It may be one of the country’s “classiest towns” – a kind of playboy offshoot of Lisbon – but Cascais is the pits when it comes to caring for stray or abandoned animals.
You only need to take a glance at the Facebook page of Cascais borough council, says national tabloid Correio da Manhã, “to perceive the wave of criticisms due to the dire state of the municipal pound”.
“Conditions are shameful” and the “situation of the animals inside deplorable” are just “some of the hard-hitting expressions used by local residents”, says the paper – stressing that some even believe the pound poses a danger to public health.
Besides the dismal rows of cages and cramped conditions, speech therapist Cristina Machado claims the pound is shut over weekends, leaving animals without food, water or even the chance to move freely.
According to CM, the borough council has limited its response to the fact that it has a 24-hour, seven day a week, emergency service that guarantees to respond to all cases of abandonment, accident and mistreatment identified in public spaces”.
The council adds that it has “a total of 286 animals” at the pound right now backed by a staff of 28 and 20 volunteers.
But, as the Resident established during a recent interview with a vet in the neighbouring borough of Sintra, numbers at municipal pounds can be ‘just the tip of the iceberg’. It is not uncommon to find councils with overcrowding issues keeping excess animals in municipal garages, for example.
Thus, the situation highlighted now in Cascais does not bode well for the adoption of the nation’s ‘no kill’ policy for dog pounds, due to come into effect in 2018 (click here).