APAA (Association for Protection of Animals Algarve) is firstly and foremost for our four-legged friends – APAA’s motto ‘here to help’. Undoubtedly, the people behind the scenes actually are doing just that.
Jenny Clarke, president, has worked with APAA for many years; her dedication is legendary. Re-homing and SNiP are their most important projects. “Not necessarily in that order!” she confirms. “Sometimes, the animal is re-homed, then spayed or neutered. Usually, they’re snipped fairly quickly.”
Many of the traumatised, abandoned waifs and strays are in need of urgent medical help. Their well-being and safety are a priority. “Vaccinations are always necessary. We have to bear in mind that these dogs and cats have been in the wilderness, so to speak, and they can pick up anything.” Like APAA, picking up other people’s mess? “Abandonment always amazes me. How can people do it? Taking an animal, a trusting creature, and pretend to go for a walk or a drive, removing its collar and lead, then dumping it!” We can pretend it doesn’t happen, but it does and all too frequently.
‘Here to help’ sometimes gets stretched. APAA’s vice-president has a family and a full-time job. Always smiling and willing, Jane always manages to donate a lot of her time and effort to back up everyone else’s projects and run the Silves shop. Jackie Billings, Treasurer, adds: “Our helping hands can only snip and nurture our furry friends with money.” Jackie not only has the onerous task of looking after the books, statutes, membership and the business end, “our website needs a lot of work,” she admits. “We really do need someone to volunteer, who can help us. It’s really out of date.”
Jackie is also responsible for the yummy shortbread cookies on sale through APAA’s ‘Pop-Ups’. Anita, APAA’s Pop-Up Queen, has been looking at new sites for their new season sales. “They need to be accessible and friendly open spaces.” Anita has a cunning head for business. Setting up stall for just a couple of hours needs a lot more planning. “Timescales get tighter and more difficult. We have two wonderful sources of goodies for sale; both charity shops are full to bursting!”
APAA’s partnership with Caroline England at Pet Park is, without a doubt, a necessity. Taking in some of the dogs and cats needing more than just a roof over their heads. Re-homing is a huge priority. Understandably, Caroline’s business has to come first. Her continued help is gratefully received.
Visit their super Charity Shops:
- Alvor, Dunas Complex, Monday-Saturday, 10.30am-2pm
- Silves, Rua Elias Garcias 20, Monday-Saturday, 10am-2pm.