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  • Skribentens bildLinda Persson

Do good photography - Dog rescue shelter

This curious fellow is looking for a new home
OSPA dog rescue in Cape Verde - I need a new home

There are many ways to use photography. I want to "do good".

Not as in success but as in "do good things for others". My partner and I went to Cape Verde (Santa Maria, Sal) a few weeks ago. A well needed vacation but as we both are active people we wanted to do more than just sunbathe.

We learned about a dog rescue center, OSPA, and decided to visit. We brought dog food and donated money after a guided tour from a British gentleman volunteering that day. The OSPA dog shelter is run by a single, Portuguese speaking woman, Maria whom dedicates all her free time to old and injured street dogs. There are plenty of them in Cape Verde.

Feeding time at OSPA in Cape Verde
Maria feeding the dogs

OSPA dog rescue is located a few kilometers outside Santa Maria border, next to the main road and just before the Botanical garden. (Also worth a visit.) There's nothing but sand and rock here. The shelter is very spartan and has trash lying all around it. The wind is bringing it in from the sea and is a major problem on this island. However, the inside is very clean and well maintained. The walls are made of sheet metal and booths made of concrete bricks and wire net.

There's no electricity and no running water. Water is brought in huge tanks by other do-gooders about once a week.

European veterinarians offer free care when they visit the island. That's how she can manage with all the injuries and illnesses. At the moment she houses approximately 54 dogs and rely on donations, charity work and adoptions. She gets free left over food from a hotel which she mixes with dry dog food. She usually breaks even at the end of the month but when she doesn't she uses her own profit from the restaurant she owns in town. Maria has to pay for daily cleaning and that's 1 500 euro/month. Other expenses are food and medicine and material. The dogs chew through the wire nets which then needs mending. (And sometimes the dogs cut themselves in the face when they stick their nose through the sharp holes they cause.)

This sweet dog wants a loving new home...
Sharp wire could injure their faces... I need a new home

Our British gentleman guide shows us his two favorite dogs. Two white ones. The younger of them is in the process of being adopted by a Dutch lady. All the dogs are very friendly, social and playful. They have survived because of the tourist on the beaches and know how to charm you. They will make excellent pet dogs with their great personalities.

If you want to learn more about this dog shelter and/or adopt a dog, please visit

If you want to adopt a dog, it will go through a free thorough full body medical test. Afterwards you only have to pay for the airfare of the dog and a carer on the plane. It could be the British gentleman or another volunteer or you can come and pick the dog up yourself. You get a dog carrier (box) with the adoption. At the most, the adoption will take two months to perform and is pretty much no hassle. Last but not least, if you visit Cape Verde and love dogs... you can volunteer by taking these dogs for a walk for an hour or so outside the fence. Maria will be very grateful. They have visiting hours for anyone to come. Try to avoid in the middle of the day when she feeds them. We got there just before feeding time but we were greeted with a warm hand regardless, thanks to the British man. He lives in Cape Verde three months at a time, therefore he wants to help out a few hours two days per week. If you visit and want to donate things, they need food and blankets etc. The dogs have to sleep on the hard ground most the time.

The dog yard is very nice and clean, though spartan
OSPA Dog Rescue - Cape Verde

Note: Street dogs with collars are cared for by the locals! We thought it was weird but they let them run free and call them in by the end of the day. Or at least that's what's supposed to happen.

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