Last week, MP João Vasconcelos visited the Animal Rescue Algarve (ARA) shelter in a bid to get better acquainted with the realities of animal welfare in the Algarve.
The parliamentarian was accompanied by regional members of his party, Bloco de Esquerda (Left Bloc [BE]), namely Carlos Martins, Member of Loulé's Municipal Assembly, Nuno Viana, BE's District Coordination Commissioner, and BE's Regional Coordination Commissioners Joaquim Sarmento, Tiago Grosso and Rogério Ferreira.
After a tour of ARA’s facilities João Vasconcelos acknowledged that animal shelters ‘actually help the local Councils to fix a problem’, adding that a focus on quality should be the ultimate goal, and before ‘animals are adopted, they need to be adequately handled’.
Generally speaking, the MP lauded the ‘significant steps’ recently taken in national legislation regarding the ‘defence and protection of animal welfare’. Although the politician recognises the need for more progress, especially in ways of sensitising and educating ‘the general public, local authorities and even central government’.
Of ARA, the MP said that its work is of ‘public interest’, considering the national problem of abandoned and mistreated animals, to which ‘the state and municipalities cannot give an answer to’. Adding that ‘people and the media should know about this highly philanthropic action’.
The animal welfare problem in Portugal has been recently rising to prominence, with an ever-increasing number of abandoned or mistreated animals roaming the streets and overcrowding municipal kennels.
In spite of its average of 20 monthly adoptions, ARA alone has a waiting-list of over a month, receiving about 20 help requests a day.
The Association currently lacks any formal partnerships with governmental entities and fully owes its subsistence to private donations.
You can find out more about ARA by visiting the shelter or through their social media and website: