by ELOISE WALTON
Volunteers and funds are desperately needed to help keep the Algarve’s oldest animal charity running.
Following a flood of emails and telephone calls from local residents, the Algarve Resident spoke to the founder of the Lagos Animal Protection Society (LAPS), Bridget Hicks, who recently celebrated her 81st birthday and more than 55 years of charitable work.
“I currently have 23 dogs, 11 cats and one seagull in my care and I am in need of volunteers who have a passion for animals to help me groom and walk the dogs in the mornings. “We also need fundraisers to help raise money to pay for the veterinary bills and food.”
She said that she has had a lifelong passion for animals, having worked for animal societies across the world, including in Singapore, Thailand and India, before starting LAPS in 1980.
“These animals are what I live for. At LAPS, we never put a healthy animal down and always have a door open to take in one more abandoned creature off the streets,” said Bridget. “We also have a fostering scheme for people who come to help care for the animals when they are on holiday.”
British holidaymaker Mike Finger told the Algarve Resident: “We found a stray dog that we named Lindy in October 2008 and contacted every charity we could find but only Bridget took her in. The others were all full.”
He added: “We now visit Lindy when we come on holiday to the Algarve and are very pleased to see her off the streets and looking happy and healthy.”
Bridget told the Algarve Resident that she is very grateful to all those who have been helping LAPS throughout the years, including British resident, Debbie Wray, who braved the cold Atlantic Ocean, dressed as a Hawaiian dancer at Praia da Luz last month to raised 460 euros.
Local resident Joe Millward, who donated 100 euros, said: “I want to support Bridget and the work she does because recently when I found a very thin, homeless, Ridgeback in need of care and attention, Bridget was the only person to offer help. “
LAPS have a charity shop with a large selection of books, clothing and bric-a-brac for sale in a small shopping centre opposite the back of Lagos bus station. This shop is open Monday to Saturday from 10am until 2pm.
For more information about LAPS, please contact Bridget Hicks on 282 687 334/ 969 141 085 or email [email protected]. Alternatively visit the website at www.laps.iperium.com.
Do you have a view on this story? Email: [email protected]