I live in Ferragudo and am a regular street runner (to the extent that I have earnt the nickname Forest Gump within the village!) and have 4-5 different routes which I run four times a week. My regular Wednesday run is my longest and ends with me coming along the main road past Angel Pilot on my left hand side and down towards Lidl and back into the village.
Last Wednesday I had passed Angel Pilot and crossed over the roundabout to go up the slight hill to Parchal when a pack of large dogs came from across the other side of the road and started barking at me and following me.
I slowed down to a walk and didn’t make eye contact with them and carried on walking. However, one of them bit me on my backside before they decided that they would leave me alone. They were not provoked as I didn’t even see them until they were up behind me.
I went to the doctors and had a tetanus booster and told to apply antiseptic cream to the wound which is now deeply bruised.
I have never been so scared in my life and it has traumatised me to the extent that it still upsets me to talk about it.
I love my running and it took a huge amount of effort for me to go back out running again on Thursday morning, all be it a completely different route.Every slight movement caused me to panic, but I am not going to let them stop me doing something I love.Although I think it will be a long time before I pluck up the courage to run my normal Wednesday route again!
I would like to also make other runners aware of the fact that there are packs of wild dogs that roam and will attack without provocation.
I know there have been a couple of other more serious dog attacks in Parchal and I really believe that something needs to be done about this pack or packs of dogs that are allowed to run riot at the moment.
I am an animal lover but I think that these animals need to be rounded up before they kill someone.
Editor’s note: This issue deserved our utmost attention and about which we would like to inform our readers. We spoke to an animal welfare volunteer who has been very active in the sterilisation of the Parchal port dogs (a much-reported case in the press) and who also happens to live in Parchal. She believes the dogs that attacked our reader are not the same dogs that have been roaming the port area for a while. The volunteer said: “The port dogs are all black, have all been sterilised and I feed them daily. They would unlikely display the aggressive pack behaviour that your reader encountered and would doubtfully be found in that area (Mexilhoeira/Parchal).” The volunteer, who preferred not to be named, said the dogs that attacked Jan escaped their homes because a bitch was “in heat” and are even known for other recent attacks. “The important message here for pet owners is that they must sterilise their animals if they have no intention of breeding them,” said the volunteer. The reader has since confirmed to the Algarve Resident that the dogs that attacked her were “brownish with white spots” and that whilst she did not intend to point the finger at the port dogs, she felt it was important to inform readers about her incident. We agree.