One of Portugal’s largest animal sanctuaries is being built in the central Algarve.
The sanctuary will consist of 3 rescue centres, jointly able to offer refuge to 600 animals in all in the boroughs of Loulé and São Brás de Alportel.
The recently formed Animal Rescue Algarve is behind the project and British businessman and animal lover Sidney Richardson has launched Animal Rescue Algarve and brought the project to life.
Work on the Cabanita rescue centre should complete in October, whilst the second rescue centre was unanimously approved by the municipal assembly on Monday 25 June. This second centre should be completed within 8 months.
The third phase is waiting for approval from the local council.
ARA is very concerned that it treats animals with dignity, respect and comfort, so they are building a modern re-homing centre from scratch with an eco-friendly design. Even the sewage system is eco-friendly as all the waste from the dogs goes to a container that filers the detritus. This means the sanctuary can both save water and reuse it in other works.
The facilities will include a reception, veterinary practice with operating theatre, sections for puppies, adults and senior dogs, a quarantine area, a training ground to allow for interaction between volunteers and animals, and a cat shelter. Accommodation for employees and volunteers will ensure the rescue centre is efficiently run and surveilled around the clock. Volunteers from abroad can help with daily tasks in exchange for accommodation and food.
There are about 10,000 abandoned animals in Portugal and the sanctuary appreciates it cannot help them all and it pays tribute to the other rescue centres in Portugal are working with very limited resources to help animals.
And it wants to raise awareness of the importance of neutering in the local area and to allow the public to visit and volunteer to enable the animals to socialise with people. They hope to allow local school children to visit the shelter and see what work it does and how much love and companionship caring for animals can give people.
Richardson is doing an amazing thing by spearheading the project. He came to Portugal from Essex 25 years ago, attracted by the climate and lifestyle and his passion for golf. And 12 years ago, he rescued a dog who has become his best friend and changed his life. “Instead of leaving a substantial sum of money in my will, I decided to use some of it now and see this project through,” he says.
Which just goes to show there’s no point in waiting for the right time to help animals around the world. The right time is now to get out there and make a difference.
Animal Rescue Algarve is registered charity 514692049, and registered in the council of Loulé in Faro. Its registered name is Abrigo dos Animais and the charity name is Animal Rescue Algarve.
Images ©Animal Rescue Algarve