In the four years since SOS Algarve Animals began rescue and rehoming we have placed almost 1,500 animals in new loving homes and families. While we love rehoming, while the rewards of finding that one animal his or her special perfect home and family are unlimited, rehoming is only a temporary solution.
The problem as a whole remains and is getting worse. Rehoming only helps one animal and it uses up limited resources. Simply put, we cannot rehome our way out of this problem. The situation for abandoned and unwanted animals in the Algarve is extreme. With a population of 450,000 there are 2,500 dogs in shelters. Birmingham, England with a population of 1 million there are only 11 dogs in its shelter.
Saving one dog at the expense of another litter being born is no solution at all. We all must remember resources are limited. While rescue is most often about the one animal who needs the help, being an animal rescue worker it is our duty to look at the problem as a whole and to apply limited resources in such a way that the problem is tackled at the source: unneutered animals.
The only way to improve the problem, to make sure there are less unwanted dogs and cats, is a constant push towards the sterilization of dogs and cats. The primary goal should be that fewer and fewer unwanted puppies or kittens are even born.
So after much deliberation SOSAA has decided that we are now going to change our focus and direction. We have decided that the only way to improve the problem for all animals is for us to step back from rescue and rehoming, and to instead move forward with projects for sterilization, and for education and animal welfare.
While we wish it were possible to continue in both directions, our resources (time and money) are limited. We hope that if sterilization, education and animal welfare are the primary focus of our efforts we will be able to improve the welfare for far more animals in the Algarve, not just the few we are able to rescue and home.
We would ask our followers to please continue your support, as it will be needed now more than ever. Our work will begin in earnest in April, when we will have vets from abroad here to sterilize street dogs and hope to sterilize 300 dogs and cats over just a few days. It will be a massive effort and we hope to collaborate with other organizations and charities to help where it is needed most. Throughout the year we will also be aiming for door-to-door neighbourhood sterilizations and sterilization of dogs in gypsy camps.
We are actively looking for help from volunteers and there are many ways to help, even if it is just to look around your neighbourhood and ask us for the help. And of course, to make all this happen, we ask you please, open your hearts and your wallets, please donate, please help us help the animals of the Algarve.
We will be holding more upcoming fundraising activities and events and we would love your help and support. We will soon be announcing the dates of a golf fundraiser, auction, and evening concert. For more information upon these events, our work, our daily activities, please contact us and we are happy to add you to our mailing list.
To donate or support please visit http://sosalgarveanimals.com/donations/money-donations.