Meet our Team

Pico Dogs is made of a special group of people who dedicate their time protecting abandoned dogs and work hard to give them a new life beyond the dog shelter. Here is short description from some of the people in our team.

Ursula Moghini

Differently from her colleagues she has never worked in dog structures, but she has always had dogs as pets in her house, from the giant Saint Bernard to the small chihuahua Willy, that still lives with her. She is very glad to be part of this no profit organization that works to help dogs. In her opinion dogs are always honest and generous, they never lie or betray. But there’s even more: if you look into your dog’s eyes, how can you doubt about him having a soul?

Dania Tesei

Dania started to volunteer at Madalena’s dog shelter in 2014. In 2016 she launched the collaboration with the Association Tierhilfe Phoenix to re-home abandoned dogs of Pico to Germany. In the same year she earned the Diploma for Dog Behaviour Level 3 at the British School of Canine Studies. Since 2017 she is also part of SICS (Italian Water Rescue Dog School) together with her newfie Coda, who has also become an ambassador for Pico Dogs.

Sarah Melo Costa

Sarah was born in Pico. She is a person with such a big heart and genuine love for all animals that is hard to match, not only on this island but anywhere. Seeing how some local people treat their dogs, makes her suffer very much.

She decided to join PICO DOGS to be able to dedicate some of her time to give affection to the abandoned dogs of Pico and to give a contribution to change the way they are seen.



Karen Smets

Karen studied and worked as a veterinary technician in Belgium and Holland for 7 years. During this period she learned a lot about medicine, health and animal behaviour. She did an internship with CW Azores on Pico Island and volunteered with Dania at the dog shelter. In fact, she ended up adopting a Pico Dog herself who she named Madi after Madalena, the main town of Pico Island. Karen and Madi flew back to Holland where they are living together very happily. Since then Karen keeps visiting the island and helps as much as she can from home.


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