ARA water park (where workers and canines can intereact and play)
ARA water park (where workers and canines can intereact and play)

Animal Corner: Forever homes – the ultimate goal

Legacy … money, gifts, leftovers. Sid Richardson’s ‘Legacy for Pets’ were none of these in part but the total sum. Animals, pets, death.

When ‘Cabanita’, his animal shelter Animal Rescue Algarve (ARA) and brainchild, had reached completion through hard work and a gifted, tireless team, he could have happily walked away. Job done. Like a dog chewing at an old bone, his idea of a legacy for pets re-surfaced.

Jenny Clarke, president of the Association for the Protection of Animals Algarve (APAA), also had a recurring question. “What happens when I die? My pets?’ Ah ha! For Jenny, it became a glowing bulb in the dark. Anita, APAA’s Pop-Up Shop head-girl, also had the same question – she had seven “what-ifs”.

Jenny’s first introduction to ARA was during 2023’s BLiP, discussing with João Ferreira, ARA’s General Manager, the issue of animals and re-homing. Could there be a link? Finally, after meetings, consultations and inevitable exchanges of opinions, the final paperwork had transformed into an actual document. Signed, sealed and delivered. A happy Sid and equally overjoyed Jenny and Anita.

The word has spread, and indeed many loving pet-owners have stood up to the plate, facing the word ‘death’. Pragmatic Jenny smiles. “After we’ve gone, the problem is the stuff left behind that other people have to take care of.” Right. “So, when we’re alive and well, reaching our golden age, we need to look at what we can do to make things easier on the survivors.” How? “Humans are looked after in your will, your requests. But what about the animals, dogs, cats, budgies, whatever! “We love them to bits; they are part of our lives.” Indeed.

ARA-APAA sign up (João, Anita, Sid and Jenny at Cabanita ARA’s shelter)
ARA-APAA sign up (João, Anita, Sid and Jenny at Cabanita ARA’s shelter)

For many, our furry, four-pawed friends, or even feathered, beaked, two-legged, flying pets are our ‘leftovers’. Oh dear. “The whole point of the ‘Legacy for Pets’ is just that – takes out the “oh dear!” and provides somewhere safe for your pet(s) until they are re-homed.”

Sid’s idea has helped many humans and pets. ‘Cabanita’ is just outside of Loulé, a dream-come-true shelter for not only animals but the team of workers and volunteers. “We re-home animals fairly quickly, always to good homes.”

João is a very happy, committed team leader. “They have a good time whilst they are here. We have 15 different parks for their leisure, freedom, walking areas, a swimming pool.”

João is laughing. He is incredibly good humoured but serious about the main goal in his life, rehoming. He has several animals in his own quarters on the ARA’s grounds. Some are long-termers with physical problems, amputees. They are all happy. Human carers and animals in harmony with one goal in mind. Forever homes.

Sadly, Ann from APAA’s Silves Charity Shop has passed away. We wish her family and friends condolences.

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APAA