Thursday, December 23, 2010

Old dog collars saves lives!


The definition of ownership of dogs is a bit different here compared to Europe and many dogs walking freely around Sal may seem like strays but are in fact owned.  These dogs are at risk from removal and/or poisoning and unfortunately, many families here cannot afford to register their dogs or provide them with collars to show that they are owned.

We are providing a free registration scheme which will help to determine the true number of street dogs and would like to be able to give collars to all the dogs that are owned.  In January there will be a free sterilisation & vaccination clinic on Sal and treatment will only be given to registered dogs wearing collars.

We are busy making home-made collars from discarded rope, but we will not have enough for the number of dogs we anticipate will be treated.

If you have any old collars and leads or you are able to buy inexpensive ones in your country, Capeverdian families and their pets would very much appreciate them.  Any size or style welcome.
Billy with his new home-made collar

If you have a veterinarian or a petshop near you maybe they will let you put a collection box at the till. (People could also leave tick and flea treatment which is badly needed).

For an address to send any donated items to please email info(at) (replace at with @)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A helping hand for street dogs

Helpful kids and little 'Fifi'
Last year Neal and I decided that as soon as the turtle season was over we would dedicate our time to helping the street dogs, something that has always been close to our hearts wherever we have lived or visited. Unfortunately after Rasher was killed we were so devastated we were unable to do anything.

Neal and Nindy
This year, though, feeling a little bit stronger, we are really pleased to participate in a very small project to demonstrate to the City Hall that many of the dogs in Santa Maria are a) owned and b) not suffering from incurable diseases.  It's a small experiment to see if it can be effective and if the people here want it.

A dog with sarcoptic mange BEFORE
The same dog just THREE WEEKS LATER!
For the last three weeks a group of us have been working with our great vet, Dra Fatima to treat free roaming dogs who have the symptoms of sarcoptic mange. This disfiguring disease is caused by a parasitic mite which causes hair loss, often leads to skin infections and is extremely miserable for the dogs that have.  Fortunately, it is not dangerous to humans.

Happily for the dogs, it is really easily treated, the main problem is catching the dogs! The owners of the affected dogs were contacted and all of them wanted the dogs to be treated but had not gone to the vet because they could not afford the cost. After only one injection radical changes can be seen and the owners are delighted that their dogs are healthy and happy again!

Anderson & puppies after worming
Fifi is always hard to catch
Word is spreading that Fridays at 17h/5pm there will be a free street clinic for dogs with mange and there is no doubt that the work is appreciated by the people in the area (judging by the number of people who want to buy us drinks!). We are also using this time to talk to people about responsible ownership (registration, vaccination & putting collars on their dogs) and how we should all try to reduce the number of dogs on Sal through sterilisation.

It's been a real delight to see that people do really care about their dogs!

Natal & Pontas with his new collar
Everyone is welcome to help. We can be found in the area north of Patio Antigo & Relax every Friday.

If you are not in Sal but would like to help you can pay for a dog's treatment via PayPal. A course of medicine costs €15 (Dra Fatima works for free) and we will send you photos of the dog that you have helped.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dogs in Zona Antonio de Sousa

So many people have been asking me about whether the Câmara Municipal do Sal can or will remove dogs from any area and in particular this zone that I decided to arrange a couple of meetings to investigate. Here's what I found out:

1. The CM Sal will not remove any dog that is owned, therefore it is in your interest to register your dog (CVE200 at the CM building in Espargos) and to put a collar on them.
2. There is no legal requirement to keep your dog inside your house.
3. Placing poison in a public place is a crime since it endangers human health. This applies to individuals as well as to institutions. I will help anyone to start the legal process if there is evidence of a dog or cat being deliberately poisoned.

In Zona Antonio de Sousa I believe that there are no unowned dogs, so there is no reason to be fearful.

This is the official information that I have been given from sources that I feel are reliable, but remember where we live - anything could happen, so my advice is to be cautious and watchful.

In addition, it is reasonable for people to expect us to minimise the disturbance or nuisance caused by our animals, and as responsible dog owners it is in our, and our animals, best interest.