Stray dogs and cats at Praia de Faro: Human-nonhuman social relationships
The international organization Change for animals foundation and the portuguese association Animais de rua developed (2013-2018) a project of vaccination, sterilization, improvement of the health and welfare of dogs and cats at the Praia de Faro, in Algarve. Indeed, the most part of these animals had health problems, the majority were strays and a lot of them chained or limited in confined and unhealthy areas. The two principal goals of this project are to understand the social phenomena of the stray dogs and cats at Praia de Faro and the relationship between people and their dogs and cats, as well as with stray animals. The theoretical problems invoked call for the knowledge of the animal studies or human-animal studies (HAS), in the anglo-saxon version and the relations anthropozoologiques (RAZ) in the french version.
This study is based on the data of the 4 applications (November 2013, N= 151, August 2014, N=150; October 2014, N= 124, June 2015, N=83) of a survey done by Change for Animals Foundation. However, because we don’t have a random sample, it is not possible to generalize these results to all the population of Praia de Faro. Moreover, as the survey did not follow a time series design, it is not possible to compare the answers before and after intervention. This does not mean that these results are not revealing, from a sociological and exploratory perspective.
However, because we don’t have a random sample, it is not possible to, neither generalize these results to all the population of Praia de Faro, nor compare the answers before and after intervention. This does not mean that these results are not precious from a sociological and exploratory perspective.
For the first time in Portugal, this project will give an approach of the social problem of the stray cats and dogs, according to the following survey goals: 1. Examine attitudes towards animals at Praia de Faro 2. Ownership behaviour: a) How/where are owned cats/dogs kept; b) Why are owned cats/dogs kept; c) State of knowledge regarding basic cat/dog care; d) Barriers to providing adequate care 3. Determine what the “problem” with cats/dogs is, as expressed by individuals 4. Determine perception of stray animals; try to assess tolerance for cats/dogs on street; willingness to take action (as owner or by stander)
Keywords: stray animals; dogs; cats; animal studies; animal welfare.