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Come and help an animal rescue and protection association in the South-West Algarve, Portugal
We are an animal protection association located in the beautiful National Park near Vila do Bispo on the South-West tip of the Algarve. We shelter up to 120 dogs at any one time in our sanctuary. There are usually just two of us doing all the work with these animals and help is always needed.
We have quite a large area here and the dogs live mainly in packs in large, wooded enclosures. We currently have a few cats here too in their own enclosure well away from the dogs.
We live in a peaceful, beautiful area which is about 3 kms away from Vila do Bispo, which is the nearest local village. This area is quiet with other small villages and gorgeous sandy beaches nearby with surfing available. This is an ideal place for people who do not want the bustle of town or city life but prefer the quiet of the countryside and who love dogs. Please do not apply if you are looking for a big social life with clubs and night life nearby. The area where we are located is isolated so we are very safe here.
There is a main house and chalet where we live. In addition, we now have two lovely large, renovated caravans, a small renovated caravan and a teepee with two single beds in it. People have their own accommodation and are not asked to share with people they do not know. Bed linen and towels are provided for you if you are staying in any of the above mention accommodation, so you do not need to bring them with you. We have a sheltered camping area for volunteers to pitch a tent under and we also welcome people staying in their own camper vans. We expect all accommodation to be left clean and tidy when you leave so that it is ready for the next volunteers to move into.
Food and Shopping
Food is not included. Often volunteers meet up at lunchtime and in the evenings to cook and eat together. This is a nice social way of eating and there is a communal BBQ too for everyone to use. We usually go to the local village on a Friday to get our shopping and you would be welcome to come with us. Alternatively, we a have a bicycle you can use to go there any other day. Walking there is about 20 minutes - it is only 3km away.
The tasks can be hard but very satisfying. We start early in the mornings, when it is cool - 8 am in the autumn, spring and winter months and 7 am in the summer months. The dogs are lovely and fun to be with. Every day can be different depending on what happens so flexibility is important. We need people who love dogs and want to take care of them, walk them and help them, you might walk up to 10 km with the dogs every day. We also need people with building, maintenance and gardening skills.
Clothing to Bring
Bring clothes with you that you do not mind getting dirty and bring trainers to work in. It can get wet sometimes outside of the main summer months so waterproof foot wear would be good to bring with you. It is usually cool in the morning and evenings, even in the summer, so warm clothes are a must too.
You can get a bus or train from Lisbon or Faro to Lagos. Faro is closer than Lisbon. There was a bus service called Get On which you could catch at the airport but it was not operating during the covid pandemic. The train station is away from the airport and so is the Faro bus station. In Lagos you would need to get another bus to Vila do Bispo and I would meet you there. Please note that if you miss the last bus you might need to spend a night in Lagos, where there are many hostels.
As we are quite isolated here we do not have mains water so we get our water from the rain in the winter and it is stored. If we do not get much rain, which is usual in the summer, it is delivered to us. This means that we are very careful here with water usage and we ask you to keep showering times to a minimum.
We have had a fantastic response from you lovely Workawayers and we look forward to meeting and working alongside more of you! However, please do reply quickly and confirm dates to us as soon as you can because we do not want to disappoint people who would like to help us, We are finding that we are getting booked up well in advance, especially in the summer months. We only have limited accommodation and once it is booked we can take no more people unless they have their own accommodation ie camper van or tent.
With the current unusual situation because of covid-19, people are sometimes having to change their travel plans. This means that we do get cancellations and thing do change so please check back here if you would like to join us. Our current availability for 2021 is below:-
1 November onwards
DIY and building projects
Help with Computers/ Internet
We live in a beautiful national park about 3 kms away from a traditional, small village and lovely beaches. Volunteers will learn a lot about looking after dogs and cats, their needs including different feeding regimes and medications for certain illnesses; what it is like to live in a protected nature reserve and the local culture in this area. There are beautiful walks to enjoy with the dogs and time can be spent socialising with them too. The beaches here are lovely and often volunteers walk dogs there in the evening to see the sunsets.
We need help to look after the dogs in our care and the area where we live. Feeding, cleaning, walking and lead training with the puppies and making up beds to keep the dogs comfortable and cosy in the winter. Also, clearing the areas and grounds as well as maintenance of shelters and fences. All of our dogs and puppies live in large, wooded areas not small concrete kennels. We sometimes need help with other chores, not only with the dogs. We also have a few cats, well away from the dogs, and volunteers are welcome to spend time in the cattery with them. Any help with computer graphics or web site knowledge is always appreciated too.
Nice caravans with bedroom and cooking facilities are provided. Two of the caravans have their own toilet. Shower facilities are available in the main house. There is a communal area between the two large caravans with a gas BBQ, tables and chairs where volunteers can spend time with other volunteers or just play with the dogs.
We are dedicated to looking after the dogs that have come into our care after being rescued from bad situations or abandoned. As there are usually just two of us usually looking after the dogs we have a lot of work. This includes not only the everyday care and maintenance but also the fundraising, re-homing and pet transport sides of the charity. This part of Portugal was the main area for discovering how to navigate the oceans. There are plenty of lovely sandy beaches and local villages around this area to explore. This is also an area which is very popular with surfers. There are buses that run from the village along the coast to Lagos (and beyond) and also to Sagres and up to Ajezur so exploring is easy.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have a large area here so campervans are welcome.
We have one dog friendly caravan where people can stay with their pet which has a caged area so the dog can also be outside and safe.
More than two
3 hours a day, 5 days a week
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