The beautiful island of Sal, in Cape Verde, is a place of tropical beauty. Just off the west coast of Africa, it is a perfect combination of white sandy beaches, sparkling blue waters, and golden sunshine.
But Sal has not always been paradise for all of its inhabitants.
For dogs living on the beautiful island, life has been anything but perfect. Until recently they faced poisoning, mistreatment, and death by electrocution in a misguided effort to keep their numbers down.
With your help, we will give the dogs of Sal a better future.
In 2019, the local government on Sal were the first in the country to sign up to the National Alliance for Ethical Dog and Cat Management, committing to the use of humane population control methods going forwards. However, with extremely limited veterinary capacity on the island, the ever-growing dog population has proved difficult to manage. Working alongside local organisations, Movimento Civil para as Comunidades Responsáveis and Projeto Biodiversidade, WVS are pleased to be working with the local government to establish an effective island-wide mass sterilisation project. This will ensure the island’s dogs can lead healthier and happier lives, and their numbers can be managed in the kindest way possible.
This is a unique opportunity to show the communities of Sal, and the neighboring islands, how humane population control can work. Together we can tackle overpopulation, eliminate all the suffering it causes, and give these dogs a better quality of life.
Most of the dogs on Sal, even the pets, are free-roaming, which makes managing their numbers challenging. The impact of COVID-19 has only made things worse. With no tourists coming to the island, who often feed and leave scraps for the strays, many have lost their main source of food. On top of that, many people who once relied on tourism have been forced to leave the island in search of income and have left their pets behind. This has meant that more dogs are living on the streets, breeding uncontrollably, and competing for less and less food. This not only causes fights between dogs, but also disease outbreaks and wide-spread starvation.
Sal also supports one of the largest nesting populations of loggerhead sea turtles, an endangered marine turtle. Alongside the neighboring island, Boa Vista, Sal is the only major nesting area along the entire eastern Atlantic coast. Sadly, the increasing number of dogs is impacting the turtles as well, as the dogs have had to move into their territory in search of food, eating the eggs from the nests and driving the turtles away.
Your support will improve the lives of dogs and protect loggerhead turtles, allowing them to co-exist on the island.
Thanks to the support of Fondation Brigitte Bardot and the Marchig Animal Welfare Trust our teams are poised to head out to the island as soon as travel restrictions allow, however we still need your help to raise the remaining £3,000 to support essential running costs for the project.
Your support will contribute to the remaining vital costs of the project, such as food for the dogs who may need to spend longer at our clinics and the essential running costs of the vehicles the teams will be using to transport the dogs from the streets to the clinics. Our teams will be working tirelessly every day to humanely catch dogs all across the island, before transporting them to the vets at their nearest surgery hub. The vehicles will also bring in any injured animals for treatment, alongside transporting essential medications safely across the island.
Our volunteers have already been hard at work on Sal and have started running population surveys to better understand the island’s dogs. As soon as COVID-19 restrictions lift, our expert vets will begin work. We need your support now to ensure that this work can begin as soon as it is possible.
£3 could buy a dog bowl, helping provide the many dogs visiting our surgery hubs with food and water after surgery.
£10 could buy one days’ worth of dog food for 24 dogs during their time at the clinic
£34 could provide one days’ worth of petrol for our 3 dog catching vehicles, ensuring our teams can reach every corner of the island
£75 could provide one days’ worth of dog food for 180 dogs, during their time at the clinic
£168 could purchase one weeks’ worth of petrol for our 3 dog catching vehicles, ensuring our teams can safely transport dogs to and from the clinics
£336 could provide two weeks’ worth of petrol for our 3 dog catching vehicles, enabling our veterinary teams to sterilise hundreds of dogs, and provide treatment to any injured animals they come across.
Thank you for changing the future for the dogs of Sal.