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You have reached the website of Animal Rescue Algarve (ARA) a charitable association which owns and operates an animal shelter dedicated to the betterment of dog and cat welfare in Portugal. We update this website regularly showcasing our animals plus current and recent news items and information about forthcoming events.

About us

ARA is a legally constituted Portuguese Charity Association with the prime objective of caring for and subsequently rehoming stray, abandoned and distressed dogs and cats. The charity was founded in 2017 by a resident English businessman who funded the total capital cost of the project and has also financed running costs since its inception. The governing body of the Association comprises twelve individuals who are all volunteers. Especially important to ARA is not just the betterment of animal welfare locally but eventually throughout Portugal.

Our World | Our shelter | Our Animals


We have commissioned a number of videos showing various aspects of activities within the shelter which can be seen under other specific headings within the website. The following however is the main video on the general history and overview of Cabanita.

Our Shelter

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In January 2018 five acres of essentially forested land in a beautiful valley was acquired in an area called Cabanita just northwest of Loule. Several months of land clearing and major infrastructure requirements had to be undertaken before any kennels and other buildings could be constructed. We opened our doors in September and our first rehoming was in November of that year. The shelter has 48 eco-friendly state-of-the-art kennels including 10 free-range/socialising and play areas for up to 100 dogs and puppies plus a professionally designed cattery for 40 cats and kittens.

Group 3020
Group 3140
Group 3017
Group 3142
Group 3141

Meet the Team

An eight person all volunteer Executive Board comprising local professionals meets regularly and four from that group serve as a day-to-day management team.

We also have several full-time paid employees with a variety of skills many of whom live on site.


Cristina Silva

Animal Carer

Justyna Drozdz

Animal Carer

JoΓ£o Ferreira

Animal Health and Welfare Coordinator

Claudia FerrΓ‘

Animal Carer

Cintia Assis

Vice President

Stella Xanthopoulos

Animal Carer

Γ‰lia Dias


Selina Xanthopoulos

Animal Carer

Tiago Nagasawa

Volunteer Coordinator

Paige Aldis

Animal Carer



April 2023



April 2023


Adopted in


Our success stories from the animals who have been adopted and re-homed here at Animal Rescue Algarve.

Along with the rescue, rehabilitation and welfare of the animals, rehoming is of great importance to the Animal Rescue Shelters. Finding new homes for the animals is one of our priorities and we get great pleasure in doing so.

Giving these abandoned animals a second chance in life is so rewarding. Also seeing the animals in their new environment with new families who in return get so much pleasure and love from the animals is heartwarming and makes the project worthwhile.


Animals Adopted

Since 2018

One of our goals is to give abandoned animals a second chance in life and to find new homes for each of them.
We work hard to ensure that every animal that passes through our shelter will have a home, a family and lots of love.
And so far we feel our hard work has been rewarded by the number of animals we have rehomed.

All photos of animals featuring on our website, have been through us or are still with us.


Abrigo Dos Animais Β© 2020 | All Rights Reserved. Association for the protection of Animals. Registered Charity No 514692049 in Loule.

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