The aim of the work of Bons Amigos is to improve the sanitary and hygienic situation for the well-being of humans and animals. This can be achieved by creating a smaller and healthier animal population that no longer carries a substantial risk of transmission of various diseases. Those dogs and cats are strong enough and able to prevent the immigration of ill animals.
The work of Bons Amigos consists of the treatment of stray dogs and cats against parasites, as well as of castrations to avoid reproduction.
The animals get dewormed, deflead and medicated against scabies. This must be done regularly. This part of the work is almost exclusively carried out by the Cape Verdean Bons Amigos team. The material is provided by the association, which collects donations in Austria for this purpose.
At the same time it is important for us that any sick or injured animal receive treatment. To this end Bons Amigos run a hospital which is open all year, where each needy animal gets medical attendance – whether or not accompanied by an owner.
The operations program plans campaigns several times a year in different districts of the city, during which a high percentage of animals gets castrated.
This work is supported by experienced veterinarians from Austria, Germany, Portugal and Brazil. A veterinarian from Portugal has been employed full-time by Bons Amigos since autumn 2014; she guides and monitors the work on site.
The inhabitants of Praia are frequently informed about how to protect themselves and their animals against parasites - mostly while we treat their pets.
One key requirement for achieving success is the public support. When the healthier animal’s appearance improves, peoples’ care increases.
In addition, our offer for medical treatment enables people to act themselves, by bringing ill or injured animals to free medical treatment.
Thus the personal responsibility increases, which is, according to the WHO, a main part of the success of „Dog Population Management“ programs. Further, this leads to an improvement of contacts between humans and animals, and at the same time reduces the number of animals without anyone to care for them.
Thus, one part of the work is to propagate and support the development of „Responsible Communities“ (“comunidades reponsaveis”) through information and our medical offers, who then in turn feel co-responsible for the solution of problems, and volunteer their help. In addition, this terminates the necessity for the dangerous, brutal, expensive and ineffective poisoning. It reduces the risk for humans, it prevents senseless and woeful death of many animals - and helps the municipality to save money.
Also from an educational point of view the abandonment of poison is positive: children don‘t have to experience the death of the animals they have been playing with. They also experience that one can take responsibility for weaker creatures and help them.
For the long term the objective of Bons Amigos is to intensify their work in cooperation with the municipality, to eliminate the problems caused by stray animals and their suffering.