Kali: A Matilha Dog’s Story

Kali.  He is from a Matilha.  Six months ago we did not know much about these places……sadly now we do.  A Matilha is a “rent-a-dog” hunting kennel.  And while there are good hunters and there are bad hunters, the Matilha where Kali was rescued is the worst.  We have been informed by the authorities that it is licensed, and legal, and so there is no obligation for the Matilha owner to even feed his dogs.  He can let them starve to death, he can withhold water, there are dogs with limbs hanging off from traps or animal attacks, who do not receive any care, and it is all within the law. 

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Fortunately for Kali, the owner has chosen to give up his ownership.  Sadly….there are many other dogs for whom there is little we can do.   Later this week and next week we will be explaining more, dealing with more.  Many already know the problem in Portugal under the law is that animals are seen as property…not animals….so they have no rights.   This is the example of why this has to change.    For all the other dogs left in the same place as Kali comes from.  As currently the authorities, even if they want to, have absolutely no power.

Kali has been away from the Matilha for several weeks.  He arrived to us weighing 17.3 kilos.  He was so emaciated, with skin sores and lesions, we were certain he had leish.  But except for tickfever all Kali’s bloodwork is normal; there is nothing wrong with him except constant starvation.   He gained 2 kilos the first week, and 2 kilos the next week.  His final weight will probably be around 25 kilos.  Kali is about 2.5 years old. 

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In his whole life he has known no love, no kindness – he has only known hunger and abuse.  Give Kali a bowl of water and he will drink it to the bottom…just in case there may not be water the next time.  It is heart-breaking that even water was a luxury. Despite this….Kali is gentle, and soft, he is living every day as if it was his first day, he is full of happiness and exploring his new freedom.  

He is a little shy, he is a little worried about what may happen, but you only have to speak to him kindly, reach out your hand, and Kali will come forward full of trust and hope.  He still loves people.

Kali is seeking his home.  A home where he is loved, treated with kindness, where his life can be one of happiness and joy.   Can you change Kali’s world?   Can you help Kali forget?

p.s. Kali is a very bad hunter!   He is too scared to run away…he much prefers to stay by your side.  And he is absolutely terrified of cats. 


For more photos of Kali please click “album“.