Lisbon’s new “animal ombudsman” wants an “immediate response to the lack of space” in the municipal shelter for the capital’s abandoned cats and dogs.
Maria Quaresma dos Reis has come up with a plan to recruit foster families, whose costs will be ‘supported by the council’.
Say reports, the council likes the idea, and the programme “will go ahead very soon”.
Families interested should enroll at their parish council.
They will have to be considered responsible, supplying a declaration and personal information (like whether or not there is a member of the family with a criminal record).
The animals that are released for fostering will be “chosen by the technical and veterinary team at Casa dos Animais” – Lisbon’s official refuge for the capital’s unwanted animals.
And in a bid to “set an example”, Maria Quaresma dos Reis will be adopting two cats, said her office.
Dos Reis officially took up her post last month and says she hopes to use her mandate to do away with the idea that an animal ombudsman “does what the PSP police or medical vet does”.
“What I want to do is approach the population and make it aware of the question of animal wellbeing”, she told Lusa.
To this end she hopes to introduce forms of training and ‘conversations with the public’ through debates and roundtables on “delicate subjects”, said the news agency.