On Animal Welfare

edited December 1969 in General
Hi, everyone, I'm new here, came across the site by googling "animal welfare" (see http://www.madeira-island.com/interactive/forums/read.php?1,7626 with comments from 2004-2008). Can anyone give me an update on how you feel the situation is nowadays? I've been staying in Arco da Calheta for 4 Months, going back to Scandinavia in Mid January 2011, and we've enjoyed our stay on this beautiful island with its friendly people - though schocked, as many others, to see the bad treatment of animals, espec. dogs. As some point out in the ref. post, there has been progress (which makes me glad :) but I can still witness many of our neighbours being very uneducated in animal welfare. There is still a great need for education of the population regarding this issue, there is a need for "culture building" as we say in Scandinavia, and I have a few ideas myself.

Newspaper articles, adoptions, personal contacts, and sterilization are all good measures, and it seems SPAD (http://www.spadfnc.org) are doing much good in several of these areas. (I'm glad to donate a small amount to them now, more will come.) I hope to go visit SPAD before we leave. And, I've fallen in love with a small and cute but very frightened neighbour dog which I would love to buy/adopt - it's owner is an old lady never taking it out for walks, keeping it in a short chain in the shadows of her garden, even in the storms we've seen lately :( She seems friendly and nice enough, but again it's all about ignorance and "bad" culture.

We as North Europens need to keep in mind that animals may have been treated similarily in our countries 40-50 years ago, and maintain respect for the Madeirans! But certainly, they need to learn more on animal welfare & animal needs, and Our Best Friends NEED SOMEONE WHO CAN SPEAK OUT FOR THEM! My idea is that an increased awareness of the animals true needs will promote more healthy humans, more responsible children, give everyone more exercise and better health (as all dogs need to be taken for a walk at least one, pref. two times a day)... etc.! A win-win situation! Please all keep this in mind when you are visiting beautiful Madeira and are in contact with the locals (espec. if you speak Portugues; I unf. don't).

So, any updates anyone? I'd be glad to hear from any of you - and I will try to see what more I myself can do, not only complaining about the issue, but making practical contributions (e.g. if we return here some other time).

Any ideas/input are welcomed, thank you for sharing.


  • I think the recent improvements are in part to better or more information being provided. Also, the rise in income and quality of living over the past two decades has meant that individuals can spend more time and money on animal benefits. However, it will take a generation or two to get to the levels of northern Europe IMHO.
  • We have a 3yr old male dog (castrated), used to living in doors as house pet which we need to rehome due to our now needing to return to Uk on a monthly basis. Unfortunately we are unable to afford to take him with us or put him in kennels. He is very friendly,loving & house-trained. We believe his breed is German short-haired pointer. He has been with us ever since he was weaned from his mother & we are very sad to find ourselves in this position but do not have any option but to try to find him another loving home.
    He will of course be free to a good home & will come with his bed & bowls, collar & lead etc.

    If you are able to help please reply to my e-mail address.

    No time wasters please.
  • Please send me an email on robert.sommerfelt(a)yahoo.no, and I'll tell you how I and my wife perhaps can help you out.
  • Hi All. We've just got back from two weeks on the island and this was our fifth visit.I have to say the dog problem is a lot better now than when we first came.That is not to say it's brilliant,but we noticed a lot less dogs roaming around.The cat problem seems to have eased off as well,again,not by much but a definite improvement.However,what does upset me are the macaws in the Presidents garden.Too many birds for such a small enclosure.Does anyone know a way to E-Mail a complaint to the main man?. All help will be much appreciated.


  • Hi there!!

    I am doing a huge project on animal cruelty and abandoned animals in Madeira and I was just wondering if I could use all the comments that have been written above as references for what I want to get across?
    I think it's ridiculous the way animals over there are getting treated and to be honest you may not see as many dogs around since 2006, but the cases are still bad.
    There is still a lot of animal cruelty and neglect happening in Madeira.
    Just recently I know volunteers of an organisation (NOT SPAD) who rescued 5 puppies in a very rough neighbourhood and 2 of those pupies died due to being anorexic..
    There is another case in the same neighbourhood this time 3 pupies..also anorexic.. nothing to eat but dry rice and no water and also being tide up in a chain no longer than a metre.
    They are now at a vets doing treatment and all of them were full of TICKS!!
    Animals have no voices other there, there are no laws ... :( so sad!
  • Indeed you may! I'm interested in knowing a little more about the organization you're mentioning - if not here, perhaps by email (robert.sommerfelt(a)gmail.com). Very nice to hear about people who really care. I have a generally good impression of SPAD, but they need more resources, and for instance a large playground for the dogs, or more often walks would be nice. We walked as many of their dogs as we could when we were there to visit one week, it was a small, but nice way to contribute. I don't know when we'll be able to return, but I will hopefully be able to support animal welfare programs on Madeira in the future :)
  • Rob I have sent you an email :) thank you for your reply.
  • Hi all,

    I have just come back from madeira and due to the number of cats and dogs i saw around funchal, i decided to set out to find a site that was trying to do something to help the animals out there. I was going to send a donation to an animal welfare charity that is doing a neutering program for the cats around the lido area in funchal. They have put up notices saying they are neutering the female cats and not to take them to the shelter. does anyone know who they are and where i could send a donation. I visited the english church and in that street saw a female cat who was obviously still feeding kittens and would like to bring her to the attention of the people doing the neutering. tks for any replies.
  • Hi, thanks for caring about our "tetrapod" friends! I'm not familiar with the group you are mentioning, but I'm sure you know you can contact SPAD, they'll help you take care of loose cats and dogs (http://www.spadfnc.org/). Other, smaller organizations active on Madeira are these: http://movimento-ama.blogspot.com/ (they seem very committed :) ) and perhaps http://pt-pt.facebook.com/associacao.onossorefugio (I don't know Portuguese so I'm not sure what this Facebook page says). Good luck :)
  • We live in Madeira and own a small (very quiet) dog that we walk every day in leash.

    Unfortunately, almost every walk is a challenge as we seem to always end up meeting a stray dog or dogs that are left roaming around their own house. Our dog being in leash is constantly threatened and we must always have a stick to keep other dogs away from ours.

    One day my wife was attacked by two dogs right in front of "their" house and it was a miracle that she was not seriously injured. No, the situation is not better I am afraid, it is still very bad. People still have no idea about "controlling" their dog, such situations elsewhere would warrant severe financial penalties or dogs taken away in a kennel.

    Authorities should be made aware of this situation and take action.
  • The authorities are well aware of these situations but solving them is not a priority, mending peoples lives and trying to keep unemployment comes higher than dogs and cats. I am an animal lover too, but you have to be realisitic and the Portugese have a very differant approach to animal welfare. Many people over the years have tried to help but it is really an unhill struggle.
  • I am part of the AMA group and all the people involved in this organisation have come along way in helping all animals and have made some amazing contributions.

    However as months go by I still kick myself because I know there is something missing in my life... and my number 1 goal is to build an animal rescue shelter in Madeira... I already have the great time, but.... it's the funding that is always a problem... maybe I should try finding sponsors like big companies who are whilling to help.

    As for educating a few people over in Madeira about how to treat animals, this organisation always every year usually do a march around Funchal against animal cruelty which is a good start for some idiots to realise what they do, but I think most people think to have a dog means they can guard their house and that's it which is not true.

    I have two rescue dogs from madeira here with me in the UK and as I look at animal adoption albums on facebook for dogs in Madeira I am very very tempted in just having them all.. if I could.... WE NEED A SHELTER.

    Yeh sure unemployment is an issue, but for those who have animals and can't afford to keep them what do they do... they abandon them or kill them??? is that fair on the poor animals ...NO!!

    Imagine with a shelter... they could bring them in and they would be taken care of and rehomed only to homes that are suitable and also visits should be made essential to see how animals are getting on in their new homes.... rules like these are needed in Madeira... animals shouldn't be re homed just to anyone. They should be wanted and be loved not just left at home and not walked.

    Madeira is changing slightly you do see some people walking their dogs on leads, but does not change what we are lacking on... donations, sponsors= new shelter.

    For example: on the news... an Italian lady left 10 millions pounds to her cat, as an animal lover herself she wanted to leave her fortune to an organisation that help abandoned animals but didn't find one....!!!! It is a person like this who could help me and this organisation... someone who loves animals themselfs and understands needs....!!!
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