Classifieds 50% off, use promo code FBkpkPromo The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News World News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Portugal’s jailhouse dogs

PORTUGAL: Gloria is a regular at Portugal’s most infamous prison, but it isn’t crime that keeps her coming back. The golden Barbado da Terceira is just one of the canine guests at a most unusual dog kennel run by inmates.

crime, animals, tourism,


AFP

Sunday 13 November 2016, 11:00AM


A prisoner at the high security prison of Monsanto touches a dog at the prison’s dog kennel in Lisbon. Photo: Patricia De Melo Moreira/AFP
A prisoner at the high security prison of Monsanto touches a dog at the prison’s dog kennel in Lisbon. Photo: Patricia De Melo Moreira/AFP

Owner Rui Silva checked in his pet, a shaggy Portuguese breed, for a weekend stay in the maximum security jail in Lisbon.

“It did not really phase me,” the 48-year-old TV broadcast technician said about leaving his pet at the Monsanto prison, where Portugal’s most notorious criminals are housed.

“I asked if they took good care of the animals, they said yes. That’s what matters.”

The inmates welcome the pets at the so-called Dog House in a modest reception area adorned by photos of former four-legged guests.

They verify vaccination records and receive instructions from pet owners. During the stay, they oversee feeding and bathing, walk the dogs and administer medication.

“It’s a lot of responsibility,” said Ricardo, an inmate serving a sentence for drug trafficking, as a pit bull licked his hand through the fence of its pen.

“What I really like is having contact with the public,” the 34-year-old former bar owner said.

Giving inmates the chance to reboot relational skills and gain job experience is the goal of this unique project in Portugal.

The kennel, a white and yellow building, is located just outside the barbed-wire fence that surrounds the prison, a former military fort perched atop the highest point of Lisbon among pine and oak trees, with a panoramic view of the capital.

Its 68 dog pens usually fill up during peak vacation periods in summer and at Christmas, as well as over long weekends.

Two to five prisoners work at the kennel, depending on how busy it is. They receive a monthly stipend of around 80 euros (B3,145) for their work.

“It is totally different than being inside, time goes by faster,” said Ricardo, who was dressed in a red tracksuit and grey sweatshirt, as he pointed in the direction of the jail.

Married and with a young daughter on the outside, he said he was thinking of setting up his own kennel after he is released from jail at the end of the year.

17th Architect and Engineering Exhibition 2017

The prison initially began the kennel for its staff but in 2000 it opened the facility to the general public.

The kennel charges 10 euros (B384) per day per dog, or just 9.50 euros if the owner brings the pet’s own food.

Prison officials stress the kennel is not a business, but rather a tool to help rehabilitate prisoners and prepare them to return to society by giving them job skills.

“Looking after animals develops emotional ties which the inmates then project onto other people and society in general,” Monsanto prison director Ana Cristina Carrolo Pereira Teixeira said.

And many of its regular customers like Silva, who first left his Gloria at the kennel several years ago, support those goals.

“It’s being part of a prison that maybe makes me want to use it even more, to help out,” he said.

But not all prisoners at Monsanto, used to house the nation’s most dangerous convicts, make the cut for kennel care.

Among the roughly 160 inmates currently held is an explosives expert with the Basque separatist group ETA who was arrested in Portugal in 2010, and the killer of two young policemen in a Lisbon suburb in 2005.

Those who can work at the kennel are selected from the approximately 20 prisoners who have been assigned to a less restrictive regime due to good behaviour.

“We try to pick ideal people for this role and that like being here,” the kennel’s veterinarian, Pedro Miguel Canavilhas de Melo, said.

Teixeira, the prison director, said she believes the inmates “are better people when they leave here in the way they relate to others because of their relationship with the animals.”

“I think it calms inmates, their relationship with animals reduces aggression,” she added.

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:
    Forget your password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Chinese skimmers arrested in Phuket

Kurt: The faces of the criminals have been blanked out, so the RTP are following orders....(Read More)


Chinese skimmers arrested in Phuket

There is no need to restrict yourselves to using an ATM in the bank as Kurt suggested. I have a much easier solution, which i have been using for yea...(Read More)


Harsher labour law penalties hit Phuket employers, foreigners

@ematt: Victims of human trafficking can't pay a 1000 B fine, never mind a 1,000,000 B one. Meantime those who 'employ' them are never cau...(Read More)


Street sweeper run over by car, left seriously injured

Jor12, apology accepted, I don't think you have "helped" anyone, to understand your comment, lucky we are use to it....(Read More)


Phuket fly-tippers don’t just ignore ‘no dumping’ sign, they remove it, again

"illegal fly-tippers" - even Google cannot translate that....(Read More)


Bangkok observation tower to be built with no bidding

Just red that in Sapporo, Japan, the JR Tower tickets cost 200 thb only. The ticket price is the same, for Japanese and foreigners!...(Read More)


Female Aussie tourist saves Thai woman from drowning at Phuket beach

Too many people in the water, everybody's gotta look out after themselves too. I wouldn't blame everything on the life guards. Remember you ...(Read More)


Phuket Governor signs Thailand’s first anti-bribery MoU

Boy...now this is one of the bigger pieces of blah-di-blah to hit the news lately. Alas, we all know that this is utterly meaningless, as Phuket runs ...(Read More)


Chinese skimmers arrested in Phuket

A few days ago the General-Prime Minister ordered the RTP Force not to parade suspects anymore. Totally not! What we see here? Still 8 eager RTP off...(Read More)


Harsher labour law penalties hit Phuket employers, foreigners

Looks like none of the posters here have ever heard of human trafficking. ...(Read More)

The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.