During November the Camara Municipal Do Sal announced that they were going to be capturing dogs on the streets of Santa Maria. This campaign started 24th November and is still taking place. Many people were not aware of this campaign. The collection and removal of dogs to a purpose built holding facility situated at Palha Verde, some distance from Santa Maria, still continues.

There is one guard there at the shelter, no one else.

The Camara Municipal and our association Save Cats and Dogs of Cape Verde had a meeting about the shelter in Palha Verde and the collecting of dogs.

The Camara insists on continuing collecting dogs from the streets. When I asked what their plan with the shelter was, Mr. Neves (from th Camara) asked me how would I plan it. The Camara does not have a plan with the shelter and I’m asked to help with it. 

I made clear that what they are doing won’t solve the problem and they started this all too sudden and that they should have started with an education campaign. Also people haven’t been informed, well, or at all. Sterilisation campaigns are the only real answer. They can only catch the dogs that are most likely owned, very good natured and therefor easy to catch. When they take dogs away from their territory like this, they will be replaced by more aggressive individuals and it will only make it worse on the streets.

They seem to have the idea that people will adopt dogs from the shelter. I stressed to them that people must have access in the shelter to see the dogs as nobody will want to adopt a dog they can’t interact with. Also, dog owners in Santa Maria need to be able to see if their dog is inside. 

We (Save Cats and Dogs) will now get the right to access the shelter regularly and see properly how the dogs are and in what condition.

I will co-operate with the Camara because I don’t want it getting any worse for the captured dogs (the Camara have assured me they will now not to kill any) and because I can’t stop them collecting dogs for now, I can only try to make it better and prevent them from suffering.

The shelter only has room for about 35 dogs, and after yesterday I think it’s already full. The dogs do receive water and food now. There are many problems and there will be more problems when they put dogs together like this. They are all in the same space. The dogs will start fighting for food, and will have injuries maybe even worse. They are also free to reproduce if not neutered.

I am told that the owner can collect his/her dog by going to the shelter with the registration papers. If the dog is not registered, it needs to be done at Camara Municipal before they go to collect their dog. There will be no fine for the first time. However if the dog is collected from the streets again and taken to the shelter, there will be a fine then (2000 esc).

These “rules” may change as the whole thing is not really planned.!

Although I am asked to help, there is just myself and a few people who can help from time to time.I am struggling and stressed about the situation. I am also contacted by email by people who are abroad to ask what’s happening and although I am trying to help I can’t do a lot on my own. There are petitions that are online.

There are those that are aware of the campaign that also support the Camara and the collection of dogs off the streets and beaches, so please understand it’s not easy for me.

There is a lot involved in adopting a dog and although I have helped previously I am concentrating on the preparation of the German Vets who are due to arrive in January for the 9th Neutering campaign on Sal. However, people can contact us and we will always help anyone wanting to adopt, as long as they are committed to it! I am also trying to fund raise, these take up priority as well as having to deal with the Camara over the Neutering Campaign and asking for their support with this.

The collecton of dogs off the street by the Camara Municipal is not to be related to the Neutering Campaign, they are nothing to do with each other.

There is a list of contacts within our Facebook page of those that we have contacted and, who you can contact concerning these matters. We also have links to petitions.

You can follow updates and people’s comments via:

Facebook Page:  Save cats and dogs of Cape Verde – neutering campaigns

Our website: LINK:  www.savecatsdogscapeverde.org

Hanna Kurtto
Save Cats and Dogs of Cape Verde