Sat, Feb 09, 2013 - Page 5 News List

Adopt strays, official urges

PET SEEKS OWNER:While more animals were adopted last year than in 2011, there are still more than 1,000 cats and dogs in New Taipei City shelters in need of a home

By Lai Hsiao-tung and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

The New Taipei City (新北市) Government’s Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office is urging people to adopt the more than 1,000 stray animals in the city’s animal shelters to save them from being put down.

Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office director Chang Li-chen (張麗珍) said the city’s 11 animal shelters currently accommodate 1,012 stray animals — including 940 dogs and 72 cats — approaching their maximum capacity of 1,170 animals.

“While a number of these animals have stayed longer than the statutory asylum period, these facilities probably won’t reach their maximum capacity before the Lunar New Year holidays and therefore have no plans to carry out any humanitarian acts [euthanasia] at present,” Chang said.

Chang added that the city’s animal shelters would be open for adoptions during the Lunar New Year holidays from today until Feb. 17.

Of the more than 14,000 street animals taken in by the city’s animal shelters last year, 2,371 were successfully adopted and 487 were retrieved by their owners, while 2,895 died of natural causes and 3,661 were put down, Chang said.

“Although Article 12 of the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法) stipulates that animals kept in animal shelters that are not claimed or adopted within 12 days may be put to death, the city has extended the statutory period to 30 days out of respect for every living being,” Chang said.

The maximum asylum period could also be extended to four months or made indefinite, providing that the shelters have enough room to house the animals, Chang added.

Lauding the effects of the widespread “Adopt, Don’t Buy” campaign, Chang said the number of stray animals adopted by the public last year stood at more than 2,300, from about 1,800 in 2011.

Last year, the office also launched an animal welfare scheme in which three buses were dispatched to tour across the city, offering emergency assistance, medical treatment and rabies vaccinations to street animals, before putting them up for adoption on the vehicles, Chang said.

Chang urged people who wish to give a stray animal a new home to contact the office on (02) 2959 6353.

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