ARA team member and dog
ARA team member and dog

Pet corner: APAA and ARA share common ground

Indeed, what is 2023 leading to? BLiP (Better Living in Portugal Expo in Portimão) had a community section during its October 2022 event, a first after two years of Covid lockdown.

The APAA (Association for Protection of Animals Algarve) stand was opposite ARA’s (Animal Rescue Algarve).

Old ‘Helping Hands’ APAA ongoing for 30-plus years; ARA just coming up for three. The former, once a shelter run by Linda Pixley, gradually turned into a non-shelter animal welfare association, now with president Jenny Clarke and her team. ARA is an up-and-coming shelter run by businessman Sid Richardson.

Rafa is looking for a forever home
Rafa is looking for a forever home

Loulé-based ARA has kennels to house up to 100 dogs and 40 cats. “It’s run like a business,” said Sid, who has happy volunteers, both paid and otherwise. They also have two shops, a common denominator with APAA. The shops, and public donations, keep their coffers topped up.

Jenny, Jane and Anita were bowled over by the accommodation – swimming pool for the workers, where they also devise recreation for the animals. Anita smiles: “Soft music throughout. So calming…” What’s the catch, as they say? “Costs!” Both Jenny and Sid know only too well the overheads of running animal welfare charities.

“SNiP (Spaying and Neutering), of course, is our ongoing programme,” said Jenny.

The three gals from APAA are taken on a tour of the ARA areas, with friendly live-in staff wearing colourful ARA t-shirts.

Shops rely on volunteers. Louisa Holland manages both ARA’s WOOFF shops and their staffing. Being busy all year around, they actually got stuck over Christmas. That’s charity for you.

But what is happening? APAA, well versed and wise in the animal shelter/welfare world, want ARA to succeed. Co-beneficial future plans could be at work here.

“The machines for the laundry are always breaking down,” ruefully Sid nods towards the laundry room. “With 100 dogs, we are talking a lot of food, beds, blankets, vets’ fees, chipping…” Woah! We know only too well. “SNiP’ping!” Jenny laughs as she adds to the costs.

ARA have re-homed over 2,000 animals since 2018. Really?

Somewhere a light came on during the APAA-ARA meeting. ARA have kennels for up to 100 dogs and 40 cats. This means a huge momentum in the movement of animal re-homing. Yes!

So, what next? Woof! Watch this space.

  • For more information about APAA, email [email protected] or visit website
  • Pop into their super charity shops: Alvor, Dunas Complex, Monday-Saturday, 10.30am-2pm; Silves, Rua Elias Garcias 20, Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm (Sat 1pm). Packed with quality goodies. Bring or buy!
  • For re-homing ‘Rafa’, ‘Lilly’ or ‘Dusty’, or boarding, call Gary and Wendy at Pet Park (Mexilhoeira Grande) on 926 660 465.
  • To help Zélia with her cat colonies, email [email protected]
  • ARA ‘WOOFF’ Shops can be found in Loulé and Almancil. Email [email protected]