeted by tears of joy from Danielle and Morgan. Together we walked the dogs in the dark across fields to the mobile home which is the couple’s haven. There were ponies at the front door, a stunning view over Whitstable Bay, and four acres of woodland for the pets to enjoy.

Arthur was quick to nab a seat on the comfy sofa — he looks very pleased with himself!

Arthur was quick to nab a seat on the comfy sofa — he looks very pleased with himself!

The cats are staying temporarily at Treetops Rescue in Kent while their new home is finalised. What larks they'll have hunting in the woods!

The cats are staying temporarily at Treetops Rescue in Kent while their new home is finalised. What larks they’ll have hunting in the woods!