Skip to content

About Us

Our history

We’ve been actively involved in helping animals for quite some time, but soon after returning to Portugal in 2015, we realised how bad animals are treated here by some – while others try their best to help.

We decided we wanted to be part of this group and, after saving a few animals from the street it became apparent to us that this was what we wanted to do – help defenceless animals have the best of lives. Bella, the first dog that came in to our lives was the inspiration for setting up a sanctuary. With the need very apparent and Bella inspiring us, we created Wigglestail Animal Sanctuary when we bought enough land to be able to build it in 2020 and the official move in 2021.

The Wigglestail Animal Sanctuary Association was set up in October 2022 with the help of a dear friend of ours who is no longer with us, Miguel. We hope to make him proud with the goals we still want to achieve.

Dog with hat
Black cat

What we do

We currently house and care for 86 animals! 32 dogs, 16 pigs, 12 cats, 8 chickens, 6 sheep, 5 goats, 3 rabbits, 2 horses and a donkey named Olaf. We rescue and have taken in any animal in need, as you can see. We also catch, sterilise and release feral cats when we can.

As a sanctuary, we only do adoptions in sporadic cases, usually when an animal has not been able to socialise with its peers and thus it would be better for the animal to have a new home.

We are very strict about where the animal would go and insist on home checks and follow-up visits and ensure they are fully vaccinated, microchipped and sterilised. This is after the prospective adopter’s sign adoption documentation.

How we do it

We sometimes find animals ourselves that are in need, but often we are approached by other associations, private rescuers or government institutions.

When animals come in, we follow an admission protocol that we’ve now established, and currently, Kent then takes care of all of them, while we look for volunteers to assist us in this endeavour. See our “Ways to Donate” page if you’d be up for donating your time to help care for the animals.

Interested in sponsorsing?

Watch this space as soon you’ll be able to select your sponsor animal online.



Chickens & Sheep




Goats & Pigs


Horses & Donkey

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do the animals come from?

We have rescued some, been asked to take in some and have taken in some from other institutions or shelters.

How long do they stay?

The majority of animals that come to us stay until the end of their natural lives. There are a minority that are re-homed if they are unsuited to life in the sanctuary.

What happens when they arrive at the sanctuary?

We now have Admission Protocols in place which vary depending on the species and where they came from. In general, we have a quarantine period and initial health check for all. For dogs, we do blood tests for leishmaniases, major tick fevers and heart worm along with liver and kidney function tests. After any necessary treatments, the dogs are then sterilised and vaccinated. All cats are tested for FIV and FELV on arrival.

Won’t you end up with too many?

We try hard to control the numbers of animals we take in. We are not yet at capacity in terms of what we are licensed for, but we are at our financial and people limit of what we can cope with and we are therefore not taking in any animals at this time. We are also working on re-homing 6 of our dogs. We will re-assess our capacity every 3 months.

Can I adopt one of your dogs?

We are working on re-homing 6 of our dogs via another rescue and should any become available to the general public they will be advertised here. All adopters will need to complete a questionnaire and permit home checks. In the meantime, please visit your local municipal Canil, as they have many many dogs waiting for forever homes.

How do you pay for everything?

We have been self-funding until quite recently when we were assisted with funding for livestock care from the government. Due to losing a lot of income during the pandemic years, and since completing registration as an official Association, we are now actively seeking funds from the public and corporate sponsors to help us improve conditions and provide a good quality of care for all the animals.

Large or small

A forever home for a wide variety of animals including dogs, cats, goats, sheep and horses.

Adoptions or sponsorships

Animals available for adoption or sponsoring will soon be on our website.

A forever home

A sanctuary that provides a forever home to the majority of those that come under our care.

Health-checked on arrival

Standard Admission Protocols for all our animals, no matter where they come from.