Visit to Canil VRSA July 23, 2011

by SOS Algarve Animals on July 30, 2011

By Ginie:

On Saturday 23 July I visited this Canil “Canils Municipal Villa Real/Castro Marim VRSA” in the Algarve, just on the border with Spain.  Julia, Vice President of Guadi, the organization managing the canil for the Camara of Vila Real San Antonio, and two volunteers, Helena and Sandro, welcomed me with open arms. First we spent quite some time talking about the Canil and also on SOS Algarve Animals and our way of working.  After this we visited the shelter where over 200 dogs and approx 150 cats live on the premises of the Camara of Castro Marim. Guadi has achieved quite a lot of positive improvements during the approx. 5 years they are now managing the canil! They have negotiated with the Camara to have access and usage of  9000 m2 of terrain. They have taken the abandoned caravans from the adjacent Camara scrap yard, and are using these as beds/houses for the dogs and cats. An anonymous Dutch lady has raised and donated 4000 euro’s which Guadi has used to purchase fencing materials. The terrain has been laid out practical and has been put to good use. The pens are nice and large, with sometimes 3 dogs in, in others you will find 6 or 7 dogs, sometimes a couple more. The dogs look well fed, and seem happy with what they have.

The buildings in which one finds many large kennels are clean, the kennels are clean, the overall smell is one of good hygiene and freshness. The workers are all very friendly and seem to like working with the dogs, they have been hired through Guadi, paid for by the camara.

 The female dogs are all sterilized, which is an amazingly positive achievement! If there is money, the males are castrated, therefore some of them are indeed castrated, others not yet. All dogs are documented, medical care is given when needed, dogs are vaccinated and de-wormed, also they are all given pulvex on a regular basis. They would have loved to use the scalibor collars, unfortunately they break in play just all too often.        

The wonderful people involved with Guadi have achieved a lot…from the original two pens from the Camara, in which they used to collect more than 20/25 dogs, to a spacious shelter with unfortunately yet another 200 dogs, abandoned by the people living in the Algarve… It is still very sad to see so many unwanted dogs living in a shelter situation, yet another shelter with so many friendly, social dogs and cats.

I meet some wonderful dogs, some of them have been here for years…unbelievable….I would take in a secondhand dog ANY Day…they are truly mans best friend around…unfortunately I already have 5 secondhand canines enriching my life…

Rehoming dogs from the canil is and remains a problem, there are more dogs coming in than going out, which is sad. If and when we can agree with the Guadi organization, we will try and help with some rehoming in the future whenever and wherever we can to the best of our ability. The dogs in the Canils of Vila Real San Antonio deserve a chance as well, the very friendly reception and the openness on the organization Guadi will hopefully be the start of a long term working relationship to help even more of the Algarve animals.

More photos of my visit to VRSA available at or