Stray dogs (Algarve Resident, January 29 edition)

Dear Editor,

Instead of ‘clamping down’ on stray dogs, perhaps the Portuguese people and authorities should try to address the root of the stray dog problem.

This is twofold: Portuguese abandoning their dogs on a regular basis for a variety of dubious reasons and the Portuguese almost phobic resistance to sterilising male and female dogs.  

I have a house in the Algarve and, in the past year, we have rescued no fewer than five strays, finding them homes both in Portugal and the UK.

Many other foreigners such as ourselves take pity on these dogs and try to help them in some way. We seldom see this kind of compassion from the Portuguese.

These dogs run in packs for protection and because it is their instinct to do so. Don’t blame the dogs, blame the people who have turned their backs on them.


Dear Editor,

Please deal humanely with these beautiful creatures. I would like to visit Portugal but would be too upset to see the strays and the disregard the Portuguese have for animal welfare.

MARY DAY, England

Dear Editor,

With regard to your article on dogs, they are the only thing that we do not like about the Algarve. We have an apartment in Lagos and regularly go there, but friends that use it have often commented about stray dogs and the mess they leave which is not cleaned up. I think that the Câmara should do more to control stray dogs. It definitely does not help the tourist trade.


Editor’s note: Dear readers, thank you for your comments. As a Portuguese national and a self-confessed animal lover, I agree and disagree with some of your comments. Yes, some Portuguese still seem averse to sterilising their dogs, especially males, with the fear they may lose their virility. Ridiculous, I know, but true. However, not all Portuguese people turn their backs on animals and I know a good few who are ready to fight tooth and nail for the welfare of these creatures. Please read stories by clicking on the links located at the top right.