The official petition calling for a reprieve from demolition for an ambitious animal rescue and rehoming project is up and busily attracting signatures.
Hopes are that ARA (standing for Animal Rescue Algarve) can get the support it needs to push through legal precedent that ‘protects’ animal shelters from these kind of threats.
As the Resident wrote earlier this week, Loulé council says it has no alternative but to order the purpose-built (at massive cost) shelter to be dismantled because it has been constructed ‘illegally’ in REN (ecological reserve) land.
ARA’s founder, local restaurateur Sid Richardson, says the stance is a nonsense. “I spent over three years in negotiations with the authorities to try and find the ‘perfect’ site. Nothing was ever feasible. In the end I had to move forwards for the sake of the animals”.
It has become perfectly clear that Loulé has no plans for the 130 inmates of ARA’s shelter should it indeed be pulled down.
Thus, Sid and his staff and supporters are standing firm. The animal rights campaigner said he is perfectly willing to take this battle ‘all the way to the High Court’.
Various publications and television news channels have taken this story up. ARA also has political backing from minority parties, including PAN (Peoples Animals Nature).
Yesterday Correio da Manhã said Loulé mayor Vítor Aleixo was prepared to meet with Sid Richardson to discuss the situation. In other words, the pressure is on authorities now to ‘do the right thing’ and legalise the kennels as the law governing REN demarcation allows them to do.
Explains Sid, this will serve to ‘help’ animal rescue work – allowing other shelters the same kind of dispensation in protected areas – which authorities themselves are incapable of coping with.
For further details about this story (click here).
To access the petition (click here).