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Unwanted and abandoned

By ELOISE WALTON eloise.walton@algarveresident.com

Founded in 1989 by British residents Nan Richardson and Peter Lander, the Refúgio dos Burros donkey sanctuary in Estombar near Lagoa is in desperate need of help to re-home and care for abandoned and ill-treated donkeys, dogs and cats.

Valérie Kermorvant, a French resident who has been volunteering at the Donkey Sanctuary for five years, told the Algarve Resident: “We currently care for 48 cats, 132 dogs and 10 donkeys, although we are expecting a surge in abandoned kittens this spring.

“People are irresponsible and don’t bother to sterilise their animals, so in spring, when kittens are born, we usually receive around 30 or 40.”

Each animal that arrives at the sanctuary is tested for diseases, vaccinated and sterilised, which for a cat costs around 100 euros and around 200 euros for a dog.

The sanctuary makes a point of not putting down any animal that is healthy or can be treated.

The sanctuary spends between 5,000 and 6,000 euros each month on general expenses such as food and veterinary bills as well as having spent an estimated 100,000 euros in total on kennels, infrastructure and fencing around the property.

Nan Richardson said: “I am shocked at how rude people are to us when we say we cannot take on an animal but they don’t realise that if we cannot afford to treat it then we cannot risk it contaminating all the others with an illness.”

In one year alone, the sanctuary re-homed 22 donkeys, 160 dogs and 75 cats.

Valérie added: “We do as much as we can but people must take responsibility for their animals.”

She said that a foreign resident recently abandoned a dog by tying it to the sanctuary gate before driving off.

“I rushed to my car and caught up with the person who said that they just didn’t want the animal anymore.”

The Donkey Sanctuary has charity shops in Carvoeiro, Monte Carvoeiro and Lagoa, which always welcome unwanted quality household items, furniture, books and clothes. “We would be delighted to welcome volunteers to help out at the shops,” said Nan Richardson. She added that the charity also needs fund raisers to help the charity remain active.

If you would like to visit, volunteer or re-home an animal from the Donkey Sanctuary, please contact Valerie on 913 860 865.

Alternatively, to donate directly to the Donkey Sanctuary please make a deposit to the following account at Banco Espírito Santo: IBAN: PT50 000 70361 0001 0910 0007 4.

However, please beware of scams. There have been reports of bogus accounts using the Donkey Sanctuary name to illegally obtain funds. This matter has been reported by the charity to the Portuguese authorities.

The account number published in this article is correct and belongs to the charity.

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