August 18, 2013
Late last week we were alerted that three dogs from the Matilha in Rogil, Aljezur and owned by Pedro Oliveira were in the care of a shelter in Aljezur. Despite the fact that SEPNA did not concur, at least not until the remaining “missing dogs” were found, the return of the 3 dogs to their owner was mandated on Friday August 16. Another travesty for animal rights in Portugal.
We were informed that they are continuing to do all they can to find the missing three dogs and monitor the conditions under which Mr. Oliveira keeps any dogs.
We again ask everyone who is affected by this case, affected by this atrocity, please share this result, share this story, ask your friends, family and relatives to take just a moment to sign the two major petitions seeking to (1) Change the Animal Law in Portugal (by Animal) and (2) Demand Investigations in EU States to Ensure That Animal Welfare Treaties are Followed (by ESDAW)
To read the correspondence between SOS Algarve Animals and the authorities please click here.
May 29, 2013
Personally, we are not big proponents of signing petitions, but now, when all else fails, public outcry is the only way left to pressure those in positions of authority to take action. We therefore ask everyone who is affected by this case, affected by this atrocity, please share this result, share this story, ask your friends, family and relatives to take just a moment to sign the two major petitions seeking to (1) Change the Animal Law in Portugal (by Animal) and (2) Demand Investigations in EU States to Ensure That Animal Welfare Treaties are Followed (by ESDAW)
The complete story about Matilha Dogs and our involvement can be found at http://sosalgarveanimals.com/a-matilha-dogs-story
To Say Nothing… To Do Nothing…. Stops Nothing….
Matilha Rogil, Aljezur: Update May 29, 2013
Despite our best efforts, all the dogs of the Matilha have been moved by their owner, Mr. Pedro Miguel Oliveira, to places unknown.
On Thursday May 23, SEPNA-Portimao, the municipal vet, the Aljezur mayor all visited the Matilha in Rogil, Aljezur in response to the public outcry regarding the abuse and conditions in which the dogs were being kept. On arrival Pedro Miguel Oliviera met the authorities and told them the dogs had all moved. Our understanding is that he claimed they went to Northern Portugal and Spain, but in actuality we believe he has moved them to a location in Monchique. However, 3 dogs remained at the Matilha, which the authorities did not even help or remove! Aware of these dogs still being there and hoping the authorities would claim the dogs we wrote to them asking they take action to help the dogs….but again, they did not, and the 3 dogs were moved by Pedro Oliviera sometime on Monday May 27, to places unknown…
We are truly devastated by this outcome. For nearly 6 months we have been fighting to free and help these dogs and to end the abuses that they continuously endured and suffered at the hands of their owner. We believe it is morally reprehensible to leave dogs in this condition… That the law allows us to do nothing…especially when those (authorities) who are supposed to be helping are themselves doing nothing… it is unjust, it is a travesty.
During the time of our involvement we have noticed many dogs “disappear” from the Matilha… we hope that some at least disappeared for good reasons…(we have not been the only persons involved). We did (illegally) provide food and water to these starving dogs. Perhaps if we had done nothing and allowed them to starve to death the authorities would have been more likely to take action. Something must change for the benefit of all the animals….
Many persons may not understand why we did not just take the dogs. This was not a decision made easily even though doing so is completely illegal. The biggest problem is that if the dogs were taken…the only result is that the owner will simply acquire more dogs and will continue to treat them in the same way. Unless and until there is (legal) action taken against this owner he will continue to subject all dogs in his possession to the same negligence and abuse and he will continue to acquire more dogs. After all, to this man a dog is worth absolutely nothing and can be easily replaced.
We went to the authorities – they did not respond. We went to the public – you responded and pressured the authorities into acting, but all that has happened is they have happily allowed the problem to move out of the public eye. We did not take matters into our own hands because we wanted the owner punished. We wanted the dogs protected. We wanted other dogs protected from this horrible fate.
There reaches a point in which it is not just about these dogs, it is also about making sure the owner will never be able or allowed to do the same thing again to more dogs. Sadly, the authorities were unable or unwilling to take action for either, in truth they have done nothing at all. They should be questioned too…
This is a terrible outcome, the authorities should be exposed and ashamed. Portugal and its treatment towards animals should be exposed and ashamed. The law in Portugal (the civil code) is outdated and provides no protection for dogs. Portugal is part of the European Union; not having adequate protections for animals is in violation of the EC. With few exceptions those in power in Portugal simply do not care. So long as they can hide that this happens, so long as tourists arrive and money is made, they do not have the time, inclination or the desire to make the changes required. After all, doing so would take time and money and these are only dogs….
Hopefully, this case will serve a bigger cause, the implementation and control of new animal welfare laws, as laid out by the EU, benefiting all animals subject to abuse….so as next time…..next time we pray that when we know such atrocities are happening to animals there will be a law to protect those animals, that it will be applied, the animals will be saved and there will be a way and desire to find the person inflicting those abuses guilty and ensure he is punished ….and perhaps most importantly prohibited from ever doing the same again.
We would like to thank everyone who has shared and signed the petition. We must ask once more… please do not turn away, do not ignore this problem, support and public outcry is needed not just this time but again and again until the law and the application of the law is changed so as next time….hopefully….the dogs can be helped, can be saved, they will have a protector. At the moment, with the way things are, if we find the dogs would the authorities actually do anything…probably not.
We therefore ask everyone who is affected by this case, affected by this atrocity -please join ANIMAL, a Portuguese NGO campaigning for a New Animal Protection Law in Portugal and ESDAW (the European Society of Dogs and Animal Welfare) campaigning to have member countries enforce and apply European animal welfare treaties.
Last, we generously received several hundred euros for the benefit of the Matilha dogs. As sadly it is unlikely we will be able to help these dogs, we can think of no better purpose for this money than to be donated to ANIMAL to help them in their campaign to change animal welfare laws in Portugal. If any donors would like the funds applied differently please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org