Lara Pereira and Filipa Ventura reached the news in the end of November and made the Company that received them 10 and 15 years ago, respectively, very proud. This cabin crew are also volunteers linked to the animal cause and have been using their facilities of traveling to bring abandoned animals of the Azores kennels to the continent, where there are families waiting to adopt them.
The history was widely spread, inside and outside TAP, by colleagues and unknowns, and the curiosity for the protagonists of the story – and also for the dogs – grew up. There’s already scheduled a meeting after the holidays with some people responsible of TAP, to find a way to make this work easier.
Both cabin crew dedicate to animal volunteer for a lot of years. The Labrador Rescue Portugal’s association was created by Filipa and two friends in 2011, initially as a Facebook page, that disseminated appeals related to dog breed “Labrador” and similar. Lara joined the project already this year. “I noticed that with the beginning of the crisis and also the end of the fashion of “Labrador” dogs, a lot of them were abandoned, but since their character there was a lot of people wanting to adopt, without knowing where to go to do so. The “Labrador Rescue” would create this bridge”, Filipa states.
Another bridge was created by the two cabin crew, one truly air bridge, between Azores and the continent, to rescue animals from kennels, that are later delivered to the families that want to adopt them. Lara and Filipa make, in this way, not only the mediation between the kennels and the families, but also assure the transportation of these animals, counting on the good will of the passengers and using the facilities of traveling that their job guarantees.
Lara, Filipa and their best friends
The love for dogs, as the job and the friendship, is what united these two women. The anguish they feel knowing the stories of abandonment or potential slaughter is so strong as the will to stop it. Lara is volunteer at the municipal kennel of Odivelas and owner of Twix, Baunilha and Amora – rescued from Azores –, all of them adopted. She tells how, a few weeks ago, found a hit dog – “She was so traumatized and suspicious with the people that during weeks she was always trembling in the box at the kennel, without letting anyone get near her. A few days ago, for the first time she let me touch her and hug her” – and stories like this one mark her journey. Filipa, on its way, lives with Thank and Dakota, also adopted and part of her family: “I always grew up with animals and with the culture that the responsibility for their wellbeing is ours, and they are members of the family”. And this is precisely the culture that she looks forward to transmit.
TAP and animal volunteering
TAP has a history of supporting causes and seeing some groups of volunteers growing inside the. It is, in this way, with hope that, after the holidays, Filipa and Lara will reunite with some responsible people of the Company which support, they say, can make the all difference. “It can allow us to, for example, bring the animals in the hold without any costs, or at least with a significant discount, letting us bring them in the transport boxes for the stays in Ponta Delgada, or even, eventually, grant us a number of reservation tickets per month, so that we don’t take the risk of not boarding the animals”, Lara suggests.
The colleagues have been, according to the Filipa and Lara, supporting the two of them, more and being more sensitive about this cause, supporting it, responding to the appeals and even, in some cases, adopting the animals.