Madeira's unwanted animals has thousands of stray dogs and cats. Where is the local equivalent of t

edited September 2015 in General
Madeira has thousands of stray dogs and cats. Where is the local equivalent of the RSPCA? Would animal-lovers here be interested in getting together to set up such a society, to expand the scope of help to unwanted animals, which is already being done by some Madeiran organisations. Isn't some kind of animal sanctuary the answer to the problems of many local residents, such as your correspondent with the kittens needing homes? How about it, animal-lovers? Can't something be done to help more animals? Sheila


  • Dear readers of this thread

    With what has happened to me regarding my own personal life with my pets and the devastating consequences of the last 24 hours by reading this I am apealing for your help on behalf of Sheila and NAFS in not only supporting an animal sanctuary but also an education/awareness program.

    Not only do we have a problem with stray animals but one of cruelty that it begs belief that in this day and age that human beings can be capable of such acts toward animals AND other peoples loved pets.

    I have had many acts of cruelty inflicted on my animals at home since I arrived in Madeira. The first was when I started up the newspaper and someone came to my home and broke in. My dog had just had her first litter of puppies and they were poisoned with some kind of caustic poison. Their deaths were awful and even though our kind freind Dr Doolittle as we call her took on the last remaining puppy and tried to nurse her back to health,she sadly had to be put down or suffer a poor quality of life had she survived long enough. thankfully her mother and my children's best freind,guardian and part of the family survived.

    After the devastation of losing the first lot of puppies in such a cruel way we decided to let our dog have a second batch before we had her steralised. We found homes for three of them and decided to keep the forth, the runt of the litter that didn't resemble anything like her mother.

    A year later a freind and I rescued a kitten each in a bar in Serra de Agua, for fear of them being trodden on by the locals drinking poncha, the owner was insistant that we gave them homes. I introduced her to our two dogs and the three of them happily co-existed enjoying a large garden and a tranquil life with us in a rural location.

    A few months ago, my puppy just a little over a year old was with my fiancee in the top garden,he didn't notice that he had wandered off and mum stayed faithfully by his side. For 4 days we drove around looking for him, and waiting for him to woof at the gate in the expectation that he would come home at night. It wasn't until I eventually went to our local tasca and asked if anyone had seen him to be told without emotion that "no point looking becasue your dog is dead". In shock I managed to ask how and why, to be told that 4 days previously he had been run over, not even as far as 100 yards from my home. All the villagers came out to look and all agreed thatit was my dog BUT NO ONE CAME TO TELL ME!
    I was told that they put him in the nearby dumpster because he would smell. And all we had was to go home and greive in disbelief that a neighbourhood that I have lived in for 7 years couldn't be bothered to tell me the sad news. And all his worth was to be dumped in a rubbish bin. He was our pet, loved by the family and they couldn't understand why I was so upset.

    Then Last night:

    My dog is in our enclosed garden and my fiancee is playing with the cat in the back yard. I sent him down to the tasca for items for dinner. I was on the computer writing emails and he was gone less than 10 minutes. He comes home, unpacks the shopping and walks into the lounge to find the cat - dead. She was still warm when I wrapped her up.
    I knew then she had been poisoned and with a torch scoured my garden for the evidence. In the dark with a torch on low battery is like looking for a needle in a haystack and we didn't find anything. So we proceeded to dig a spot under the anonis tree to lay her to rest.

    Then the worst and most unexpected:

    Whilst digging her grave I said to my fiancee that we should have done this for our puppy and how we didn't have the oportunity. Mum dog was with us all the time but being consumed with the loss of the cat I noticed after a couple of minutes that our dog had was not around. She was lying on the ground foaming at the mouth, then evacuated her bowels and whilst I held her, my partner rang for the vet. She fitted twice and just died, there in my arms.

    We were so distraught as there was NOTHING we could do stop it or stop her pain and I am sitting here writing this in total disbeleif that it happened so quickly and to OUR animals and how I could do absolutely nothing. In the space of five minutes she was a happy family companion, running around the garden, taking in what we were doing with our cat and then SHE was DEAD.

    The vet told us that the method that is used is to conceal poison in meat, that way both cats and dogs will take the bait. This poison that was used was at pure strength which is why death was so quick in coming and making it to the vet on time would be fruitless.

    I am so angry that whoever threw it over my wall with the intention of killing my animals will get away with murder.
    I am so angry that we live in a society that when you ask around no one is bothered becasue it happens all the time.
    I am so angry that someone chose to decide that yesterday was the day my pets should stop living.
    I am so BLOODY angry that I can't voice this in my own paper for fear of political repurcussions. That I have to write NICE things about Madeira and promote it!

    I sought legal advise today as to what I can do even though this will not bring my pets back. If I find the pond life that did this they will only get a fine,
    THEY should eat what they concocted and then see how it feels to salivate, fit, shit their pants and then be incapacitated to a slow heart beat before death over whelms them.

    My children and I rescued our dog five years ago on the beach at Tabua before the Marina was built. A small bar operated from there and I took the kids there for cola and ice cream in the summer on the way home from school. Patch was just 5 weeks old, had been abandoned and someone had tied a shoelace around her neck. My children fell in love with her and begged me to take her home,I said no becasue I thought she belonged to the bar. The bar owner told me she had been dumped on the beach and that they fed her on scraps. I told my children that if she followed us to the car we would take her home and then take her to SPAD the next day. She never reached SPAD as we kept her and she became part of our family.

    Please let us get something going with some form of organisation on this island.

    SOMETHING has to be done!
  • it breaks my heart to see to see animals suffer and i was nearly in tears when i read the story posted by the madeira times.i see dogs over here in canico chain up to trees from puppy till death,what we need is an animal liberation movement,an animal has eyes it hears ,has senses,has emotions it a shame that the catholic relgion belives animals have no soul.
  • Count me in. I would be very unhappy if they did that to my cat or dog...
    This is just terrible. Terrible!
  • Only the local goverment has the power do inforce a law to make it ilegal to use such method which is so cruel towards animals by advertising on tv/radio and the media to make people aware of the consequences, i personally give my full support as i mentioned before, perhaps a petition and handed in to the local goverment would have some effect...
  • I think it is disgusting that this has happened, and makes me sick to the stomach.
    Madeira is a lovely island and no one can disagree with that,but when tourists say how lovely the people are on this island i have to just bite my tongue are lovely, course they are when they re getting yr money,there are alot of nice ones out there and i have made alot of nice friends but a lot of them will rip you off left right and centre, kill animals and have animals chained up 24/7 for the rest of there lives, no love no exercise , no life at all.

    Just remember, if you live by pets that bark or make noises all day long, its not the animals fault , the fault lies with the fu*#ing owner.....
  • Fine, we are all agreed that the amount of neglect and cruelty to animals on Madeira is unacceptable but what are we going to DO about it?

    Let us look at two possible solutions - an education programme to reshape local attitudes to animal welfare or a sanctuary, where unwanted dogs and cats could be housed and, if necessary given medical care.

    The education programme would take at least two generations or around 40 years before any impact was made. Even then, you might not be able to get past religious objections to interference with animal reproduction (spaying). Also, the programme might be seen as part of a "holier than thou" attitude by foreigners to local people.

    An animal sanctuary is by far the best option but, to be effective, it would have to be set up within the framework of a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals. If anti-cruelty laws even exist in Portugal, they are certainly not enforced on Madeira. Here, there is nothing to stop people committing even the most brutal acts against animals. That must be changed.

    So if we discount the education programme option, that leaves the animal sanctuary, coupled with laws enforced against cruelty to animals and a society for the prevention of such cruelty. In time, a sanctuary could become a visitor attraction for tourists who might adopt some of the rescued animals and for parties of school children, who could be taught practical ways of caring for pets.

    Can this be done? Do we animal-lovers have the will to get it done?

    Would all of you, who wrote in support of animal welfare on the Island (especially in the light of the horrific experience suffered this week by the Editor of "The Madeira Times") be willing to attend a meeting in Funchal in the near future? Would you be prepared to give time and effort to serve on a working committee to set up a charity for the purpose of raising money for an animal sanctuary? Do you have any accommodation or garden space, which could be used as a small, temporary shelter for unwanted cats and dogs?

    Share your ideas and suggestions with all of us who care about animals. Don't just criticise local people, who might not feel about animals as you do. The only thing that matters is to bring about an end to the suffering of Madeira's animals. Please help in any way you can (however small). Do not send any donations of money however because we are not yet organised into a registered charity.

  • wow... almost all topics in this forum are related to animals... don't get me wrong i'm total against it but i think that are other priorities... it's a pity that dogs can't take care for themselves but cats sure can...
  • Cats can look after themselves to a certain extent, but all animals need medical care, and ive never yet seen a cat sitting in the vets on its own, waiting to be seen to by the vet....
  • Sheila

    Would you like to suggest a day, time and a place and post it here and see if readers of this thread who would offer support and ideas with your proposal would come along to a meeting as you suggested?.

    I would like to thank all those who have emailed me privately, over what has happened to my animals, and for your condolensces.

    Let's get this project on the road and let's do it NOW!
  • Hi all,

    I hope you get this project on the way.
    I'd like to give a helping hand, but I'm not living on the island yet.
    But may be there are other possibilities.

  • The flies? No problem, Toninho, wash yourself and they'll go away.
  • THANKS BUT NO THANKS, i prefer the flys, they dont smell has bad has the smelling dogs.
  • I went to doctors once, and explain about my problem, and went like this.
    So, how can i help you young man, said the doctor, i said, i think i`m a dog, and the doctor ask me, since when young man, and i reply, since i was a young pupy dog, right said the doctor, then he ask me to sit on the chair and i will have a look at you , and i reply sorry doctor but i`m not aloud on the chair.
  • You mean "allowed" not "aloud"!! :-)
  • sim senhor, my lord!!
  • Ignoring all the nonsensical replies (from the "usual suspects") to my original thread, thanks to Chris for posting the last useful response on the subject of animal welfare in Madeira. Thanks also to everybody, who sent earlier messages in favour of an animal sanctuary and a society in Madeira for the prevention of cruelty to animals. Your support was valuable but, unfortunately, not sufficient to lead to practical ways of providing real additional, early help for stray animals. That is the bad news but here is the good news! Unknown to me (and I believe many other Madeiran residents, both Portuguese and expatriate) there is already a Society here, which is doing great work to help unwanted domestic animals. This organisation is called SPAD (Sociedade Protectora dos Animais Domesticos). For years, I had believed that SPAD was an organisation which existed to put down unwanted animals (humanely of course) but not to save, heal or re-home them. Recently, the Editor of the Madeira Times, Samantha Cox and I were invited to research at first hand, the work of SPAD. You can read the results in this month's issue of the newspaper. Please give your support to SPAD and also to Thelma Brown's NAFS - they are the best hope for Madeira's stray animals. Sheila.
  • can i have my bill please!!
  • hi i am new to this forum im a residente in madeira and unfortunatly animal crulty in madeira is sky high . please keep me posted of any news or ways that i may be able to hepl.
  • Hi there,

    I have recently just posted something on the other post about volunteers for animal sitting please take a read and share all your views as this would be very much appreciated.
  • Where's the other post?
  • I know these are extremely old posts, but i am here on holiday at the moment and was only commenting to my partner yesterday that there seem to be quite a few dogs chained in no shade. I did a google and found this page.

    Can i please ask has any progress been made since this thread started - years ago! :) thanks
  • Yes. we still have a problem regarding that type of neglect. New legislation is being drawn up that would put some power into the authorities to apply penalties to owners regarding such abuse. We still are not on par with many modern countries regarding this issue.
  • I have just returned from Madeira and saw a number of stray dogs. So sad. We stayed in an apartment in Canico de Baixo and there was a tiny young dog always outside on the terrace, two apartments along from us. It was quite cold at night and the puppy didn't seem to have any protection from the wind and rain. We could hear him cry through the night and we didn't see anyone give him any attention even during the day. I absolutely hated leaving him. He seemed so vulnerable.
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