AEZA: a pioneering refuge

Dear Editor

A trip to see some friends in Aljezur last week brought us face-to-face with a pioneering animal recovery project which could so easily be replicated elsewhere in the Algarve, but doesn’t appear yet to have ‘caught on’.

AEZA, standing for the Associação Ecologista e Zoófila de Aljezur, has basically taken over the municipal pound to create a really well-run refuge that receives regular funding and back-up from the authorities, to the point that strays in the rural borough are now a problem of the past.

It has a system that allows animals dropped in ‘out of hours’ to be housed safely in individual cages, and a network of foster homes for “excess” animals.

Right now, AEZA has around 40 animals at its shelter outside the town, and 28 in foster care.

So many of them would be perfect pets. People should really go along and see, and if they’re not sure, take part in a ‘dog walking’ morning, that happens on Tuesday/Friday or Saturday – and for which AEZA says new volunteers are always welcome.

A picture of this place can be found on, and while cats are not in evidence, one of the organisation’s stalwarts has them safe in a cattery at her home (not far away).

It is an extremely ‘happy place’ and anyone with a sense of humour will delight in some of the dogs’ names: Edgar, Alison and Richard, struck me. Made their namesakes somehow more human…

I hope your readers might be interested.

Doreen Patterson
By email