A haven for dogs, cats and nature lovers: Animal Refuge on the Algarve, Portugal
With over 50,000 opportunities in more than 170 countries worldwide there are endless volunteering possibilities out there. The ‘Workaway Host of the Month’ blog gives the reader a chance to get to know about outstanding projects which have inspired Workawayers and provoked glowing feedback.
This month we have selected a wonderful animal shelter project nestled in a valley of woodland on the Algarve coast near Loulé, which is still active and running amidst COVID19 and welcoming workawayers under strict safety precautions. After all, while many of us have been able to adjust our lifestyle to deal with the pandemic, our furry friends still need the same care and love! Portuguese law prior to 2018 meant that any unclaimed stray animals could be rounded up and killed. Then laws changed in 2018, prohibiting the culling of healthy animals, and instead placing the responsibility of the strays on local councils. However, most towns do not have the means or the money for this. The sick animals are put down and the healthy ones are locked up in crowded pounds. This haven was created and funded by an animal lover, whose dream is to provide abandoned animals with a second chance at finding health and a home. Over an 18 month period he created a spacious, eco friendly shelter where the animals receive medical care, a comfy bed, plenty of recreational space, food and exercise. Surrounded by forest, with the golden sands of the Algarve just a 15 minute drive away, the place appeals to both animal and nature lovers. The great feedback it has received came to our attention and so we set up an interview with Tiago, whose main role is volunteer co-ordinator at the refuge.
Workawayer Jule from Germany, sums up perfectly the sentiments of most Workawayers:
A MAGICAL PLACE!! I spent two weeks at this beautiful shelter last summer and I'm still thinking about this amazing experience so often. Words cannot describe how wonderful this place is! The team is doing an amazing job, making such a big difference in so many lives every day! They are so passionate about what they do, always caring about the animals and the volunteers too, truly kind-hearted people. I really got inspired by them and also by all the other people I was lucky to meet during my stay. I totally recommend this place to any animal lover. The work (walking the dogs in the beautiful valley, feeding them, cleaning their kennels and giving them lots of cuddles) doesn't feel like work at all and is so rewarding. The dogs and cats will steal your heart and make it so hard to leave!Thank you all so much! <3 I hope to come back soon!