AEZA (Association for Environment and Animal Protection of Aljezur) is a non-profit association, based in Aljezur, whose main objective is to provide abandoned animals decent conditions to live in, with shelter, food, care and health care.
In Portugal a law is in place whereby all municipalities have to remove dogs that are roaming the streets; they hold them somewhere for ten days and then, if no one claims them, they can be put to sleep (unless they are micro-chipped). In Aljezur the local Canil Municipal (municipal kennel/pound) is provisionally converted farm buildings and the responsibility of the Municipal vet, whose position over here is comparable to that of a British Environmental Health Officer.
In 2001 the Municipal vet in Aljezur was a Portuguese man who had studied in Germany. Unlike many here, he refused to euthanize healthy animals. His solution was to form a charitable association, created from all nationalities in the area, to fund the survival of dogs in the “canil”.
The aim of the association was to medicate, spay and castrate; to treat for worms, fleas and ticks and to re-home as many as possible. It has been an amazing success but of course it takes lots of cash!
Not only do we do this for the dogs in the kennel but we help by funding the neutering of companion dogs in private homes, if the owner is unable to pay. We try to improve the lives of chained dogs by putting them on a running chain and giving them shelter from the elements. We also make sure that they always have food and water available. We fund neutering programmes for feral cats and attempt to find homes for abandoned cats.
To save the suffering of just one animal is a small victory – but worth celebrating.
Can you help?
There has been progress but there is still work to do and of course we need money to enable us to continue our quest. You could help us by becoming a member of AEZA or by sending a donation; the majority of our funds are generated in this way. If you are interested, please see the how to help section for details and, while you are there, ask yourself if you have it in your heart to offer a home to one of our lovely dogs. If this is not possible would you consider sponsoring one?