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Mutts prepare to strut

The Association for the Protection of Animals in the Algarve (APAA) was formed in 1995 and is a registered charity.

It is governed by a Management Board of five volunteers and is associated to the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals in the United Kingdom.

APAA’s funds come from sales in three charity shops (Albufeira, Alvor and Silves), memberships, donations, collecting boxes placed in outlets throughout the Algarve and fundraising events including the well-known Scruffts Dog Show. It receives no Government funding. 

Almost three years ago, APAA’s rescue centre near Mexilhoeira Grande had to close because the land was put up for sale.

Since then Goldra has closed and the remaining rescue centres are too full to take in any more animals.

At the moment, the number of abandoned animals is increasing at an alarming rate and, although several organisations are trying to re-home animals, the numbers re-homed are far smaller than the number requiring homes.

Eighteen months ago, APAA was left a legacy of €100,000 with which to build a rescue centre:  the legacy was left by Inez Soares da Rosa, a Portuguese lady with a love of animals that knew no bounds.

The search for suitable land commenced and, in February this year, APAA found a plot of land between Silves and Messines which seemed ideal.

However, after months of negotiations, the request to erect a rescue centre on the site has been turned down.

So, the legacy continues to sit in the Executor’s Bank account and APAA must, once again, begin a search for land.

In the meantime, the Association continues to set aside money towards the building costs; that fund now contains just over €34,000. 

Currently, APAA is heavily involved in assisting with the cost of sterilising dogs and cats and paying for emergency veterinary treatment for road accident victims.

Last year, for example, 204 animals were sterilised at a cost of €13,300 and a further €6,400 was spent on veterinary treatment for sick and injured animals.

The association also assists people who take in and care for abandoned animals by supplying them with food.

This initiative is supported by Continente supermarkets, which donate split bags and dented tins of dog and cat food, and by Royal Canin, who has also donated food. APAA owes them a debt of gratitude.

This year, as the economic crisis bites even harder, requests for help are spiralling and fundraising is becoming more difficult as people do not have the money to spend on supporting charities. So, APAA needs the community to support the 12th Scruffts Dog of the Year Show to be held at Fatacil on Sunday, September 18.

Over the coming weeks, requests will go out to businesses and private individuals to either sponsor a class or have a trade stand at the show.

Watch the Algarve Resident for more information and ways in which you can get involved in the premier dog show of the Algarve.

For more information, please email [email protected]