How Animals Come In To Us…
Sadly, in the Algarve, there are at least 10 dogs in need for every available space. The situation for cats, kittens and puppies is often worse. There are shelters and municipal camaras where no one wants a dog to go and it IS our opinion that in many cases this is the worst fate an animal (dog, cat, puppy or kitten) may face. There are also good shelters, good camaras, good groups and organizations. The big problem…they are most often full.
We DO work with difficult dogs. We currently have 4-6 “difficult” dogs in our care and we do our best to work with them slowly and rehabilitate them. Our “difficult” dogs most often turn into “easy” dogs. Kimi (who was with us for 1.5 years) has just been rehomed, but when she first came into us she was terrified. And Kimi (as many of our other “difficult” dogs rehabilitated) will always have a special place in our hearts. They are another type of success about which we rarely write.
But the situation in the Algarve is extreme. The other truth is that in the time it takes to work with one difficult dog, that same space IF available to other dogs would have helped many more simply because they are easier and find a home sooner.
So while the extra sad story is always a weakness and we will always try to help, we do not feel that a dog who is happy, social, friendly (and yes a bit pretty) should be left to fend for themselves in whatever abuse or abandoned situation that they face. Their fate is just as sad. And yes, if we can help them sooner rather than later…so they do not even have to go through so many of the horrors they otherwise face…we will do that.
We do choose our animals. We take animals from individuals who find them on the street, animals abandoned when their owner’s leave, we take from shelters and camaras whenever we can. An animal which comes into us that is relatively social will be easier to rehabilitate and find a home sooner. This allows us to help MORE animals.
We always try to answer our phone, reply to emails asking for help, and return missed phone calls. We realize that even if we cannot offer space at our rehoming centre or foster care for that animal the people asking for help still need advice! That animal still needs help. And in many cases, with “difficult” animals who are healthy and doing well on the street, when there is no space for that animal with us or with other shelters or groups, we will fund the “spay and release”.
Working in this way we are able to rehome (on average) 300 to 400 animals in need every year, we “spay and release” many more. And yes, in that number there are as many difficult dogs as we are possibly able to help, some are easy, some are difficult, but all very much need the help.
p.s. Photographed is Delia, a very sad and scared case we took in from a local shelter in March, 2011. She never came around…she is still scared of new people…and so we adopted her ourselves and she is a “permanent resident”. She loves her mummy (one of our team), will sleep on her mummy’s lap, but over two years later and she still does not trust anyone else.