“My objective in life is supporting animals.” Says Elisabeth from Germany who, after years of travelling the world, lives in Peniche today, beautiful quiet town on the Portugese Atlantic coast. The former director of Communications of BAYER CH has accomplished many things in life, but was never quite satisfied with what remained. Taking in kittens and stray dogs into her home and looking after them until they find a responsible foster family, is making her – and the animals happy.
Cat person, dog person? Who cares about all those labels when the heart is at the right place and the only thing you want to do is help those creatures who were abandoned, thrown in the garbage, hit by cars, chased or killed by other animals, poisoned by people, drowned or got sick from bad food. The lucky ones are found by kind souls and brought to the attention of the Peniche shelter which unfortunately is overflowing with abandoned animals and short in supply. When they can’t take them, Elisabeth steps in. In 5 years as an animal “streetworker” she not only became experienced in animal care of all kinds but also more “exotic” healing pratices like Reiki to make their tortured little bodies strong and healthy again. She also created a network of animal lovers, The Kittenconnection, an organization that rescues kittens, sterilizes cats and supports people finding and fostering kittens that in 2022 only has taken in over 150 kittens, bought an incubator for the very little, fragile ones (the only one in the area), and started her own foster network, which helps to quarantine kittens. “We are working on creating a sanctuary with a coffeeshop, an affordable veterinarian, space for the animals to roam safely and to grow up in a healthy environment.”
You dedicated your life to the protection of animals, cats and dogs. Tell us about the “dogs only” activities!
I take in foster dogs and find them forever homes. I myself have adopted one dog from the streets and one from the Peniche shelter. Since the end of 2022 I foster 2 dogs at a time, and as soon as one is adopted I take a new one in. My aim is to get the dogs adopted to good families, especially outside of Portugal. Also will I create a walking group, to get the dogs weekly out of the shelter..”
Anyone who you rescued lately?
Yes, I just found a lovely family for Kaelea, a gorgeous brown labrador lady, who was taken from a horrible family situation (with her 4 kids) and brought to the shelter in Peniche. I have no idea what happened but if police takes animals from people in Portugal the situation must be really, really bad. I had already two dogs in the house and a thrid one would have overwhelmed me. But I was convinced that I wanted to do everything I could to find a foster family for her. You must know: Kaelea means Joy in Hawaiian – and she brought joy and happiness in my life from the first day I saw her.
In January 2023 I walked her and my dogs at the beach, and a family came talking to me. They had fallen in love with Kaelea instantly! But the time wasn’t right. They had to sort things out at home in Belgium. 3 weeks later they wrote me again, asking if the dog was still available, they would be now ready for her. So Kaelea lives in Belgium now, her sweet soul bringing joy over a lovely caring family. She is the most awesome dog, kind, protective but not too much, intelligent and happy. I learned that this is my niche: Helping the animals to find foster families all over Europe. I’ve got the communication skills, I can do it!”
PS: Find Elisabeth on Instagram @magic_elisabeth or @thekittenconnection