What’s been happening in July?

We thought it would be nice to start a new series of posts giving you an update on what has happened at the shelter each month. You see lots of news about adoptions but we don’t very often talk about all the other things that happen! So here is our first update for July.

We are chain-free!

This is the news we are most excited about – we are finally chain-free! We hated having dogs on chains but chronic over-crowding combined with a lack of money meant we had no option for many years. Just 2 years ago we had 25 dogs on chains but thanks to the fantastic number of adoptions we have been having, we have gradually been able to reduce that number and get dogs into group kennels. Our last chained dog was Bette – she was trickier because she’s a temperamental old girl and often doesn’t play nicely with other dogs so can’t go in a group kennel. She adores people though and gets lots of fuss and attention, thanks to her kennel being next to the volunteers’ workstation so we were loathe to move her anywhere else. The solution – fence in the volunteers’ workstation! Even a simple fence like this costs €200 but at least Bette is now off the chain and still gets to be exactly where she wants to be, with the volunteers.

A busy month for new arrivals

July was a particularly busy month for arrivals – 18 new dogs came to the shelter. Several came via our vets who worked tirelessly for days after the fire, picking up lost, stray and injured dogs. Many were reunited with their owners but many more are still looking for homes.

We are finding that more and more of the dogs coming to us need medical treatment. Several of the dogs that we take from the municipal shelters need treatment that councils are not prepared to spend money on, so the dog would be euthanised without our help. One such dog is Nadia. She was found in a terrible condition, suffering from the affects of leishmaniosis. After some emergency treatment at the vet clinic she came to the shelter – the photos below show you how much she has improved in just a few weeks with us. It won’t be long before she will be ready to start looking for her forever home.

At the vet

The awful affects of leishmaniosis

Three weeks later her wounds have healed…

…and she is looking so much better!

Another dog we took in a terrible state was poor Gizmo. He had wounds from a dog fight (or being caught in a trap, we are not sure which) and a nasty case of conjunctivitus which left him unable to see. He is currently going to the vet every other day for treatment and is on the mend. And luckily for him, someone was able to see past the condition he is in at the moment and has adopted him! He needs a bit more recovery time but will be off to his new home soon.

We also discovered that one of our recent arrivals, Abilio, had a huge tumour which was operated on last week. He is recovering well and is a happy chap, but he is also elderly and there is a very good chance that tumours will return. He was found dragging his chain behind him – at least with us he can be off the chain and enjoy the time he has left playing with his kennel mate Sandy and getting lots of treats and cuddles.

Cleo was also found after the fires – both her back hips were dislocated, probably as a result of an accident, and she was unable to walk. She was treated by our vets and then came to us. Once she had got back on her feet, she returned to the vet to be sterilised and have a large mammary tumour removed. She’s really been in the wars but is also on the mend and will be looking for a home soon.

A new avenue for adoptions

We have had another great month for adoptions – 13 dogs went to their new homes in July. An exciting development was the official launch of Eu Adoto, a new Portuguese website for animals looking for homes from several approved shelters around the country. Luis was our first adoption through the site and went to his new home in Lisbon at the end of the month.

Other activity

We had a hugely successful fund-raising stall at a local town festa this month, in conjunction with Zoosaúde, our vets. Thanks to the tireless work of the volunteers manning the stall and selling raffle tickets, we raised an incredible €571!

We had a visit from some of Natasha’s family who were in Portugal on holiday. They visited regularly to play with the dogs and take them for walks and even ended up adopting little Matz!

And of course, there were all the usual things that go on – 9 dogs were vaccinated & microchipped, 11 dogs were sterilised, Sasha was diagnosed with arthritis and then adopted – life at the shelter is never dull.