Vets create drop-off points for supplies to help animals hurt in fires
With civilians rallying to the needs of people caught up in the Algarve infernos, vets have created two drop-off points for supplies to help animals caught up in the drama.
The first is at DRAPALG, the regional veterinary authority in Patacão (Faro). The second is in Portimão, at the town’s medical veterinary services on Estrada do Poço Seco.
Supplies needed include analgesics and anaesthetics, needles and syringes, compresses, animal feed (all kinds), buckets and large plastic bowls.
DRAPALG has an email address which people can use to organise drop-offs or otherwise discuss what is needed: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meantime, there have been some heartwarming stories coming out of the smoke – perhaps the account by a young man called Robert being one of the best.
Robert has (or at least had) a project in which he was carrying for a number of donkeys that has been utterly destroyed by the blazes.
But when all around him were being evacuated, he refused to leave his ‘babies’.
Writing over Facebook which has been a lifeline for people keeping up with this disaster, he said: “I am a responsible man, and I prefer to die with my donkeys who mean all to me than to survive knowing that I had abandoned them…
“So I walked all night with them, several times it was very dangerous because of the smoke. So much pain in my lungs, getting dizzy, tired, thirsty. Not really knowing where to go.
“But I am very happy (now). I can look in every mirror and say, yes, I made it. I am not a weeny. I am a responsible person”.
Robert’s posts have already seen dozens of people offer help, shelter, a space for him and his donkeys, and he has thanked everyone, saying once he, Cameron, Luisa, Lucia and Frederico are settled, he would like to invite them all so that he can “give back as much as I can”.
Robert still needs help. His details can be found on Facebook under “Robert Cameron Lucia”.
Meantime, the pressure by authorities to evacuate people against their wishes has come under increasing criticism, especially from people who have since returned to their properties to find them totally destroyed.
Those that remained (from accounts received so far) have all lived. We have yet to hear of anyone who stayed behind and lost his/ her home.
Image: Robert’s donkeys on their long walk to safety