Spain: Europe’s No. 1 for Abandoned Pets
According to statistics from the Affinity Foundation Monitor, Spaniards abandon on average of one animal every three minutes. This results in 150,000 homeless animals per annum – the highest number in Europe. The economic crisis in Spain and the failure of pet owners to consider the cost of animal ownership are behind as many as 15 per cent of abandonments, according to the Spanish national daily newspaper,
Why is this happening?
ABC. Rescue centres across Spain are reporting that their intake of animals is spiralling out of control, leaving them overflowing and unable to look after any more. Many are relying on foster carers, who provide temporary loving homes for stray animals until the rescue centres are able to find them forever homes.
While rescue centres can never be certain about the identities of the owners of the pets that end up in their care, British expats, defeated by the credit crunch and unable to afford the cost of flying home with their pets, are amongst the worst culprits when it comes to neglecting their responsibilities. While relocation is a frequently given reason for abandoning animals, behavioural problems, such as biting and aggression, large veterinary bills and unexpected litters are also popular excuses.
While half of Spain’s abandoned pets are re-homed, the rest never make it out of the rescue centre as a result of their abandonment, they suffer stress, anxiety and fear, and potential adopters simply pass them by. To prevent new adopters from returning previously abandoned pets, rescue centres are recognising the importance of reminding prospective owners of the time, money and commitment that pet ownership entails.
Through offering consistent, nonjudgmental pet ownership advice and support, they hope to provide adopted animals with the best possible chance of living long and happy lives in permanent, loving homes. One way to prevent huge vet’s bills is to invest in pet insurance, whether you’ve got a rescue or a new puppy. This will give you the peace of mind that if they have an accident they will be covered.