domingo, 24 de fevereiro de 2013

Our Shelter in Portugal - Part 3

This weekend it’s time to write about our association who runs the shelter. Like I said before, it all started with the concerns of some dog-loving people who wanted to stop the bitter end of some animals in the city shelter. Some time later, this punch of people felt the need to create an association, for many reasons, on top of all, to make this thing legal, to ask officially for money to help the dogs and, in the name of this association, to explain population about the crowing dog problems in our region.
All of this happened about 15 years ago, since then, hundreds of dogs passed through the shelter, many of them found the best end possible, to get adopted. Others unfortunately died there, but of natural causes, illness or age. But I also have to tell you that accident happens, that sometimes the fences between the boxes are getting weak, and ... the last 3 or 4 years this situations stopped because we are always aware for avoiding this!
There were times when our association and the city didn’t understand each other; the worst thing what happened was that the official city vet got the order to kill many of our dogs, healthy or not, old or not, but we arrived in time to stop this, unfortunately it was too late for a dozen of them! This of course started a war between the parts, they even wanted to throw us out of there, but with many meetings and good sense the good understanding returned, and nowadays it’s better then ever, the best example is that they agreed for me to work there!
Many people passed through the organization, dozens of volunteers made things alright. Sure, like in all kind of groups like this, there are misunderstandings, maybe the first reason is that they are mostly women, mostly young at age, and they sometimes forget that there’s a bigger reason ... the dogs. At the end, the good judgment wins, thank God.
Today we are about 8 to 10 active volunteers and about 20 others who are doing foster homes or helping at events like fundraisings, or exhibitions like, for example, at the “OviBeja” where thousand of visitors come to Beja to see all kind of stuff our region has to offer. There, we mount a little stand with things to sell (t-shirts, stickers etc.) and for sure, every day (it’s a 5 day event) we take 2 dogs, hoping they get adopted. At the top of the dog cages there’s a big moneybox, normally it’s a great success.
Some years ago, a German organization helped us to buy a van for transporting dogs and dog food. We even drove to Italy with it to take 10 greyhound dogs there. That was some trip...

Next week I’ll start with posts named “Dog of the Week” where you’ll know the dogs in our shelter in detail, one at the time. Maybe somebody shows interest in one of them!

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