Swiss couple runs an animal shelter on Boa Vista

The Swiss couple Nathalie and Spartaco fell in love with the island of Boa Vista 5 years ago during their holiday. They decided to live on the island and enjoy the sun, sea and beach. After a while they got the feeling that they wanted to do something in return for the island. This is how they started the Nerina project two years ago.

Nerina’s animal shelter on Boa Vista

Nerina is the name of the first animal shelter on Boa Vista.┬áNerina’s mission is that all animals on Boa Vista are healthy and happy. The shelter mainly focuses on the dogs and cats but you can also encounter a donkey or a turtle once in a while. The shelter of almost 1000m2 has everything needed to help the animals. It has an operation room, XRAY, a rehabilitation pool for dogs and turtles, a visiting room, quarantine and spacious accommodation for dogs and cats. Nerina also provides employment for the local population. There are three employees who ensure that Nerina always looks her best. You can imagine that is quite a job with 70 dogs and 40 cats. There is also a Spanish veterinarian who lovingly ensures that the animals stay healthy or get better.

Spanish veterinarian with safed turtle at Nerina

The story of Spartaco & Nathalie

Spartaco and Nathalie are a Swiss couple who came on holiday to Boa Vista 5 years ago. They enjoyed the warm weather, long stretched sandy beaches and the “no stress” vibe. They decided to buy two flats on the island to escape the cold winter of Switzerland. On their second visit to Boa Vista they found two injured dogs under a car. They were a mother with a paralysed puppy. At that time there was no animal shelter in Boa Vista where they could take the dogs so they took them home. They took care of and treated the dogs in their living room. They called the crippled puppy Puce. Puce is still their dog to this day and has fully recovered. From that moment on Spartaco and Nathalie knew that they not only wanted to enjoy the beauty of Boa Vista but also wanted to do something in return for the animals of the island and therefore also for the population. This was the beginning of the Nerina project.

More than 110 dogs and cats

Spartaco and Nathalie thought at first to treat the street dogs and cats and then bring them back to where they came from. They counted on having about 20 animals in the shelter at the same time. Only the animals they had taken care of came back and stood at the door. No matter how far they put Nerina’s animals, they always know how to find their way back. That’s why there are now more than 110 dogs and cats in the centre, Spartaco and Nathalie count on the locals and tourists to adopt the animals.

Free consultation for locals

Everyone can go to Nerina with his animal. Locals can bring their animal daily for a free consultation at the Spanish veterinarian. To reduce the number of street dogs in Sal Rei and Rabil, Nerina organises a sterilisation and castration campaign for dogs and cats every 3 months. Anyone can have their dog or cat treated free of charge. Volunteers also volunteer to collect street dogs and cats. In two years time, 1230 dogs and cats have been castrated or neutered.

Happy local kids with their adopted dog

Make the animals happy

You can visit Nerina to see how the animals make it. You’ll get a tour of the shelter and you’ll get the chance to cuddle with the dogs and cats. The moment the dogs see you they become very happy and enthusiastic, that is a very nice experience. Moreover, when you visit Nerina you can make a donation or adopt a very sweet dog or cat to take with you to your own country. Spartaco and Nathalie arrange transport, vaccinations and necessary documents for the animal. You can also help Nerina by donating online. We support Nerina, do you?