Christmas Cat Burglar Returns To Thieving Ways

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A PET CAT WITH A TRACK RECORD for stealing has slipped back into his criminal ways despite convincing his owner he was a reformed character. Kleptomaniac Theo, from Ipswich, first hit the headlines in 2013 for stealing Christmas decorations. Recently he has been stealing toy food, including a pineapple and an aubergine.

“We are deeply ashamed of our cat, especially as he had convinced us that he had changed his criminal ways”, his owner wrote to neighbours. Rachael Drouet created a leaflet for her neighbours in a bid to reunite the stolen items with their rightful owners.

“This year has been relatively quiet, save for some Bettaware catalogues and the odd flat balloon”, the leaflet read. “Until a few days ago when he started bring home toy food. So far we have cheese, a green pepper, fish, a pineapple, an aubergine, and a felt basket to put them all in”.

Theo, a five-year-old Siamese cross, also managed to bring home a child’s body warmer. Earlier this year, he stole a catalogue from a house down the street owned by a policeman, which Ms Drouet said “wasn’t ideal”. Among the items stolen in the last couple of years are muslin cloths, fluffy pens, a USB phone charger cable and a child’s piece of art. Theo also took to stealing Christmas decorations from neighbours trees.

Ms Drouet said this year she managed to reunite items from Theo’s haul with their rightful owners before too long. “I wrote the flyers and then luckily managed to find out who all the things belonged to”, Ms Drouet said. “You get tired of knocking on neighbours’ doors and saying ‘me again'”.

Photo Credit: Katie Drouet Photography. News Credit: BBC News.

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN HELPING ANIMALS here in Spain. If you can help support or rehome an animal in distress, contact Pets in Spain. This wonderful registered charity tirelessly helps dogs, cats, and other animals in need in Spain. Visit their website or find them on Facebook.

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Pets In Spain Autumn Charitable Event Rocks the Costa Blanca

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THE SOUTH COSTA BLANCA COMMUNITY rallied round the registered animal charity Pets in Spain this week to help raise money to aide the stray, abandoned, or mistreated animals within the local area. Organised in association with local businesses, the Autumn Dinner and Dance provided an evening of entertainment that raised a significant amount of money for this great charity.

La Marina based animal rescue charity Pets In Spain held there autumn dinner and dance fundraising evening on Monday 2nd November at the La Marina Sports Complex and raised an amazing €500 to help rescued animals.

The evening was enjoyed by over 70 attendees and after a delicious two-course meal they were entertained by the wonderful sounds of Diverse Duo who very kindly gave there services for the night on behalf of the charity. A raffle was held on the evening with prizes including a free meal provided by the Big Eat Restaurant in La Marina.

Pets in Spain are committed to the rescue and rehoming of abandoned and displaced animals, and also run a very successful feral cat sterilisation program in the La Marina area.

The charity is registered with the Valencia Regional government and provides the best of care with a great team of volunteer foster carers, and all necessary veterinary treatment and rehabilitation for an animal. The charity also has amazing success with reuniting lost pets with their owners; this is done thanks to their long established Europe wide networking connections and collaboration with many other animal rescue organisations.

The charity run two modern charity shops in the area to provide much needed funds to continue their work, any donations of clothing, household items and furniture are very gratefully received and collection can be arranged for large furniture items.

For more information about the Pets In Spain registered charity and the many different animal rescue and welfare projects please call (0034) 645.469.253, email info@petsinspain.com or visit their website at www.petsinspain.net.

Photo Credit: Pets in Spain.

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Supporting A Great Cause: Charity Evening Proves a Success

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THE SOUTH COSTA BLANCA COMMUNITY rallied round the registered animal charity Pets in Spain this week to help raise money to help the stray, abandoned, or mistreated animals within the local area. Organised by two caring animal lovers, providing an evening of entertainment that raised a significant amount of money for this great cause.

A few months ago Michael Hack and Rob Roberts fostered a dog named Kia that had been rescued by the Pets In Spain animal charity.

When Kia was found a permanent home by the charity’s adoption team Mike and Rob decided to adopt a dog from the charity and subsequently volunteered their services to organise a fund raising event to provide much needed funds to help the charity finance the rescue and rehabilitation of more stranded pets.

The Let’s Eat Restaurant in Benimar was the venue and Michael being the host for the evening greeted everybody as they arrived providing them with a glass of Cava and escorting them to their table for an evening that started and finished on a real high.

After three courses of delicious and beautiful plates of food selected from the a la carte menu the atmosphere was electric when Rob Roberts took to the mic to enthral and entertain with his incredible singing voice and interaction with all there at the event to support the charity.

With many great raffle prizes, all thankfully donated, and with a proportion of ticket sales going to the charity, the total amount raised during the evening was €720.

The Pets In Spain team has many projects to help animals in need and also has great success in reuniting lost pets with their owners. A new awareness campaign has been started with the aim of persuading dog owners to register their dog on an emergency blood donor register. The charity is totally self funding. Money donations, sponsors and household items to sell in the charity shop in La Marina urbanisation are vitally needed.

Pets in Spain rely upon the generosity of the local community. Contact them to find out how you can help animals in need with only some of your time, including offering to walk their dogs, or offering a temporary foster home to an animal in need. Small financial donations are always appreciated, see their website or find them on Facebook for more details.

Or for more information about the Pets In Spain registered charity and the many different animal rescue and welfare projects please call (0034) 645469253.

Photo L to R: Mark Lewis, Rob Roberts, Michael Hack, Hannah Robinson, Liz Lewis (Credit: Pets in Spain).

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We’re Looking for Digital Work in Alicante, Costa Blanca Spain

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WE PUT OUR COMPANY AND THE LOCAL BUSINESSES that we proudly represent in front of more than 10,000 potential customers every week on Facebook alone, with a targeted click through rate consistently exceeding 3%, driving local and international traffic from the UK and Spain to client websites. We’re looking for work, and we would like to work with local businesses here on the Costa Blanca in Spain.

We have been in business for 20 years so we understand what business owners need from digital marketing. Restaurants need more customers through the doors, estate agents need more qualified leads, and insurance brokers need to reach more clients locally. We understand that digital media should support your brand, because we appreciate how much time, effort, and investment it takes to build a successful brand.

We can provide social media support for business here in Spain. We can create a professional social profile online for your enterprise, craft a commercially written advertisement based on the objectives of your business needs, generate some truly eye-catching original professional artwork, and post that to social media channels to raise awareness of your brand or venue, and maximise your income.

We have been particularly successful with Facebook campaigns and we know how to drive sales leads and customers toward our clients. We’re integrated into Facebook in the UK and throughout the expatriate network here in Alicante Province. We’re an active member of more than 300 groups with hundreds of thousands of potential customers, and our digital advertising appears on the mobile phones, laptops, and pads of at least 10,000 people every week.

Our digital marketing enjoys a click through rate regularly exceeding 3% ensuring a measurable return on your investment in accordance with your marketing strategy. Bright, professionally designed images, produced alongside commercial creative writing about subjects that polarise and engage people improve your websites’ listing position with major search engines and get noticed.

We use Adobe Photoshop and Quark Xpress to produce effective promotional and commercial sales artwork for newspapers and magazines. From business cards to billboards, every print media job receives the same eye for quality and detail no matter what the size. Our experience and history in lithographic and digital printing means we can take care of print production from conception to delivery.

Our websites are designed to make you look good. We can produce a website from nothing, or produce one that fits your existing brand. If you already have a website we can repair, administer, improve, or replace it depending on your requirements. Recently we have created websites for estate agents, restaurants, and fashion retailers here on the Costa Blanca in Spain.

We’re extremely self-motivated, and we want to help others in business succeed and achieve their financial objectives. We like to think that we give our clients an edge over their competition, an advantage, and we just love helping people.

We’re looking for work, any work where we can help your enterprise whether it’s designing a menu for you, or administering your entire digital footprint. Ultimately, we would love to work with a sole enterprise, but for now, we would be grateful to receive any offers of work: temporary, short term, long term, full-time, part-time, with or without contract.

Based in Ciudad Quesada, just north of Torrevieja, we’re a husband and wife team prepared to travel for the right opportunity. Right now we’re is looking for work and you can click here to view Mike’s personal CV, and if you think we could be what you’re looking for please don’t hesitate to contact us or find us on Facebook. Thank you for your time.

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Spains Gag-Law: Facebook Comment Lands Locksmith in Trouble

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JUAN CARLOS PUYOLES is a self-employed locksmith who provides a 24-hour call-out service in the small town of Pizarra, in the Málaga province. In the early hours of September 15, he was prevented from attending a call due to a car that was parked in front of his garage, despite a sign that clearly indicates no parking. When he tried to contact the towns’ municipal police station by phone there was no reply.

Angry at what had happened, and with the aim of drawing the mayor of Pizarras’ attention to what he saw as a failure by the local police, he wrote about it on his Facebook page. The next day, police officers visited his house to tell him he faced prosecution for “making comments that were disrespectful to the local police of Pizarra”.

Puyoles had unwittingly fallen foul of Spain’s new Citizen Safety Law, which has been criticized by opposition parties, human rights groups, and even the European Union.

“I haven’t insulted or disrespected anybody”, says Puyoles. “What I wrote on my Facebook page didn’t refer directly to anybody, nor did it incite hate, or anything of the kind. All I was doing was reporting a lack of a public service. I needed to get to work and couldn’t because nobody answered the phone to help me”.

Puyoles has since removed the comment from his Facebook page, but explains that he wrote something along the lines of: “It’s 1.30am, I’m calling the police and they aren’t there, but you can find them having a cup of coffee in the village up the road every morning”.

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Another post on his Facebook page, from August 2, also complains about a car parked in front of his garage. “It was the second time it had happened. I was trying to get out of my garage and couldn’t, because a car was parked there. I have to pay to keep access to that entrance, and I don’t understand why there aren’t officers available at all times to deal with problems like this”.

The local police’s complaint against Puyoles has now been sent to the provincial authorities in Málaga, who will decide whether to proceed with it. According to the Citizen Safety Law, Puyoles could be fined between €100 and €600. “Let’s see what happens”, he said. “The provincial administration could ignore it, but if they try to fine me, then I will take this all the way to the top because I believe it is totally unfair”.

Puyoles says that had he known what would happen, he wouldn’t have said anything on the popular social network. “When I linked the comment to the mayor of the town, I was looking to get a response. She came round to my house the next day to check on the no parking sign”, says Puyoles. “I don’t understand why the officers in question are so upset that I said they have a cup of coffee. I have a lot of friends who are in the police. I was in the army and I have always had the greatest respect for the security forces”.

Failing to respect the security forces or publishing photographs of members of the police or armed forces on the internet in a manner which might compromise their security, are punishable under the new security legislation which came into force in July. Facebook users in Spain are urged to take consideration and care with what they write or publish about local and national law enforcement organisations.

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Thinking of Investing in Property in the UK? Think Spain.

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LOOKING TO INVEST IN PROPERTY? Right now, Spains’ housing market is continuing its’ recovery and there are some bargains to be had and plenty of choice. With a strong Pound, growing market confidence, and political changes within the UK, if you’re looking for a safe property investment with immediate rental income and high long-term return on your investment, think about Spain.

The latest figures published on Friday by the Spanish Ministry of Development show that in terms of sales volume the Spanish property market continued its recovery during the second quarter of this year, with a total of 104,530 transactions representing an increase of 13.9% compared to the same period in 2014.

The figure is the highest second-quarter total since 2010, and once again the majority of the increase is due to increased activity in the second-hand property market, where sales figures rose by 18.5%, while new Tucatz web design, print services, ciudad quesada, torrevieja sales figures fell by 9.5% and accounted for only one eighth of the market.

Sales figures have now been rising for six consecutive quarters, and in the second quarter of 2015 decreases were reported in only three of the seventeen regions: Navarra, Extremadura and the Basque Country. In the first six months of the year, according to the Ministry’s figures, the 190,135 sales represent a 9.7% rise compared to 2014, with the totals having fallen only in Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura and Navarra.

The figures published by the Spanish Ministry of Development suggest that the recovery in demand for housing continues to be fuelled to a significant degree by British and other non-Spanish buyers and investors, with more than one in six sales during the second quarter of this year having been to non-resident buyers.

From a total of 104,530 property sales, 17,307 involved purchasers resident in Spain and another 1,244 were bought by non-residents, together accounting for 17.7% of the overall figure.

The role of the Costa Blanca cannot be underestimated in boosting this figure, as almost a quarter of all sales to foreigners (4,522) were reported right here in the province of Alicante. This means that over half of the market in the province is created by demand from non-Spaniards, who accounted for 50.6% of the 8,928 transactions.

According to Paul Van der Schraelen, Director of Novapaso Estates Real Estate Agents based in Gran Alicant, the increase in recent interest from UK buyers stems from a favourable exchange rate and recent changes in UK legislation. “We’re seeing a great deal of interest from British buyers keen to capitalise on the strong Pound, and changes to the ways in which people can access their private pension benefits has meant that some customers are choosing to invest in foreign property, because of the immediate return of investment as properties are put on the rental market”, he said.

You might be surprised how cheap property is in Spain compared to the UK. Click here to visit Novapaso Estates property website and see what you could buy with your budget.

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Peñíscola Prepares for Filming as Cult-TV Giant Comes to Spain

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THE STARS DESCEND ON PENISCOLA this week as the Emmy award winning media team responsible for cult-TV giant ‘Game of Thrones’ comes to the Spanish Mediterranean coast, to start on-location filming for the sixth season of the internationally reknowned HBO smash hit TV show.

The picturesque coastal town of Peñíscola, in the province of Castellón (Valencian Community), is currently preparing for the latest in a long list of film crews to shoot there, with staff from the HBO television network working on the local historical monuments to make them ready for the filming of the sixth season of ‘Game of Thrones‘.

Tucatz web design, print services, ciudad quesada, torreviejaIn the past Peñíscola has been used for location shooting in numerous films and television series, most notably El Cid in 1961, and local Mayor Andrés Martínez is well aware of the beneficial effect on the local economy that ‘Game of Thrones‘ could have.

With 100 million viewers in over 170 countries it provides a magnificent showcase for the attractions of the medieval town, and it is estimated that since it was first shown the series has benefitted the Northern Ireland economy by £65 million; Northern Ireland having some of the best known locations in which the series has been shot.

Similarly, positive effects on tourism in Iceland and Croatia have been noted after episodes featuring these locations were screened. However, in the shorter term the filming in Peñíscola requires the use of some 450 hotel rooms and brings a huge boost to business in and around the town, prolonging the already successful 2015 tourist season.

Tucatz web design, print services, ciudad quesada, torreviejaAt the moment, preparatory work is focusing mainly on eliminating anachronisms from the modern era, such as the metal plaques in Plaza Santa María, which are being covered with wood for the filming. From next week no parked cars will be allowed on the road up to the Portal Fosc, and from then onwards work will progress towards Plaza de Santa María until filming is complete.

At the same time marquees will be installed for production staff, functioning as a base camp for shooting, and Andrés Martínez is anxious to ensure that everything is in perfect condition for the filming. This is scheduled to last from 2nd to 6th October, and the extras who will be filling the roles of noblemen, slaves and soldiers are already trying on their costumes in the Palau de Congressos this week.

Filming has been underway along the coast in Catalonia for this sixth season since the beginning of September.

Last Sunday HBO was honoured at the Emmy awards, scooping 12 awards for the ‘Game of Thrones‘ series including winning the award for ‘Outstanding Drama Series’. The TV series has attracted a worldwide cult following.

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Locals Descend on Ciudad Quesada to Support Charity Event

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THE SOUTH COSTA BLANCA COMMUNITY rallied round local animal charities on Thursday to raise money to help the stray, abandoned, or mistreated animals within the local area, helping to raise much needed funds for their care and finding homes for these unloved domestic pets.

Locals descended on The Country Club in Ciudad Quesada to enjoy an afternoon of fun and organised events to raise money for these fabulous charities that do so much to help pets in need, here in Spain.

Specialist pet transportation company, Paws On The Move, organised and sponsored the event, with Pets in Spain and Hope for Podencos providing “dog-walk” style parades of their pets looking for permanent loving homes.

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It provided a rare opportunity for local people to meet the teams behind the charities, and to see first-hand the animals they work with. As a result of the afternoons’ work at least one dog found a new home, and it’s hoped that more will follow given the much needed exposure that the animals and the charities experienced.

Mark Mockford from Pets in Spain said “People are well aware of the abuse that happens here in Spain, but sometimes I’m not sure if everyone realises the scope of the problem”. Both Help for Podencos and Pets in Spain have helped to rescue hundreds of dogs from squalid conditions and abuse.

Tucatz web design, print services, ciudad quesada, torreviejaPets in Spain have undertaken a decade-long campaign of neutering female cats across the South Costa Blanca to help control the feral cat population, capturing, neutering, and releasing truly feral cats, or rehoming abandoned domestic felines.

“With the generous help of local vets we’ve neutered more than 1,500 female cats over the last ten years” said Mark. “That’s nearly one cat every other day”.

PawTucatz web design, print services, ciudad quesada, torreviejas On The Move offer dedicated specialised pet transport to and from the UK and provide prospective pet owners with professional advice with regard to transporting their feline or canine loved ones internationally. With regular scheduled trips and a dedicated custom-fitted vehicle, Paws On The Move offer the safest and most stress-free method of transporting pets.

Both Pets in Spain and Hope for Podencos rely upon the generosity of their local community. Contact them to find out how you can help animals in need with only some of your time, including offering to walk their dogs, or offering a temporary foster home to an animal in need. Small financial donations are always appreciated, see their websites or find them on Facebook for more details.

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Spanish Property Sales Leap 34% Causing Shortage Concern

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AS SPANISH PROPERTY SALES REACH A THREE YEAR HIGH local estate agents warn that the existing stocks of resale villas and apartments across the Costa Blanca could soon dry up. Driven by a strong Pound, growing market confidence, and political changes within the EU, demand for Spanish resale property is on the increase.

Homes that have languished on the Spanish property market for years are being smartly snapped up by savvy foreign investors. The latest data issued by Spain’s National Institute of Statistics (INE) illustrates that sales of resale property surged over the last 12 months, with a recorded annual increase of 34% in completed sales transactions nationwide.

Last quarter’s data provided by the UK’s leading real estate website for homes abroad, Rightmove Overseas, shows that there is significant interest in acquiring Spanish property across the Costa Blanca amongst UK buyers, with an 85% increase in the amount of searches for Alicante regional property performed by potential buyers for the year to date.

According to David Loughlin, Property Consultant at Carols Casas Estate Agents based in La Marina, the increase in interest from UK buyers stems from a favourable exchange rate and recent changes in UK legislation. “We’re seeing a great deal of interest from British buyers this year keen to capitalise on the strong Pound, and changes to the ways in which people can access their private pension benefits has meant that some customers are choosing to invest in foreign property, instead of the more traditional choice of an annuity”, he said.

“For now, prices remain very attractive for British property buyers, and a modest detached villa with a private swimming pool can still be purchased for the price of a flat in Yorkshire“, he pointed out. “Spain has made a remarkable and consistent financial recovery over the last few years, restoring consumer confidence in Costa Blanca’s property market. With uncertainty over the UK’s proposed EU referendum and the implications that a British exit from the Eurozone might hold for Brit’s at home, many potential buyers have adopted an ‘it’s now or never’ approach to their foreign property purchase”, said David.

But he warns that British buyers are facing ever increasing competition for resale properties from other foreign investors from Holland, Belgium, and Russia. “Resale properties don’t attract the premium that new build properties do, they offer excellent value for money as a second home or investment property”, he explained. “We’re receiving growing interest from Russian customers looking to invest in Spanish property following the financial turmoil and political instability in Greece and Cyprus. You just don’t get that here in Spain”.

Local housing stocks are being further exhausted by investors, as they place their properties into holiday or long term rental to make an active and immediate return on their investment, in addition to the passive returns of an expected longer term increase in value. “There is a genuine local demand in the Torrevieja area, particularly for long term rental properties from people who come to work in the recovering Spanish economy”, reports David.

“With fewer resale properties coming to the market locally we’re in the profound situation that, if things continue to escalate as they are, we may end up with very little to sell”, he said.

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Torrential Rain Causes Widespread Flooding in Torrevieja

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THE SOUTH COSTA BLANCA COMMUNITY of Torrevieja woke up to flooding this morning after a night of torrential rain that saw more than 70 litres of water per metre fall in some areas. With more rain expected, people are being warned to expect further stormy weather.

On Thursday, the Spanish island of Menorca was batterred by severe autumn storms that saw tourists and locals alike running for cover to avoid being swept away by flash floods. The Spanish region has been decimated by adverse weather in recent days as hailstones the size of eggs rained down on the northern Spanish region of Aragon.

Storms have affected a wide area of Spain following weeks of scorching sunshine, and Mahon in Menorca suffered more than 50 litres per square metre of rainfall in the space of a few hours.

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 Photo Credit: Joaquin Carrion

Last night, the freak weather hit the South Costa Blanca town of Torrevieja overnight, as thunderous rain poured in to streets causing havoc and mayhem. At the height of the storm Proyecto Mastral reported that 70 litres of water per metre had fallen in some areas, with the most intense rainfall occurring around 2:00am.

The rain fell with such force that some local residents could not sleep because of the noise. Those that did manage to get some sleep woke this morning to the muddy aftermath, and with more stormy weather on the way people are urged to prepare for the weather, prepare for possible power cuts, and to take extra care on the roads.

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