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Posted by portugalpress on February 10, 2018

Dear Editor,

The dreaded thing has happened, my dog has been poisoned. After two days on a drip, I have brought her home.

My vet shrugs his shoulders when I ask how this has happened, blaming it on fertiliser. Curiously, he later tells me more dogs come in to him from poisoning during the hunting season than any other time of the year. It is the hunting season.

We have no arable land here, only the wild brush and rubble harsh landscape where hunters have been enjoying the season with gusto. It may be cynical but when my vet admits that it takes an inordinate amount of paperwork, procedural reporting to the authorities and so on, isn’t fertiliser poisoning bound to be the preferred diagnosis?

If she survives this – we won’t know for several days – she will no longer be free to walk the wilderness and sniff the stoney lanes with me. This beautiful, young, black sleek-haired rescue puppy who runs like the wind, whose joy of life overflows with gratitude with obedience and gentle behaviour, will be tethered to a tree to join the hundreds, or is it thousands, of dogs in Portugal living a non-life of barking and loneliness.

At this moment, she lies motionless, unable to move, blind. Force fed as she cannot swallow very well, her bladder massaged to help her to urinate, the liver and kidneys barely functioning. Today we are determined to be hopeful. A few more days will tell.

In this week’s Algarve Resident (January 25, 2018) is your article about the poisoning of dogs in Pêra in the Silves borough.

Brief research shows that cruelty to animals was legally outlawed in 1995 (see The Portuguese Parliament Decree approved June 21, 1995).

Maltreatment of animals has been criminalised. The law has changed but is it being implemented?

The British and the Portuguese have an affiliation that reaches far back hundreds of years and well before the EU. As a nation, the British love dogs and care for them. We take in, adopt and care for hundreds and hundreds of abandoned dogs in Portugal. Not to mention the dog kennel charities we support across the country. The law should step up, make it easier to report and make an example of anyone caught poisoning defenceless animals, our loved pets. Germans, French and many other European countries feel the same.

I write this with feelings of helplessness.

Janet Mitchell, Moncarapacho

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