The Corona virus has impacted us here in Portugal at Os Rafeiritos Do Alentejo in a number of ways.
I guess the most difficult thing is that, because of restrictions on travel dogs are not able to leave the kennels to go to their new families in Sweden and in Germany. We have a litter of 5 puppies which could normally go quickly overland to Germany but because the borders are closed they cannot go. It is also difficult at this time to find foster homes. Because dogs are still coming in and no dogs are able to leave, the kennels are becoming very crowded. There are 5 dogs (2 of them are in a foster home) waiting to come to Sweden.
Another problem we have is that some of the foreign volunteers returned to their home countries or are self isolating here, so the dogs are not getting as many walks as normal and they are missing the contact. The core team of Portuguese volunteers and a UK volunteer are still able to walk the dogs when they can. Luckily the kennels are at the house of Mariana so, even if local travel restrictions come into affect, she will still be able to make sure that the dogs are cared for and are kept clean with food and water but it has put a lot of stress on her.
We have two big fundraising events during the year which go a long way towards paying the Vet bills (at Easter and at Christmas). Because of the restrictions the Easter event cannot happen which is a worry for all of us. We will run a raffle, but as you can imagine, ticket sales will be difficult.
But the team who are still able to help will continue to take care of the dogs and support Mariana where we can.
We want all our friends in Sweden to stay safe and healthy. We look forward to welcoming the volunteers from Hundrondellen here again in Portugal when things return to normal and we look forward to meeting some more of the new families when we bring dogs to Arlanda.
The very warmest wishes to all from
The team at Os Rafeiritos do Alentejo