New Animal Rescue Shelter

edited December 1969 in General
Hi All,

I have been thinking and thinking every day about somehow getting donations for a new animal shelter to get built in Madeira.

Let's be realistic Madeira is lacking so much of an animal shelter to get animals out of the roads or bad homes and into a place where they have food, warmth, security, attention and obviously the hope of being re homed into a new loving home.

SPAD do a great job, but unfortunately the Kill Rule isn't for anyone including myself I don't think it is right to put down a healthy dog or even one that can get treated fairly easily, but then again there is no space for every dog.

I know some are fed up of seeing people go on about animal welfare over there, but it is something serious and also it is still ongoing unless a rescue shelter is built.

I have rescued two dogs from Madeira and now they are over in the UK with me and to be honest they are amazing dogs and just the thought of dogs being abandoned over there every day and experiencing cruelty just saddens me.

How could I get donations? I have thought of sending out letters to individuals that like to donate to charities, but they receive 1000s of letters every day.
Get the story of what is going on over there across to other people? Raise money somehow?

What are your thoughts?


I have attached some before and after pictures (very sad) of some puppies that got rescued this week 10 of them ( 4 died from anorexia due to just getting fed by owners on dry rice and barely any water) and from two different households.


  • Actually, there are some Vets who accept voluntary donations from their patrons for things like this. I pay a percentage on my vet fees to animal shelter charities. Why don't you speak to them and see what they say?
  • Dear Ania,
    Im from Madeira living in uk for 24 years, I strong canpain with the local Diario de Noticias da Madeira ( funchal newspaper about this probleam) but even the local council is not paying thounsans of euros for the last few years to Spad.
    I was very happy to read in last fridays paper that spad is organizing a voluntary group of vet to offer a free starelization service to low income famelies. But i belive that this service if was emplemented for a least 3 years to everyone. The number a left dogs and cats in the streets be reduce .
    Local dont respect the animals. Breaks my harth to see wats going on in beautifull island like Madeira.
    I share your passion, here in uk i have 2 cats that i resue from the RPCA.
    j Correia
  • Hi,

    I have just returned from my first stay in Madeira, and I have come home extremely upset about the stray cats and dogs that I have witnessed on the island. I could write reams, but I would like to concentrate here on one particular subject.

    I stayed at the Riu Palace in Canical, and there were many cats (all un-neutered, by the look of it). Most were in reasonable condition, because tourists were leaving food out for them (and I suspect that the hotels were doing their bit too). I witnessed a couple of local people also supplying food and fresh water - which was very heartening. Each day, however, I also took chicken, cheese and tuna from breakfast - and why not? It was paid for, and I never eat breakfast! The cats were hungry, but certainly not ravenous.

    As I said, most cats looked to be in pretty good health – some with watery eyes and the odd broken tail etc, but this didn't deter them from playing and being generally quite friendly. However, there was one cat in particular who had very poor appearance. He looked like he had some kind of skin condition (flea allergy or mites?), and had small cuts all over his body where he had been constantly scratching. Underneath his right ear was a particularly bad wound, and the pus had dried as a huge scab against his head. This poor cat's head was very threadbare, as was his tail. His coat was very, very poor. At first, the cat was very timid and stayed away from people and the other cats. However, I carried out Reiki healing on him from a distance, and within a couple of days I had him purring on my knee whilst I bathed his cuts and treated his wound with Savlon.

    I came home yesterday, and I feel like I have abandoned this cat. I know that I can send distance healing to him (all of them in fact, in fact - and I am doing), but I just wish I could do something more concrete to help. And this is why I am writing this - does anyone have a suggestion? I have done some research, and it seems that the SPDA do not go out to help any animals on the island, and only help those brought directly to the centre.

    I have considered bringing him back to the UK, but I am aware that the climate here might not be suitable. At the end of the day, the life that the cat has is all that he has ever known, and if it wasn't for his skin condition I really think that he would be quite content (as the others appear to be). I also have 4 cats here already, one of which tends to terrorise the others. If he was going to be an only one, it would be a totally different matter altogether, and I would most definitely take the risk of bringing him back here.

    Of all the cats that I encountered in this resort, this cat in particular stood out as being very, very special. Anyone who understands what Reiki is will know what I am saying here. There was something about him that was very different, and he was most definitely an old soul in spiritual terms. He would make a wonderful and loving pet to anyone who could offer him a home, and he was so grateful for the love that I gave him during the short time I had. I have had cats all my life, and worked at a rescue centre for a few years here in the UK. Sometimes you come across a cat that stands out from the rest. He was one of them.

    My concern is that of all the cats in the resort, this cat was the ugliest (conventionally) and scabbiest of the lot. I would imagine that most people would keep away from him, preferring to cuddle the little grey and white or the pristine and totally gorgeous tabby kitten, for example. I can only hope that people who genuinely care about animals, however, can see past that, and see him for who he really is - and continue to help and provide affection.

    If anyone can offer a more permanent solution here, I would be so grateful. On the off chance that anyone on Madeira could possibly give him a permanent and loving home - or be willing to give him veterinary treatment, then such act of kindness would be greatly rewarded by his affections – I can guarantee.

    I have attached some photos of this cat (who in fact told me that his name was Opus – please don’t think I’m crazy!). He is mostly white, with black markings and almost has a Siamese appearance - very noble! He is quite large, and also quite heavy, and despite the skin problem appears extremely content and loves life.

    Thank you so much.
  • Hia Michelle!

    You have a very touching story there and I know exactly what you mean! as I myself have 2 rescue dogs from Madeira. You just know which is the "one".
    Unfortunelly in Madeira people over there don't care much about animals, not everyone but most.

    I support a local organisation that like to rescue animals straight from the roads and re home them.

    I can ask them about this cat and see what could be done as sometimes we find vets that volunteer to give treatment and etc...

    I will take one of the pictures of the cat if that is ok with you and see what they can do.

    Would you be interested in having the cat if we got him out of the roads, got treatment and etc...?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kindest regards,

  • Hi Ania,

    Thank you for your reply.

    I thought long and hard about bringing this cat over here, but I honestly don't think it is the answer. Cats are very different to dogs, and can usually survive in the wild quite well. Madeira has a pleasant climate, and this group of cats were not short of food - and neither did they look unhappy with their life.

    My main concern with this cat was that his skin condition was obviously making him very uncomfortable, and could probably be quite easily rectified. The open wound was a particular concern, and his appearance would probably make most people shy away from him. He was an incredibly loving cat and affectionate cat, and if somoeone on the island would be willing to give him a home, I know that he would make such a lovely pet. But 6 months in quarantine and joining my 4 cats would be very counter-productive to our already unsettled group, in my opinion.

    I really do want what's best for him, and even if it is to just get some veterinary attention, then that might be the best thing of all. If I lived over there, trust me, it would be a totally different matter.

    Please keep me informed of any progress, and thank you so much for your help.

    Warm regards, Michelle
  • hia Michelle,

    Ok I totally understand :) I spoke to a few people and they know exactly which cat you are on about, however they are asking if there is any chance you are whilling to contribute on bills? and they will send faxes to u and etc... for proof and pictures?

    Thank you

  • Hi Ania,

    Yes, I would be willing to contribute towards the bills.

    I was doing some more research about strays on the island, and note that there is a German lady who comes to the island regularly and takes stray cats and dogs back to her country - Barbara Linkis. Perhaps you are aware of her? She does voluntary work for the SPAD, apparently, and I read about her in the Madeira Times. I don't know if she could help in any way.

    I would still like to think that this cat could find a permanant loving home - somewhere. But I am also aware that we humans don't always know what is ultimately right for an animal, and perhaps he would be happier left in the colony. Perhaps the people in Madeira could make a more informed decision when the cat is taken for treatment. I would like this to start asap.

    And lastly, in the event that this cat's skin condition is untreatable, which may be the case, I would be willing to pay to have him put to sleep. That would be a far kinder option, in my opinion, than to have him living such an uncomfortable and compromised life.

    Please keep me updated, and thank you so much for your help.

    Best wishes,
  • So Sorry Michelle once again been so busy with work.
    I have spoken to the people who will be looking into getting Opus out of there and into treatment asap.
    Is it possible I could get your email please? If you could inbox it to me would be so much easier.
    I totally support your plan and I think as hard it is it would be fair to put the cat down if it couldn't be treated and also due to suffering IF the cat is really in pain.
    I will let them know that you would like for this to go ahead as soon as possible and also get a loving home for him :)
    I shall be in touch as soon as I hear anything

    Thank you so much,


    P.S I have heard about this German lady, but I think it is too good to be true and there has been lots of debates about this lady. A lot of doubting about where the dogs are really going to loving homes or something else...
  • Hello to all cat loving people,

    we are urgently searching for help/advice regarding a kitty (male) that we wanted to save on Madeira. We found the cat in front of the Pestana Grand hotel - he was meowing at us and cuddling with us but seemed quite skinny and hungry. We wanted to take him home but unfortunately there was a vaccination that requires 21 days of quarantine and since we were flying back the next day, we were not able to take the cat with us. After asking SPAD shelter organisation about how else can we help him they said that we could bring him to the shelter for adoption. So that´s what we did on 19.12.2012. Now we are back home and we are strongly doubting now if it was the best decision as we initially thought the conditions in the shelter were better and totally did not know about the fact that they have to put these poor animals down after some time, that is terrible. However, we want to help CHRISSIE (that' s his name) to find an owner and help to get out him out of the shelter as soon as possible.


    PLEASE, HELP US TO FIND THIS AMAZING CAT AN OWNER. It breaks our hearts to leave him there.

    We will be very happy for any advice or sharing of this information. The cat is a young male, very sweet and cute. He is awaiting you in the animal shelter called SPAD, address is rua de Matadouro 10, FUNCHAL.

    As I wrote, he is registered under name CHRISSIE. We are also attaching photos of the kitty.

    Here is a Youtube video of Chrissie:

    Thank you so much in advance....

    Chris and Domi
  • You would have been better not to bump up an old thread.
    Did it occur to you that the cat may have belonged to someone, most cats around Madeira are semi ferral and do not always respond to people. Chances are that it has been put down anyway because the shelter is overcrowded and the Island is over run with cats and dogs who belong to no-one. They get no government help so depend on donations and no-one has money anymore.
  • 1) we asked the hotel if the cat is not a hotel cat or belongs to someone showing them the photo of him and they said it is a stray cat.
    2) we are communicating with the shelter and they have sent us updates about how he is doing.

    I am surprised how some people have time and energy to post something negative instead of trying to help/do something.
  • It is not negative, but realistic. There are thousands of kittens just as cute as the one you took to SPAD. I used to feed a small cat from my balcony and one day it arrived with it's 5 kittens. SPAD didn't want to know and they were left to find food wherever they could, it's a fact of life in Madeira, same as in the UK. You can go to any animals shelter and find loads of cute cats and dogs who have been abandoned as soon as their owners got fed up with them, like the one on TV who took their lovely kitten to Battersea because it kept playing with the Christmas decorations...
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