domingo, 17 de fevereiro de 2013

Our Shelter in Portugal - Part 2

This weekend it’s time to speak about the kennel itself. It was built in 1982 by the city of Beja to resolve the crowing dog problem in our region. It’s situated at the end of the material park of the Community of Beja and belonged entirely to the city. At that time of course they didn’t have much care for dogs, we actually don’t know what happened of most of them, but you can imagine how they ended...

About 1998 a small group of dog lovers talked to the city to give them the management of that kennel. Some time later that small group went growing and started as an organization, the “Associação Cantinho dos Animais de Beja”. This will be the issue for next weekend. Today the front aspect is this:

We can’t write letters on the wall for identifications because of our (great) neighbors, the gipsy’s. 10 years ago, the city thought they could resolve the problems with that kind of people gathering them in one neighborhood outside of Beja, but today they are sure that they’ve created a ghetto, with all the problems that comes with it! The biggest problems of course are with us and the dogs. In the last 2 years they stole 6 dogs from us, 2 are still missing! We had to raise the walls and mount some security facilities, money we could, and should have spent on the dogs. Me, for example, they know veeery well, they know that I’m working with tv’s, so, I have to put my car far away for them not to see that I’m working there. The dog food I only can carry there after midnight for nobody to see me, and only food for 2 days, if not, they could steel it. They are a big problem for us, but what can we do?

This part of the shelter we call the old part. It was built right when our organization started, at the left you can see the original building. About 12 years ago there were 160 dogs there; it was a big chaos, no condition for them, no proper medical care and not enough food for all.
(Note: this photos were taken before cleaning)

Because of this, the city decided to build that what we call today the new part:

Some “lazy” doggies who are at the outside, in the middle, a very especial one, an old Lady named Bolota, handicapped but veeery nice.

In total, we have 33 boxes, and in the original building some more space where we put the incoming dogs, or the problematic ones. Problematic not because they have bad behavior, but because of their former owners who mostly mistreated them; clearly speaking: to hide the dogs for a while! It’s very, very rare to have bad dogs, it happens much more often to have bad owners!

Like I said, the last counting achieved 120 dogs, and 30 in foster homes. For sure the city is helping us in form of the ground and the buildings, we don’t have to pay for water and electricity and most of all, they allow me to work there Monday to Friday, for 4 hours. We are trying to make it 5 hours for having time for all the things I would like to do there!

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