Sending Animals Abroad
While we are always trying to find as many homes as we can in Portugal, a large proportion of our rehoming efforts also focuses on finding homes abroad, in countries where they do not have the same problem with abandoned and homeless dogs or cats.
Rehoming abroad is expensive. The animal must meet the vetting regulations for travel to that country and the travel must be paid for. However, when there is no home for the animal in Portugal, sending an animal abroad offers the animal a permanent happy home, instead of life in a shelter or on the street.
Most re homing is to Germany and Holland. Yes, there are animals in the shelters in Germany and Holland –but they do not have the same numbers as there are in Portugal and the shelters are often much better financed and equipped than the shelters in Portugal. Also, many of the dogs in these shelters are different to the dogs here in Portugal, so people who would not want to adopt, for example, a large German shelter dog will happily adopt a small friendly Portuguese dog.
Most of our rehoming abroad is to independent foster organizations and charities. These are organizations that we have met, whom we follow up with and with whom we maintain strong contacts.
These abroad organizations are non-profit organizations who are trying to help as many foreign cats and dogs as they can. This includes the animals here in Portugal, but also Spain, Greece, Romania, Russia….we are not the only country with animals in need.
We only rehome to organizations where they do house controls and where the organization will care for the animal and offer the necessary support in case of any problems. We rehome to individuals abroad only in special situations and if there is a support network in place.
When an organization abroad contacts us and reserves a dog or cat many arrangements then go into motion. On this side, the animal must be properly vetted and “nature tested”, so as we feel confident about our description of the animal. We begin to make travel arrangements. On the other side, they use our information to begin to find the animal its foster and/or permanent home. This is why, once an animal is reserved, it is not available for adoption to anyone else.
Whenever possible we request from any organization abroad either 1. that the vet costs of the rehomed animal are reimbursed or 2. a donation of 70 euros for a puppy or 120 euros for a sterilized adult dog. We also pay or make the arrangements for travel. If you are interested in adopting abroad please see our pet care.
When the animal reaches its new home abroad we receive photos of the dogs and cats and information about where the dog or cat is living. Many of these photos we post on our Happy Homes.
If you wish to meet any of these persons abroad who are helping why not volunteer to be a flight parent? If you wish to learn more about how this works why not volunteer to be a short-term foster carer.