Shelter 24 – 18.08.2018 – APA, Torres Vedras, Portugal.
I’ve talked about these guys before and it’s true to say, I think they’re wonderful. But why did I buy into the whole thing with APA? 🤔 I think it has something to do with family and family values. APA feels like a family. It has a homely buzz with lots of people milling around, or busy doing their thing. There’s chatting and laughter and squabbles and jibes. It’s an infectious atmosphere and everyone gets on incredibly well. 😍 I did say ‘squabbles’ though and yes, arguments do happen, but they’re generally short lived and resolved in the moment. As with most families, people don’t hold their tongues and that stops things simmering. There’s a momentary explosion, then it’s done and laughter resumes. Their core values however, are NEVER questioned. This is clear in everyone’s minds – sterilise, build, maintain, provide the best shelter possible for the dogs and cats. 300 dogs and 100 cats! So what constitutes the best life possible in the APA shelter? 🤔 1. Topping the charts is Sterilisation! This applies to every single animal and not only stops breeding (Portugal has MORE than enough dogs and cats already), but cuts down on hormone related problems – in a word, fights! 2. Play and Socialisation! The dogs go out to run in the play area twice a day. This gives them chance to let off steam and interact with each other. They are mixed up as much as possible to avoid pack mentalities and encourage well balanced dogs. They also get taken for walks. When it comes to the cats, most have access to the outside world, via little archways in their enclosure. I think it’s a great idea, as don’t cats come back to where they live anyway? 3. Baths, brushes, ear cleans etc. APA has a Junior Club to enable kids to work at the shelter. A thirteen year old girl taught me about bath time here, so they know their stuff! Other volunteers come weekly to check ears, teeth and general health. Volunteers are encouraged to shine in their chosen areas. The other thing APA seems to have a handle on is maximising income sources. They fundraise, sell products, have paying members, have vending machines, charge for adoptions, run a charity shop, do dog boarding and much more. If they see a chance to make, or raise money they take it. Ultimately they have a ‘Can Do’ mentality. You won’t hear APA people saying they don’t have enough money, volunteers, or resources to do something. There’s always a way and they focus their minds on finding it. I like their philosophies and really like their attitude. Drop the excuses and find the solutions. I think I could do with more of an APA mentality myself to realise ANYTHING is possible! 😁👍 https://www.facebook.com/apatvedras/