No Room Left At Animal Welfare Shelter For Abandoned Dogs, Report States
A report compiling the findings from an investigation led by Animal Welfare Commissioner Alison Bezzina, has found that abandoned dogs who are in need of shelter and care are not being rescued unless they are injured, as there is not space left at the animal welfare shelter in Għammieri.
The investigation, who's findings have been presented in this report, was triggered in June following reports made by Lovin Malta that four dogs had been left abandoned in a field in Gudja , despite several calls being made to the Animal Welfare Department.
The report has found that the decisions being taken on which dogs are rescued are of an inconsistent nature and are dependent on the remaining space left at the shelter. The staff of the Animal Welfare Department are therefore being forced to rescue only a select few dogs which are in the direst state.
The investigation found that miscommunication occurring amongst animal welfare staff has led to rescue instructions being unclear in nature, and that the existing procedures on how to tackle unchipped and roaming dogs are contradictory and unclear.
Bigger, older and flea-infested dogs are more likely to remain abandoned, together with pure-breeds as they are less likely to be adopted. To make matters worse, the Animal Welfare Department cannot afford to have too many dogs occupying pens for a long amount of time, as they need to be vacated to make way for new rescued dogs.
The biggest problem which emerged from the investigations findings however is undoubtedly the lack of space at the Għammieri Animal Welfare Shelter. Works to expand the shelter began around 6 months ago, but it seems that project is far from operational.
Bezzina warned that should the current situation not be mitigated urgently, the government will have no other choice but to introduce 'kill shelters' against everyone's will, where rescued animals would be put to sleep unless they are adopted within a specific period.
How can the state of animal welfare in Malta be improved ?