General update: July and August

July and August: The summer holidays are a time to travel, go to the beach, visit the grandparents , suntan and generally enjoy the best things in life for most of the Portuguese families. Sadly, their pets do not seem to be so lucky ...

It is a common belief that many more cats and dogs are abandoned throughout the holiday period, with the excuse of not knowing what to do with the pets when hotels and rented apartments generally do not accept animals. It is the experience of Bianca that, at least in the Sesimbra area, the number of abandonments does not significantly increase in summer: It is as high as any other time of the year, only that many less people are willing to adopt pets until they are back from holidays! So the number of animals in our shelter is, more that ever, overwhelmingly high.

Kobi was a sad doggie walking parallel to the road near Seixal, hoping in vain for a friendly hand to reach for him. After being rescued, fed, bathed and given a bit of love, he’s the most beautiful, young and playful dog ever! He is a cross English Pointer and possibly Portugeuse Perdigueiro, only one year old, gorgeous glossy black and white coat, full of energy and kisses to give to any responsible owner! Check him out at Bianca’s website.

Joanna, a cross poodle mum with 5 tiny little furry balls as her offspring were found . After a quite short spell, she and her puppies are already being adopted! It is always easier to find homes for small breed puppies; it would be good for people to realise that middle and bigger size dogs also adapt very well to living in apartments, as far as they get regular walks. The size should not be an impediment to adopt.

Today, yet another maltreated dog arrived to Bianca: Skinny back legs and ulcers in the lower back tell the story of another doggie attached to a too short chain, forced to sit still on some humid, uncomfortable floor, under any weather conditions, for weeks or maybe months, only God and the torturers that kept him in those conditions know for how long. He shows also a loss of fur on his back, possibly an allergy to fleas, surely the reason to dump him on the street like an old rag… as if catching parasites was somehow his fault….. (pictures soon)

On the bright side of the news, Bianca has successfully organized, along with Sesimbra’s Municipality, an educational project that brought throughout the month of July around 300 children to visit our shelter.
Il was an unforgettable experience for the children to be able to walk, brush, pet and play with their new friends on four legs. And the doggies enjoyed themselves very much as well! The aim of this campaign is to help imbed in the consciences of the future generations of adults in Portugal the importance of a responsible, loving an caring approach to animals and the environment. We hope to repeat this very successful experience and make it a staple of what Bianca is always giving back to society.

Our volunteers and some of our nicest doggies were invited again to visit a home for the elderly in Brejos de Azeitao. Our dogs spent an afternoon giving company, affection (and lots of kisses!) to people that need it most. We are hoping for this project to grow as well in the near future.

On July the 18th we had the second edition of Bianca’s Party, at the Produce Market near Lagoa de Albufeira.
Over 800 people assisted to the event, that had among other activities, music shows with popular singers, dance groups and rock bands, demonstrations of rescue dog techniques, horse back riding, face and body painting for children, games, lotteries, food and drinks; all in a friendly and family like atmosphere. All the proceeds were, of course, for the benefit of Bianca, and most of it went already to cover some of the outstanding debts the Association have with all the vets that collaborate with it. Bianca sustains itself on its own resources, and for this to be viable we need more and more people to become members and to foster our animals, and to regularly pay the member’s fees. It is very little money per member, but if we managed to get thousands of them, we could do so much more for our animals.

Of course, even a party day can have its “dark side”: A person came to the party asking for help to get one doggie she saw laying by a sand road a few hundreds of meters from the Market where the party was taking place. She said he was bleeding and seemed he could not move, maybe he was hit by a car. A volunteer of Bianca took his car and went to rescue the dog, along with the lady that found him. The doggie was in a sorry state, very thin, blood was spurting from his nose, and the reason he could not move was that he found himself in an advanced state of dehydration. Summer heat in Portugal can be merciless.
So the volunteer puts the doggie in his car, and when he started to drive to the nearest vet, the lady that accompanied him had an immediate and urgent need to rejoin her family, so she opened the car door and quickly disappear.
This is what too many people interpret as “caring for animals”, they feel sorry for the dog in distress, but they would not risk to get their own car dirty with blood (as if the volunteers cars were any cheaper to clean), so they quickly dump the problem on the associations. It is to be noted that nobody was going to make her pay for the veterinary assistance, but the slight possibility of having to worry for the dog one minute longer made this woman to leave the car at the spot and walk two or three kilometers back to the Market!!

This is just an example of how, even those with good intentions, think that it is the associations’ obligation to resolve this kind of situations. People should start to understand that Bianca and other associations function on the basis of volunteer work and very, very limited resources; and that the problem of abandoned animals is not the problem of the associations, but of society as a whole, so everyone should take responsibility.

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