Ombudswoman for Animals in Lisbon, Marisa Quaresma dos Reis, is looking to create a network of foster homes where abandoned animals can be temporarily housed while waiting to be re-homed.
Following her appointment on Monday to the newly-created position, Marisa dos Reis said she would be calling on residents to join a voluntary programme to alleviate the chronic shortage of space in the capital’s municipal kennels. Without specifying further details, she said the programme has been well received by local authorities and would be implemented in the very near future.
The swearing-in ceremony took place on Monday evening at around 6pm, at the town hall in Lisbon.
During the ceremony, the new Ombudswoman said “I want to seize this opportunity to reach out to the population and raise awareness of the issue of animal welfare.”
Marisa Quaresma dos Reis said she wants to overcome the problem of space shortages at Lisbon’s ‘Casa dos Animais’, as the re-branded municipal kennel is called, by enlisting voluntary host families to take in abandoned animals until such a time as the organisation undergoes expansion works.
According to Marisa, this measure is intended to “partially solve, or at least give an immediate response to the problem of lack of space at the Casa dos Animais de Lisboa.”
Lisbon Council has welcomed the idea, and has said it will soon be putting the programme into motion.
Anyone who wishes to apply as a host family will have to register at the Casa dos Animais and “prove their suitability through the presentation of a crime free record and a statement from their local Parish Council”.
“There will be no costs involved for the temporary foster families who volunteer at the Casa dos Animais”, Marisa dos Reis added, explaining the municipalities will bear the costs since the families will have “veterinary assistance” as well as food monitoring.