Animal Cruelty/Neglect

edited December 1969 in General
I have not lived in Madeira for very long, but have on a couple of occasions seen some signs of animal neglect, the worse case with some dogs today.

Whilst I am sure someone will tell me 'when in Rome ......... live as the Romans do", I would not find it impossible to ignore such problems, especially now as I know European laws have been/are being formulated to cover such matters all over Europe.

Is there a body [like the RSPCA in the UK] here to look into cases of animal abuse, or do you have to know on someones door and try and educate them that animals also deserve respect and good treatment?

Thanks for any advice



  • Hello Der
    I like to agreed everting you describe about animal neglect in Madeira! My heart go to special to dogs put in cages like birds cages. Honest god evertime i go to pet chop i am in shock and my heart cry because i can do aninting about.Madeirense people no have idea to be animal lover.
    Please Please Alber Joao. Vai aos chops e ve com os seus proprios olhos o que se passa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am glad samebody start open eyes to madeirense people
  • On the other hand us British are plainly stupid about animals. We have more cats than dogs when half the world is starving. We throw money at them like there was no tomnorrow. I disgagree with animal cruelty but we (British) are obsessed with animals, here the other week a cat got run over by a car and 2 women outside were in tears at it???? What shall we do they said the driver just sped off. I told them that being as the animal was not on a lead (it was a cat) what did they expect. I stuck it in a bag an dropped it in the bin, end of story. I expect they went home and wore black armbands for a week.
  • I agreed Paul but you are british and i am Madeirense and upset me a lot wen i go to pet chop in here funchal!
    ( Sorry my ingles is no to good.)
  • Hi Mariana dont worry your english is better than my Portoguese. I am hoping to learn soon as I plan to move to Maderia next year to start some self catering appartments for tourists. I do not accept cruelty to animals it is uneccessary. All the best Paul maybe talk again if you want to improve your English and me my portoguese. If you want to mail me you can at
  • Der,

    I agree with you. Some people here are very cruel to dogs and cats. This is an island with an island mentality. People here have not got their dogs as pets, they are watchdogs. It is horrible to see the dogs with too short lead in people's gardens. I have once picked up a puppy that had been thrown out from a window of a car. I really hope that we would have an authority that would deal with the animal cruelty.
  • Hmmmmmmmm watchdogs???????? why i thought Madeira had almost no crime??????????

  • But think about it...

    What's the point of having a guard dog on a chain? It'll hardly be able to chase any potential thieves, will it?

    These dogs are also a menace because they bark all day long because they are so frustrated and unbalanced after years in the same place on a chain often as short as two metres. It really is abominable.
  • yes this is similar to spain and they are a bloomin menace barking all night keeping you awake.
  • What wil that people do if they where that animal. Look they are not children of God, because they do ugly things. I had people like that, a cat or dog cant talk for them selfs- THEY HAD TO PUT THAT PEOPLE WITHOUT FOOD, WATER OR CLOSE with a chain on the neck outside bind to a tree for ever, and ever.
    Thanks for people like you with a hart on the right place
  • I would never be cruel to an animal but I didn't understand people who really loved animals until I got a cat.
    Just a small ball of fur and a pet for my 6 year old daughter. I knew cats were only interested in being fed, would go to who ever did feed them and had no loyalty.
    Oh, but that was wrong. I was astonished to find that the cat had emotions! She could be afraid, she could be upset and once when we were out too long and didn't realise we had left her in, she was obviously totally mortified by the puddle she made on the floor. She was jealous and she was oh so faithful. When my husband had an operation that left him bed-bound for weeks, she never left his side except to eat or go to the toilet. When he made a partial recovery and was trying to build up his strength and walk up and down, in great pain and in very bad temper - there she was trying to stand in front of him and stop him - she always knew if we were in pain and always tried to comfort.
    My husband hated cats before we got her. I might tell you that this grown man who never shed a tear through all his illness and pain, cried when the cat grew so old that we had to take her to the vet to have her put to sleep because she was in so much pain.
    We learned a lot from her. Animals are another form of life every bit as deserving of respect as humans. The fact that we have starving people in this world that we still don't do anything about is no excuse for cruelty to any animal.
    I wonder if the people who hold starving children up in front of our eyes as a reason to ignore anumal suffering have ever done more than put some token pennies in a pot?
    We should all be horrified by any neglect or cruelty to any form of life. The shame is that most of us don't like to think about it, let alone DO anything about it.
    Der, got any ideas?
  • Thanks Sue and everyone else who replied.

    It seems we all agree [well I am not entirely sure about Paul!] that something ought to be done to educate people who do not treat animals with respect, or for something else to be done where people knowingly abuse animals and just don't care.
    Unfortunately though, none of the answers has identified an organisation that deals with such matters here on Madeira.
    The cruelty and neglect I have seen includes pigs locked in caves all the time, goats and sheep on very short tethers with no more food within reach, and dogs on short leads tied up in the sun all day, or in one case two dogs near Campanario stadium locked in a small shed up to their ankles in their own 'droppings'. On the positive side, the cows on the mountains seem to have a great life though.

    So, I don't know what to do? Do the Police have any responsibilities in this matter? I don't have the resources to start anything myself, but would be happy to give up some time to do something positive.
    I don't speak much Portuguese myself so I guess my first thought is to ask the Madeira Times newspaper whether it could give the matter some coverage, and then in turn perhaps to the local Portuguese newspapers.

    Anyone anymore suggestions, or would anyone want to help?

    thanks a lot - Der
  • Hi Derek

    I suppose the first thing, if no organisation exists here, is the dreaded money. Do they have charitable institutions here? Do they have any special tax status as they do in UK?

    We might be able to get advice from RSPCA - I'll e-mail them and let you know result.

  • OK, I've got something. although it only seems to be for domestic animals:

    Sociedade Protectora do Animals Domesticos du Funchal
    Rua Matadouro 10-A
    9050-100 Funchal

    Contact: G N Santos (President)

    Tel: 00 351 291 220 852
    Fax: 00 351 291 234 643

    E-MAIL :

    They are an associate member of the RSPCA and as such are entitled to received grants from RSPCA.

    A Place to start?
  • Thats good Sue, nice one!

    At least we can try and report any problems with dogs and cats etc.

    I don't think you would be able to do anything about the farm animals anyway. Even in the UK, most chickens, turkeys, and pigs will never see daylight during their lives and are kept in dreadful conditions, but the vast majority of the UK public don't lose any sleep over that.

    Lets see if we can get a bit of free publicity for this contact now.

  • I read all your mails with great interest. I ahve just returned from a week in Funchal and was amazed to find that all the stray dogs have virtually gone from the streets.

    Ssome years ago now, I did everything in my power to try to improve the situation for cats and dogs in Madeira. In this I had no success despite being in contact with the Portuguese Foreign Ministry in Lisbon, and the Internatonal Division of the RSPCA in London, as well as WSPA.

    Regarding SPAD - I cannot comment on this on a public website but please contact me privately for more information. You would find it illuminating to pay them a visit!

    There is an excellent vet in Funchal, who had plans to open a refuge, but whether he has been able to do this I do not know, have not been in touch with the animal welfare scene for some time, but can give you these contacts:-

    Dr Texeira, 61c Carouquera, Funchal. Tel 291 743883 (verterinario)
    Mrs Eger 291 774612 (don't know if she is still around, but she used to rescue cats)

    Both these people were instrumental in flying homeless animals for rehoming in Germany. I had severe doubts about this and have no idea whether it still goes on.

    Do let me know how you get on and if there is anything I can do to help.

    Ruth Mayer UK
  • To Der

    Please contact the newspaper and we will see what we can do regarding the above.
  • Hi,
    I found this thread when searching for information on animal welfrae in Madeira.
    I have just returned from a fortnight in Funchal with my family and was hoping to gather as much information as possible on contacts in Madeira regarding animal welfare.
    Ive just started volunteering at an animal home in North London, the home took in some rescue dogs from Portugal and has already managed to home a few of them. I was hoping that they would be able to do something similar with the dogs in Madeira.

    Would you suggest contacting the people mentioned a few messages above?

    Any other info would be appreciated!

  • I know quite well about neglect, some kids kidnaped my dog tortured it threw boiling food on it, and left it to die, we found it because of witbesses, it was so weak it coulden't move and full of tiks, and thin, this isn't the only thing, many hit and run, two boys that grabbed a dog and threw it from their appartememt "to see what would happen" falling into a car making a dent in the car, animal surviving and suffering all the way to the rspca to be put down as they coulden't do anythimng, a girl that has two dogs tied up in a small place with ropes maybe as long as my arm, an owner that keeps her husky in a cage and feeds it now and then leaving food though a week never changing it the excuse " it didn't finish what I put, I'm waitting for it to finish it" even though it is all moldy, I told the rspca about the husky, they seemed very interrested, that was a few months ago, so far nothing happened, dog is still there, noone came.... Epoeple act like they care yet turn their heads the other way! Horrible things, burning animals alive, experementing on them for own fun, putting them to fight, people are starting that, now people with certan dogs need insurance and pay quite a lot, stupid shoulden't they check the dogs not by vreed but attitude, as there can be a tame loving rotweller and a horrible biting mut... maybe the owners should be testes, irresponsible owners shoulden't have dangerous dogs in the fisrt place, a caracter test.... they have parks that they don't want to allpw dogs in then they wonder why dogs are locked inside houses and tied... a big boxer that attacked my mut, and tried to bite its head, luckly I deffended him, and the boxer stoped still looking at my dog as a treat, still loose and at the same place imagine a child goes past and it mistakes it for a dog... I emailed funchal camara, nothing seemed to be done....
    Simply irresponsible people, they say you know a place by the way they treat their animals,in that case... well I better not continue!
  • If only I had the monay, I wish I could start my own rescue, :(
  • The following site is a good start to get help on protecting animals in Portugal:
    Any police station should be able to investigate animal cruelty as covered by law.
    Going to the portuguese television stations will definitely help.
    Good luck.
  • After my second visit to Maderia in1995 the stray dos on the streets upset me very much that I contacted the Portuges embassy Ihave several letters from them stating that they were going to build kennels and start a sterilisation campaign that was1995 its now 2005 I have been thinking about going back this year but what I have just read I think not

  • Hello all,

    During my time in the UK [before moving to Madeira] I spent the last five years volunteering at the Mayhew Animal Home. I fostered cats,kittens dogs and puppies.

    I have done many home visits both pre and post. I have interviewed people turning up at the home wanting to adopt animals.

    Of course when I came here on holiday I was sorry for the many stray cats and dogs. One of which we had to take to the vet at VetFunchal to have it's tail amputated and it to be spayed and aborted. He also took out some terrible bad teeth. This cat went to Mrs. Eger for re-habilitation and finally went to Germany.

    We donated money to Dr. Teixeira's SOS Animal Fund and then we moved to Madeira.

    We have lived here 18 months and during that time I [my husband goes back to the UK to work] have been involved in the saving of strays and this is my position now.

    Two dogs have been sent to Germany and one has been rehomed here with an English couple. Other people do what they can and I know some other puppies have been re-homed.

    Today I have some dogs on a beach who I feed regularly, three were neutered. Somehow they just seem to dissappear. I started with 5, two adults and three puppies. Then another of my 'known' males arrived, then one of the puppies didn't come any more. After neutering the two females and one male we took them back to the beach and only one puppy was left.

    Since then only two dogs are now there. Just the male and female of those three we neutered. We were going to get the puppy neutered because it is also a female.

    I then had to 'bring in' another dog which was in the mountains because althbough it was seen 6 weeks previously and looked healthy, this time it was extremely thin and had a damaged eye.

    We got this dog castrated [all via collections I have made for SOS] and have just yesterday put him back where we found him with the view to feeding him where he knows. I spent a sleepless night worrying for him and this morning went to feed him, he was fine but he then chased after my car. I am devestated but I cannot keep them all. I have four dogs and four cats already.

    The organisation SPAD do not have a good record for looking after cruelty cases, the European law which is coming into effect will not affect anything because although the police should be able to investigate cruelty cases they can do nothing about them as they don't have any facilities to keep confiscated animals in and protect them.

    I have a need of volunteers who will go regularly to areas to feed animals, the stray animals are sometimes better off than those that are continually tied to small chains. At least if their life is short they have enjoyed liberty.

    Some of the animals I feed would not thank you for finding them a home, it is normally only the cute small dogs who are found homes in other countries. The dog I took back to the mountains is not your normal cute small dog and he is 9 months old and only has one eye. I decided this was not a dog who would be easily homeable and decided thebest thing was to take him back where we found him, he has fresh water available and I take food to him.

    Anyway, sorry this is such a long post, I am looking for people here in Madeira to the west in Calheta or thereabouts who could offer practical hels. Feeding dogs in 'feeding areas' and also to hold dogs who will go to Germany and need time to get the papers and injections and tests done.

  • I was in Madeira last week and was concerned to see about 6 cats (feral I think) in the Bird Garden next to the Botanical Gardens in Funchal. Someone was kindly feeding them but the ginger one was in urgent need of medical attention.
    I didn't know if there was anything like the RSPCA in Madeira who would be able to help it.
  • I am surprised at all the opinions expressed in your correspondence about Madeira, about animal cruelty on the island, about Madeirans, about SPAD, the animal protection society in Madeira. You are all invited to visit our installations at Rua do Matadouro 10 A, Funchal, or to visit the municipal kennel managed by SPAD, or if that is too much to ask, visit our website , please be so kind as to also browse the Portuguese site because the English site is only a summary of our work. We are associated to the RSPCA for 2 years now and had two unannounced inspections from them already. We also received financial grants twice from the RSPCA International Department in the last 3 years. I trust you all value the opinion of the RSPCA and just may be you could use all this energy you clearly manifested in favour of helping us or to combine efforts in favour of the animals on our beautiful island. Your judgement is cruel and unfounded and very much outdated. Ten years ago, most of it might have been true, but a lot can change in 10 years...Please be so kind as to get informed because ignorance can be cured.
    Kind regards,
    Suzette Mariana Steyn
    Administrator of SPAD

  • I once reported to Madeira Times about how a dog was unfairly caged in an "educational park". Having a dog in Holland where I worked, I started searching for places over Madeira where my dog, Didi, could run free and wild as he does in the most pet-friendly Western Europe. Disappointing was I to find that most places, from levadas to beaches, barred dogs.

    Can anyone suggest of places where dogs may have their fair share of outdoor life over Madeira? I am bringing my Didi to stay on this lovely island for quite some time.
  • I would not leave my pets out of their leash at any time in the Island unless in one's private yard. I hear lots of pets have died due to poison or similar. I too am a local citizen but was fortunate to emigrate from the Island long ago, am very against animal cruelty, its all down to educating the locals which they're still long way to go and don't know any better, sadly due to ignorance also. Our local Goverment does not give/never did a toss about it's citizens welfare never mind the animals.
    I found this old post on search,17837,17837#msg-17837
  • we are from madeira living in uk. i report a few times to local madeira dayly paper about animal life in madeira. For last two years the local goverment and funchal council are doing a very goor job in colecting street aninals and also try to find homes and also going to local shoping centers, and making shore that locals adopt and give a nice home. but needs time a and also money to make a change. I like to thank locals and visitors for helping this lovelly cause.
    to make a start visit the dog and cat shelter in funchal,rua do matadouro n.10a,9050-100 funchal or you an donate at the web site
    joao correia
  • Hello to all,

    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, who was meowing at us and then cuddling with us but seemed quite skinny and hungry. We called SPAD to ask them how to adopt the kitty 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. So we asked them later how else can we help the cat and they said "Well you can bring him/her to the shelter for adoption". So that´s what we did on 19.12.2012 and we also donated money to the shelter. Later on at the end of the day we had doubts about it after searching more info on the internet (non castrating of male cats there, or terrifying information abut having to put some animals down if there is not enough space ?!? Maybe they are keeping the cat in cages?). Therefore we want to help the cat 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.

    He is registered under name CHRISSIE. We are also attaching photos of the kitty.

    Thank you so much in advance....

    Chris and Domi
  • This is a video of the cat that awaits you at shelter of SPAD, rua de Matadouro 10, Funchal.
    Please help us to find this cat a nice home.

    Link to see CHRISSIE the cat:

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