Animal day

World Animal Day on October 4 was marked in Portugal with the announcement that more than 500,000 animals are believed to be homeless in the country.

The President of the Portuguese Animal Rights League (LPDA), Maria do Céu Sampaio, said: “The economic crisis has meant that more people are abandoning their pets simply because they cannot afford to keep them.”

Animal associations in Portugal complain that the government has not been supportive of their cause and the lack of funds is making the feeding of animals and sterilisation and vaccination programmes a “real problem”.

Animal associations in the Algarve have mainly been founded by foreign residents and survive thanks to volunteer work and private funding.