Found a Stray and What to Do?
What To Do:
If the stray or abandoned dog is female, then the most urgent help is to get her to a vet to be spayed. Even if she is just to be operated and returned a day or two later, that act alone is tremendously better for her health and quality of life. The importance of stopping the birth of unwanted street puppies cannot be stressed enough. Rehoming is the way to help an individual dog, puppy, cat or kitten. Sterilization of as many female dogs and cats as possible is the only way that the long term situation will improve. Please visit sterilization for more information, available funding, or to make a donnation to this cause.
If you have an animal that you want to help here is rough guide of what to do, our general policies, and how to make these often difficult decisions,
1. Send us an email with photos and a description of the animal, its nature, and the situation. Include your telephone number and where you and the animal is located. We will reply by email and/or phone. Most emails are replied to within 48 hours. Please do not call except in an emergency. Those contacting initially by phone will be directed to please send an email with photos and the necessary information.
2. We will provide advice as to how to catch strays, crates/boxes we can loan, and tranquilizers can be gotten from the vet. All of this will be explained in email.
3. Any and all female dogs or cats that can be caught should be caught and, at a mimum, sterilized to stop continual reproduction. Please visit sterilization for more information about this, available funding, or to make a donation to this cause.
4. Animals who appear sick or unwell or who are not surviving on the street need help. Some groups are better able to help with this than others. Many such groups are listed on our useful links. Taking the time to contact all these groups may be time consuming but can also often provide the best solution and offer more choices.
6. Note, some animals are living a life of quality, if not of quantity, on the street. Life on the street is often better than in many Portuguese shelters or canils. Do not plan on saving every animal you find living on the street. Some animals do not need saved and some very much do.
7. Puppies and Kittens are a special situation. Please see below for more detailed information.
Puppies, Kittens, and Bottle Feeding
- Puppies!!! We do not agree with leaving puppies to live a life on the street. So please try and catch any puppies.
- Kittens!!! Sadly, especially in the summer months, kittens arrive by the dozen. It is impossible to find them all homes. For this reason, if the kittens are living wild we often suggest leaving the kittens, providing them food, and once they are old enough that you try to catch them (there are cat traps that can be loaned to do this) and have any females sterilized. If the kittens are exceptionally friendly and handled (e.g. just abandoned) then they will not survive on the street and should be brought off the street. Sadly, especially with cats and kittens, appearance makes a difference. Finding homes for black or black and white kittens is far more difficult than finding homes for white or Siamese kittens. Please consider this when adopting…..
- We are strongly against bottle feeding either kittens or puppies. Sadly, when faced with so many puppies, we do not feel that bottle feeding puppies or kittens is of any help to the larger picture or problem and so suggest that they be taken to a vet and humanely put to sleep. If you do decide to bottle feed then please realize that those animals are then your responsibility to keep or to find a responsible home for – an often difficult task. You have saved them, nature would otherwise have played a role. Please DO NOT put any of these puppies into a shelter! There are already so terribly many unwanted puppies and kittens in shelters that will not find homes. Bottle feed only if you are resigned to offer the puppies or kittens a home for life. When they are bottle fed they have a weakened immune system – especially in the early stages of their life, they have different pack behaviour, it is more likely they will catch a disease and die or be the victim of dog fights. We have seen bottle fed puppies dropped off at 6 months of age to live for months and months in a shelter. They are absolutely devastated, with no understanding of shelter life and why this happened to them.