Men from Mars to land at LAPS

By ELOISE WALTON [email protected]

Employees from Portugal’s branch of Mars, the global snack corporation, will be ditching their suits and ties and donning overalls for a day of feeding, cleaning and refurbishing at the Lagos Animal Protection Society (LAPS).

As part of a new volunteer initiative set up by the Portugal branch of the company, manufacturers and suppliers of many chocolate bars, Whiskas and Pedigree pet food and Uncle Ben’s, the entire company will close on Friday, February 12 for staff to spend a day volunteering.

A spokesman told the Algarve Resident: “This initiative is part of a programme that we are starting internally at Mars Portugal, the Mars Volunteer Programme, which will take place throughout the year.”

The aim of this initiative is to help animal associations throughout Portugal, starting with LAPS, to promote, along with adoption, the best possible conditions for animals that have not yet been adopted.

During the volunteer day, staff from the company will help to refurbish the kennel areas at LAPS as well as donating adoption kits for newly adopted animals, which have been sponsored by Whiskas and Pedigree and include food and toys.

According to Mars Portugal, Bridget Hicks “deserves all of our respect and homage” for a life time spent doing “marvellous” work caring for animals – “and that is why we chose to start in the Algarve with LAPS”.

 “This wonderful lady, who captivates those who are in contact with her, dedicated her life to animals and should be rewarded and honoured for her 30 years’ work in Portugal. That’s what we decided to do: give life, colour, emotion and joy to a caring and difficult reality.”

Bridget Hicks, 82, founder of LAPS, said: “It is such a surprise! One day I received a visit from someone from Mars and then earlier this month they sent an architect and an engineer to see us.”

She added that the company has already donated food for the animals “which has been a tremendous help”, but she has no idea what the volunteers are planning for the day.

Bridget Hicks has spent much of her life battling for animal rights and is currently caring for 14 dogs and 15 cats at LAPS.

She also set up the Ceylon Animal Protection Society as well as the Philippines Animal Lovers Association.

For more information about LAPS, please visit the website, available in English, at  or telephone 282 687 334.

Do you have a view on this story? Please email Editor Inês Lopes at [email protected]