The shelter of Dick and Berta has a five-star view over the mountains of Canedo - north Portugal. In fact the only luxury the shelter offers, which was build two years ago from zero. At this moment the shelter offers space to 70 dogs, for which Dick and Berta are working day and night.
The daily tasks don't stop by just caring and treating these seventy dogs. It's a non-stop of bringing in wounded and lost dogs from the street, driving back and forward to the veterinarian and solving legal issues with municipality and other authorities. Not only from monday till friday, also during weekends the job needs to be done. Nor taking it more slowly then, because the weekends are oftenly being spent in shopping malls or supermarkets, to collect dog food or to raise money. It's a top-job!
A top-job on a voluntary base. Very much needed here in Portugal. With about 1,5 million stray dogs. What difference Dick and Berta make with seventy dogs? You might think it's just about these seventy dogs. See it from another side. All these seventy dogs are being castrated (financed by themselves). Actually, these seventy dogs, plus some more as they try as much as they can to promote adoption. Anyway, without castration, two dogs would multiplicate themselves to about a thousand dogs in three years. Counting an average of 5 puppies, two times a year. Hypothatical we could say that with the care of these seventy dogs, they're avoiding an increase of the dogpopulation with about 70.000 dogs within 3 years. Even imagine the difference they make within a lifetime of a dog.
Within ten years they hope to have their shelter empty and to finish their job. With the new law coming out, forbidding the putting down of stray dogs, the local and national politicians will need to come with solutions. We already know the only right and effective solution is castration. To reduce the over-population of dogs (and cats) and at the same time hopefully to increase the level of animalwelfare here. Until there peaple like Dick and Berta are very much needed in this country. To make a small difference for now and a huge difference for the future.