We've been following the story of galgos in Portugal - horrendous conditions in which they survive - and the team of faithful volunteers who work tirelessly to make the lives of these dogs better, against insurmountable odds.
Ines explains the situation more fully.
'I must clarify some details on this shelter, it is not a registered charity, it is simply Teresa, an animal lover that happens to help every stray dog she finds. She treats, neuters and vaccinates them and finds them good homes. Teresa has a brilliant record, this year alone she rehomed over 60 dogs by herself into loving families, so I and another 2 women volunteered to help her fundraise and look after the dogs.
This is because state kennels are appalling and are kill shelters, and every single charity/association cannot take any more animals as, due to the recession, abandonment is rife.
She has a small field with kennels where she keeps the dogs; living in an area of poverty, people see dogs as hunting tools, none of the galgos that lives nearby (with “owners”) is fed, so they all came to Teresa’s doorstep as they know they will be fed and cuddled there.
Estrela, the emaciated mum, belongs to Teresa’s neighbour, the alcoholic, and all of this man’s galgos are fed by Teresa, as he never bought a single bag of food (they believe eating will stop them from hunting). That’s how Teresa came to know about this litter of pups, and that he was drowning them. She needs to keep in good terms, unfortunately, as if she makes too much hassle, he will take revenge on the animals and beat them, as happened before. He threatens to kill them (which he will), so leaves us the option of feeding the animals on his back, treating them and neuter them without his knowledge.
He wanted to kill Estrela after the pups are weaned, but Teresa convinced him to give her up once the pups are ready. Estrela will come to the shelter in about a month’s time and will be up for adoption. Estrela will remain with her owner for now, and pup 24 and his sister are with Inês Pinto (like me, we just help Teresa out) who is hand-rearing them. They are bottle-fed every 3 hours and because we have other newborns with us (not from galgos, mongrel pups that were left to die in a field,), milk is always needed. They do not have a foster mum as we had an outbreak of parvo in the area recently, and the babies are too young to be vaccinated, so we keep them separate from other dogs (sad, but we cannot take the risk of them catching parvo).
The stray (picture above) is a different bitch, also galga, abandoned by a different hunter months ago… she became feral and Teresa has been trying to capture her for weeks to neuter her. She had a previous litter that Teresa rehomed, but before being able to spay her, she went missing for a long time, and when she finally turned up, she already had had another litter, 6 pups. She is the one you see lying down nursing her pups in the pics I sent yesterday).
It took us a week to finally trap her, so she is called Sunday and she is now in the shelter, under Teresa’s care. Besides those 2, we have a 3rd galga mum with a litter of 4 at the shelter. (the brown & white one below) We took her in despite her belonging to another spiteful hunter, under the promise that we will return her once those 4 puppies are ready. We really need to neuter that girl so he will stop breeding her. We have until the 31st October to spay her without his knowledge, or he will mate her as soon as she leaves the shelter.
I have attached pics of this 3rd girl and her babies. They are all vaccinated already, and ready to go to loving families if someone wants them.
Teresa is quite public about her views and with her denuncias, we just don't get taken seriously by the authorities unfortunately. Teresa is indeed a golden heart,sthe spends more than she can afford on the animals, that's why me and others have chosen to give her a hand, she has more compassion in her than the whole town she lives in.'
To donate to Teresa to feed these dogs, Paypal email@example.com Every little helps the ladies keep these nursing bitches alive till they can be rescued and neutered and homed.