ARA-APAA sign up, from left, João Ferreira, Anita Wright, Sid Richardson and Jenny Clarke

Pet Corner: Home sweet home

“Re-homing abandoned animals is our priority,” Jenny Clarke, president of APAA (Association for the Protection of Animals Algarve), explains.

“Spaying and neutering the animals is the next priority. Whatever happens, the animal is out of danger, fed, looked after and re-homed. Having found the ‘Forever Home’, we know that we have done as much as we can for that animal.”

Anita Wright, head of APAA’s ‘Pop-Up’ shops, has several abandoned dogs. Both women are dedicated to their animals and APAA. “But,” Anita shrugs, a problem is looming … “A big BUT! What happens when they have found their forever home and their owners die?” Sadly, a truth.

Many of APAA’s abandonees are left homeless by a simple fact – their owner has passed on. “Josh was found by his owner’s side. Loyal to the end.” Re-homed, lucky boy. “Several cats recently abandoned. One owner died, followed by the partner not long after.” Silence. “Cats were re-homed, eventually.” But during the interim period a black cloud hung over their fate. Who can look into the future?

ARA holiday homes
ARA holiday homes

Sid Richardson at ARA (Animal Rescue Algarve) contemplated for some time on a shelter for abandoned animals. Following his business sense and acumen for animals and their needs, he has ‘Cabanita’ just outside of Loulé. “It has everything an animal could wish for.”

João Ferreira, the General Manager, has dedicated his time to ARA and their team of helpers and volunteers are a happy, co-ordinated collection of kind-hearted people.

Sid recollects: “Jenny, Anita and other APAA members visited ARA several times. The conversation started to veer towards a project I had also thought of some time ago. I called it ‘Legacy for Pets’. Basically, it was a scheme to help people’s pets. If the owner died, their pets wouldn’t be left stranded, abandoned.”

The two associations have consulted and together arrived at a wonderful single solution. Jenny is relaxed and happy after their final “do it meeting.”

Anita’s crew
Anita’s crew

A small step in a huge direction to ensuring a ‘Forever Home’ for your pet(s) if you should pass on. Anita is all smiles. “We have to be sensible. We make provisions for our human relatives, but what about our pets?”

The scheme is simple. A pet owner will register with ARA and receive a card with all the animal(s) information. If anything should happen to the owner, the card with the details will then come into force. If there is no other solution (i.e., someone is able to take the animals directly), they will be re-homed, albeit temporarily, as agreed with ARA. Found a new home and re-chipped, vaccinated as required. Peace of mind. A home for life.