Aquatic Animals Ambulance: Guardians of All Animals
On the hottest day of the year, Edam Volendam was stunned by the news of an abandoned dog. The poor beast, who had fearfully turned his back to the fast traffic, was found chained to a bus shelter along Zeddeweg, in the scorching sun. It’s just one of the many situations Animal Ambulance Waterland brings up. Since 1978, the Foundation has been the guardian angel of injured, abused, found and lost animals in the area. However, animal ambulance volunteers regularly receive negative feedback and comments…
Written by Kevin Muir
“44 years ago, my father Pim Langereis founded the independent Dierenambulance Waterland,” Mandy Langereis says. “Since then, thanks to the unbridled efforts of volunteers, we have been able to prepare for the animals in the area. People call us when the animal is in distress, sick or injured, when an ownerless pet runs down the street, for example, when there is a fire and there are animals In the house in question. The work is very diverse. No day is the same at Waterland Animal Ambulance.”
On the morning of the interview, Mandy was on duty alone. You can do a lot when there are two of you, but because of vacation time I’m on my own. I have to take the ambulance to the garage this morning to make the windshield wipers, but first there’s a call in the schedule.” The emergency number’s phone rings. At the other end of the line, they’re told a bird has gone into the chimney. If Mandy could come quickly.
“People who intentionally harm animals will never get used to it.”
Mandy says she should charge thirty euros in summonses for such cases. The response is laughable and almost sarcastic. Mandy tries to explain that it is a problem caused by a faulty chimney cap. This defect provides the opportunity for wild birds to invade the house. “This guy’s response was very good. Many people today are very demanding.
‘We can always use more volunteers’
Many people do not want to think or help and then scream; “That’s what you are.” Of course we are here to help the animals, but we can only be in one place at a time. In some cases we can’t come right away, which sometimes leads to a Facebook sermon. I find that very unfortunate. Often people don’t seem to realize we’re running on volunteers. Volunteers who save time outside of their work to help animals in need in the area. Every now and then, a positive response will benefit us.”
Water lands are not supported for animal ambulance. “We have a contract with the municipalities of Edam-Volendam, Purmerend, Waterland and Landsmeer. But we rely heavily on gifts and donations. The misunderstanding that often happens is that people think they support us by donating to Stichting DierenLot. This is of course also a great initiative, but they are not active Here in the area. We truly are a small, autonomous animal ambulance. The only way to support us is to donate to the account number mentioned in this article.” A rally sponsored by Dierenambulance Waterland was recently organized by an elementary school in Purmerend. With this he raised 4000 euros! A wonderful boost to us. We bought two extendable ramps and can finally fix the ambulance windshield wipers and the rest we spend on maintenance, clothes and fuel. The next savings project is a new basin for washing dead animals. Our old basin is broken, so we need a new one soon.”
The next savings project is a new basin for washing dead animals
The alarm line rings again. This time, someone reports that a stray dog has jumped into her car, and then again follows the question if Mandy can “only” take him at Marken. With two more calls and a garage visit, Mandy cautiously asks if the lady on the other side of the line can bring the dog to Burmeirend, then a volunteer will take care of him. “But I just wanted to go for a walk,” was the first reaction. Fortunately, the finder of the dog returned and decided to bring the animal to the Burmerend. “First, of course, you have to check if the owner is not walking around by chance. You ask the finder if they can put the animal on Facebook and if they can keep it until the owner shows up. If that doesn’t work, we pick it up. Then we check if the dog is done Chop it up or not, we take care of it and if we don’t go further with regards to the owner, we will also put it on the website and social media.”
Animal Ambulance Waterland is always looking for additional volunteers. “We currently have a team of sixteen positive, committed volunteers. It really is an amazing group. Without them we wouldn’t be here after our turbulent past year. But there is always room for more help. Evenings and nights are especially hard to fill. I am now swapping out those shifts with my regular colleague Sang Ray Singer, but of course it would be better if I had more options.” According to Mandy, volunteering at Dierenambulance Waterland gives a lot of satisfaction. “What could be better than getting the animals out of situations that are being approached? Of course in situations like this you first have to bite the bullet to experience the positivity, but knowing that the animals will improve from that moment on is very motivating.” Mandy refers to the animals that have been abused. “You never know what goes on behind a closed door. Unfortunately, animals are also regularly abused here in the area. People will never get used to the fact that people intentionally harm animals. Sometimes we end up in heartbreaking situations, but we can Getting them out of that horrible environment and helping them find their happiness in life again, that’s indescribably satisfying.”
Would you like to support Stichting Dierenambulance Waterland? Go to https://www.dierenambulance-purmerend.nl/doneren/ and transfer an amount as desired.
For more information about volunteering at Dierenambulance Waterland, please call us at 0299 436084 or send an email to