Summary of AEZA’s activities in 2018
Aljezur 19 de janeiro 2019
Throughout 2018 AEZA has continued with the main work which we have been carrying out in previous years – that is to say the rescue and protection of abandoned or neglected animals, and assistance for pets belonging to needy owners in the Aljezur council area.
There follows a resumé of activities carried out during 2018.
157 animals arrived in the shelter.
Of these 36 were returned to their owners, 6 died due to illness, or old age, and some were put to sleep because of aggressive behaviour.
114 were adopted; (59 went to Germany, 41 to the United Kingdom and 51 stayed in Portugal)
At the end of the year we had 68 dogs, 50 in the shelter and 18 with foster families.
62 cats and kittens arrived at the shelter.
Of these 2 were returned to their owners, 11 died due to various causes, 22 were adopted (4 went to Germany, 1 to the UK and 17 stayed in Portugal)
At the end of the year we had 31 cats in the shelter and 1 with a foster family.
We also have various established feral cat colonies outside the shelter where cats are cared for. Cats in these colonies are sterilised, fed and given medical treatment when necessary.
The food for cats in these colonies is provided by AEZA and handed out by local people, which is a greatly valued help for us.
All animals offered for adoption are vaccinated, treated for parasites, chipped and sterilised before moving to their new homes.
During 2018 the usual campaign of sterilisation continued, with vouchers being offered to enable these operations to be carried out.
Thus, with the help of Dra Filipa Alves, Dra Gabi Clemens and Dr Pedro Kaiseler it has been possible to spay or castrate about 160 cats and dogs, some belonging to families with low incomes, some abandoned animals, and some belonging to people unaware of the benefits of sterilisation to control the population of stray animals in the area.
Unfortunately overall numbers are not falling due to factors beyond the control of AEZA
We are currently in discussion with the Municipal council of Aljezur to try and increase their financial support for us, taking into account the increased responsibilities and corresponding expenses which we are experiencing.
To fulfil our aims AEZA relies on the support of the municipal council of Aljezur, Aljezur ACCT Charity shop , Lagos Nandi Charity Shop, Helping Paws of Brighton, Friends of AEZA, Sandra Wieser, Mónika Haucke, Peggy Webster plus the assistance of the many volunteers who help out with various tasks such as cleaning the kennels at weekends, organizing various fairs and fund raising events, carrying out running repairs and other practical work, acting as foster families and many other such functions.
At present there are 117 members of AEZA, including 6 who joined during 2018.
To maintain and clean the kennels we employ Jutta Klaudel from Monday to Friday, and because of an increasing workload, her hours are now from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm during the week.
Maintenance work, and improvements to the kennel buildings are carried out as and when necessary, with materials generally being funded by the council and the work paid for by AEZA.
In partnership with the district council of Rogil we are establishing a series of care centres for feral or street cats; the first feeding station is already under way and we hope to extend this scheme to other districts within Aljezur.
Each week on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, dog walking is arranged with the support of volunteers. This is an invaluable help for the well being and interaction of dogs and people, and allows increased freedom for the dogs from the kennel.
We were able to help with various deliveries of food and medication to help victims of the fire which devastated areas of Monchique last summer. We were also able to help Américo Telo by providing food for the animals affected by the fires which occurred in Carrascalinho last summer, luckily the only outbreak in the area.
Medical treatment and control of parasites continues to be provided for the animals in the shelters, and also for those belonging to people of limited income on a regular basis.
In order to carry out all these activities massive efforts have been made to secure and raise funds. For example and as in previous years AEZA was represented at the Festival da Batata Doce, and regularly has a stall at the monthly AMOVATE car boot sale in Vales. We have a stand at the Aljezur farmers’ market throughout the busy summer season and at various other points in the year. Other events allow us to fund raise and to publicise the work of the association at fairs and festivals for example. We are also grateful for the sterling efforts of the Friends of AEZA.
The association offers an excellent model for animal welfare, recognised by many within and beyond the district of Aljezur. I should emphasise that we support life in all its forms. Just like fire-fighters and other life saving organisations dealing with people or with animals we cannot afford the luxury of procrastination. We have to intervene immediately.
When there is an animal in need of help it doesn’t make any difference if is it is the weekend or a bank holiday. Help is provided there and then.
Volunteers and members of AEZA have been working to provide this public service for the last 18 years selflessly and generously meeting the needs of Aljezur and of the country.
Much has been achieved but there still remains much to do. We plan to continue on our way, with the support of our friends an associates and hope that still more will join us in our efforts.
It is quite common for society in general to think that the welfare of animals is a minor concern, and that those who dedicate themselves to this cause have time on their hands, nothing better to do, and that there are other humanitarian issues, important in themselves, that should take priority.
They should remember that matters concerning animals and the environment are directly involved in building a society with more ethical, more civilised and a healthier character, cleaner, safer and more sustainable in the future and thus, providing everybody with a better society in a better world.
For further information and to offer a simple and clear idea of the importance of the work of AEZA I would add this point, which may have escaped general notice.
In 2018 AEZA was present at the event organised in Espaço+ which involved the participation of the directors of the Movimento Associativo Português.
Among the many interesting points raised at this meeting there was one in particular which we knew little about and which is probably not common knowledge.
‘In the Portuguese constitution it is written that the state and local authorities have a duty to pay those associations that take over the activities which should be the responsibility of the former entities.’
Thus it is important to keep accounts of the expenses and of the time spent in voluntary i.e. unpaid work, at least in order to raise awareness.
For example and to give an idea of the potential value involved in the voluntary work of AEZA members I quote this example: 1 person offering 7 hours a week for 48 weeks of the year is worth, at an hourly rate of €8,15 = €2,738.00.
Within AEZA we have 6 people who offer time and effort in various daily activities throughout the year. Just work out the totals….
Finally, many thanks to all those involved in the many activities carried out throughout 2018 and, though we cannot name all of them, it is important to highlight particular individuals who are the heart and soul of the organization and who allow AEZA to function 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so special thanks to Kerry, Faith, Isabel, Jane, Lurdes and Armando. Apologies if any names have been left out.
Greetings to all ecologists and animal lovers.
This post is also available in: Portuguese (Portugal)