Dog on the Move

EDITORIAL: Rising stray numbers want management


The Hualien County Authorities on Saturday mentioned it might attempt to relocate 50 canines that have been being cared for by a personal shelter within the county, after the shelter’s proprietor handed away.

Chu Su-mei (朱素梅), 68, generally cared for as much as 100 stray canines at a time, which she fed utilizing donations collected via her shelter’s Fb web page, Aunty Chu’s Canine Shelter in Hualien Wants Our Assist (花蓮朱阿姨狗園需要你我的幫忙).

Hualien Division of Agriculture Director Chen Shu-wen (陳淑雯) mentioned the county would first talk with Chu’s household to see if they’d proceed to take care of the canines, the Central Information Company reported on Saturday.

Chu’s passing may be very unhappy, not simply due to the lack of this selfless girl, but additionally for the way her shelter demonstrates the seriousness of Taiwan’s drawback with stray animals. Council of Agriculture statistics from August final 12 months put the variety of stray canines at simply greater than 155,000, a rise of 6.19 p.c from 2018. Animal rights teams have mentioned the precise variety of strays in Taiwan may very well be double what official statistics present.

Taipei Metropolis Councilor Yang Ching-yu (楊靜宇), who’s a training veterinarian, mentioned in December final 12 months that animal shelters have been overcrowded, with 5 to seven canines in every pen on the metropolis’s Tanmei shelter. There was additionally an growing variety of strays dying every year in shelters, regardless of a euthanasia ban put in force in 2017, he mentioned.

Various components contribute to Taiwan’s excessive variety of strays, most importantly pet abandonment and low charges of microchipping and sterilization. Abandonment has turn out to be much more prevalent because the euthanasia ban went into impact, as folks really feel much less responsible about ditching their pets, Animal Safety Affiliation of the Republic of China secretary-general Huang Ching-jung (黃慶榮) instructed Taiwan Information in September final 12 months.

Individuals may abandon canines once they get tough to take care of in previous age, or just because they don’t seem to be the lovable puppies they as soon as have been. Typically canines used for safety on job websites are deserted when websites are shut down or transfer. Different instances, pet homeowners don’t wish to take their animal when transferring to a smaller or far-away place. Regardless of the motive, clearly it’s too straightforward for folks to undertake pets and later discard them.

The difficulty have to be tackled. Such a excessive variety of stray cats and canines can turn out to be a well being concern, as strays can carry rabies or different illnesses, injury property or assault individuals who come close to them.

Animal safety officers mentioned they’d proceed trapping and neutering stray canines. The coverage ought to be complemented with higher enforcement of legal guidelines that purpose to forestall pet abandonment. Pet shops and personal breeders must also be prohibited from breeding and promoting canines till the variety of strays comes underneath management. A tax on bought animals may very well be thought of to encourage adoption of strays.

Taipei and different localities have inspired faculties and different public establishments to undertake strays. This can be a great way to assist enhance adoption and to offer strays a extra fulfilling life than they’d have in a shelter. Nevertheless, adoption will finally be helpful provided that shelters aren’t pressured to absorb an ever-increasing variety of canines from the road and from pet homeowners.

Lowering the variety of strays requires a multi-tiered strategy, involving the discount of the variety of puppies being born via a large-scale sterilization marketing campaign, and tight rules on outlets and personal breeders. Tackling strays means altering the mentality round pet possession. Individuals have to be taught to view their pets as valued and liked members of the family, not shopper objects.

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