As a child I dreamt to find a stray dog in front of our door, who -from that moment on- would belong to our family. That dream never came true, fortunately. Because Holland turns out to be one of the first countries worldwide who solved the problem of stray cats and dogs. With about 7.500 dogs in shelters and according to statistics 'zero' animals on the street, Holland's policy turned out being succesfull.
For Portugal that sounds more like an utopia. With 250.000 dogs in (registered) shelters and 1,5 million stray dogs estimated, we could speak of an over-population of dogs. No need to mention that this has disastrous consequences for the dogs and animalwellfare in general.
Although it is in my nature to close my eyes for suffering in general, I arrived to a moment that I decided that 'doing nothing' is not an option. While driving back home, I found a dog on the middle of the road. When I came closer, I saw his leg broken and elbow twice as big as it should be. While approaching him, he started to 'walk' away from me. Tale between his legs and fear in his eyes. He obviously was used to mistreatments. He more and less walked by leaning on his elbow. His under leg dragging over the street. Despite of several attempts, I didn't manage to 'catch' him. I never saw him again. But after this I decided to do something and started to work on a voluntary base for several shelters.