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Brazil: A woman's fight to shelter homeless animals

Brazil: A woman's fight to shelter homeless animals in São Paulo goes to court

'I will not solve the problem of stray animals in the world. But in my town, I'll solve it. I want to'

11/8/2010

An Ilhabela resident built new shelter quickly after the demolition of the original shelter by the City Hall

Determined to get abandoned animals off the streets, Dochiê Dobrota, a resident of Ilhabela (north coast of São Paulo), resigned from her job and built a shelter with the money saved in her social security. However, the City Hall demolished the place. After that, she decided to file a lawsuit against the municipality and won.

Since the demolition of the shelter, Dobrota takes care of 54 dogs (some with disabilities), 114 cats, 15 chickens and 8 turtles in a makeshift site.

According to a preliminary injunction issued by the district judge, the City Hall of Ilhabela must provide a veterinarian to vaccinate and neuter all animals sheltered by the volunteer. It also may not charge fees to regulate the property and will have to provide 700 kg of feed for cats and dogs every month. Currently, Dobrota climbs the rungs of a 200-meter hill carrying 20 kg-sacks of feed for the animals.

In his ruling, Judge Sandro Cavalcanti Rollo took into account the fact that the only animal shelter in Ilhabela has only six dogs due to lack of structure. "There is a federal decree to the effect that all animals must be protected by the state," said Rollo.

The state attorney, Vinícius Julião, claimed that the demolition of the shelter was necessary. "It was an illegal construction. We are confident that the court of justice will appeal this decision." Currently, 8,000 animals live on the streets of Ilhabela, which has 23 000 inhabitants.

"I will not solve the problem of stray animals in the world. But in my town, I'll solve it. I want to," said Dobrota, who has been dedicated to this mission for 20 years.

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Useful address:
Ilhabela - Secretaria de Administração
Telefone: (12) 3896-9200 / (12) 3896-9214
E-mail: administracao@ilhabela.sp.gov.br
Internet: www.ilhabela.sp.gov.br

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