During the parliamentary hearing at the Agriculture and Sea Commission, at the request of BE political party, on the events at the shelters ‘Cantinho das Quatro Patas’ and ‘Abrigo de Paredes’, the association’s chief, Pedro Batista, explained to the deputies that when he arrived at the site at 2am on Sunday (19 July), the area where the kennels were was already “totally burned”, which is why there was no risk of re-ignition, because at that time, the fire “was already in the aftermath”.

Following the fire on the weekend of 18 and 19 July, which broke out in the municipality of Valongo, but which spread to the Serra da Agrela, in the neighbouring municipality of Santo Tirso, in the district of Porto, over 70 animals in illegal shelters died while a further 190 were rescued alive.

The APBS official revealed in Parliament that it is possible to confirm through the “time line” of the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection (ANEPC) that at 2am on Sunday the fire was reported as being in the aftermath phase.

Pedro Batista said that he arrived at the Serra da Agrela at 2am, after being alerted by people via telephone, and that two hours later, he had six more members of the association on the ground, adding that they were “banned” by the GNR at the scene to enter the space, who told them that “it would be all right” and that they could not go to the shelter ‘Cantinho das Quatro Patas’ to provide assistance.

Pedro Batista reported that at 4.05am, after talking with the owners, they were only allowed to progress about 100 metres.

“We saw some corpses, but we had other animals that were very malnourished and in need of care. We could have saved animals, without a doubt, if they had let us act when we arrived”, he assured.