Presidents AGM Report
Aljezur, 11 February 2017
Throughout the year of 2016 AEZA continued its principal activity, the same type of work that we have been doing in previous years within the area of Aljezur, namely protecting and rescuing abandoned and neglected animals, and supporting animal owners who are experiencing financial difficulties.
Here follows a summary of the work carried out during 2016:
154 new animals arrived in the shelter.
Of these, 21 were returned to their owners, 13 died due to illness or old age, 3 were put down for health reasons,136 were adopted: 35 in Portugal 93 in Germany and 8 in the United Kingdom.
We currently have a total of 65 dogs in our care, 36 in the shelter and 29 in foster families.
AEZA currently has 5 cats in its charge, 2 in the cat shelter and 3 in FAT
During the year 41 cats and kittens were taken into the shelter.
1 was returned to its owner. 2 kittens died and 34 were adopted: 16 in Portugal, 9 in the United Kingdom, 9 in Germany and 1 in France.
AEZA supports 13 colonies of cats, offering sterilisation, and providing food and medical treatment as necessary.
Most of the daily feeding is carried out by local people and this has been invaluable help for us.
All rehomed cats and dogs were sterilised, treated for parasites and vaccinated prior to adoption.
As in previous years it was possible to organise a campaign of castration and sterilisation, sponsored by AEZA and with the help of the Câmara Municipal of Aljezur and of Dra Gabi Clemens and Dr Pedro Kaisler, and the collaboration of the Clínica Veterinária de Aljezur.
In all 210 animals were treated, including cats and dogs from families with limited resources, abandoned animals, and those belonging to people who would not have carried out this initiative themselves. It is a major priority, with the aim of controlling the local dog and cat population and the number of strays in the area.
At present there is no provision to take in lost or unwanted cats, most of whom are in foster families waiting for adoption, or in street colonies where, once sterilised, their health and nutrition is monitored.
We would point out that this month we are moving forwards with plans to build a cat shelter on land loaned to us by the Câmara Municipal.
To carry out all its aims AEZA counts on the support of the local council in Aljezur, and charities including ACCT, APAA, and the Nandy Fund, Sandra Wieser, Mónika Haucke, Friends of AEZA. We are also supported by the Clínica Veterinária of Aljezur and of Ferrel. We have many volunteers who carry out various tasks such as cleaning the kennels at weekends, fund raising activities at fairs and other functions, small maintenance work, offering temporary foster homes etc.
We currently have 117 active members including 7 who joined us in 2016, some of these members are still in the process of regularising their membership.
We employ an official kennel cleaner, Judite Pereira, who works during the week at the kennel.
Works of maintenance and improvement of accommodation are continuously carried out when necessary, generally sponsored by the local council in terms of materials and by AEZA in practical terms.
Every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday the dogs from the shelter are taken out for walks. This is vital for their health and well being, and allows the interaction between the animals and the volunteers.
Medical treatment and control of parasites is an ongoing aspect in the shelter, and also in the case of families in financial straits, to whom we offer appropriate support.
The installation of electricity in the kennel has finally been completed.
We have acquired a new van to replace the old one, with the aim of gaining more space for the transport of cat and dog carriers to the airport when the animals set off for other countries. The new van was very generously funded by the Lagos Nandy Charity shop.
In order to carry out all these activities, we appreciate great efforts made for fundraising- for example, as in previous years, AEZA had a stand at the Sweet Potato Festival in November, and continues to be at the Boot Fair run by AMOVATE. In August we have a stall outside the municipal market selling T shirts, bags etc. Other fund raising events have been organised by The Friends of AEZA where our work had been publicised and new members recruited.
Aljezur Farmácia has also helped raise funds for AEZA through various events.
Much has been done but much still needs to be done. We will continue along our path, and in order to do this we count on continuing support from our many friends and look forward to others joining us in the future.
AEZA sets a good example and is recognised and appreciated not only in Aljezur but also further afield.
It is important to emphasise that AEZA deals directly with living creatures. Like fire fighters and others who work directly to save lives of people and of animals, there is no question of ‘leaving it till tomorrow’. If an animal is run over in a public place and is badly injured it makes no difference if it is a weekday or Saturday or Sunday. Someone has to solve the problem, and quickly.
AEZA volunteers have been carrying out this public service for 16 years, unselfishly and for the sole reward of it’s being a good cause and a credit to Aljezur, its people and it’s council.
We hope to carry on changing the world for better for a good many more years.
Finally thanks to all the people involved who help to keep our ship afloat 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and a special thank you to Kerry Gross, Faith Clements, Isabel Motta, Jane Blum and Lurdes Bento, with apologies if any one has been missed out.
Greetings to our animal and nature loving friends.