The Taipei City Animal Protection Office hopes schools can adopt more stray animals to alleviate the pressure on the city’s shelters, which are over capacity, the office said on Saturday.
A ban on euthanizing stray animals that went into effect on Feb. 4, 2017, resulted in nearly 1,000 strays for the city’s shelters to take in, it said.
The office in 2015 began working with the city’s Department of Education and other groups to promote the adoption of strays by public schools, but so far only 33 of the city’s 236 public schools have taken in animals, it said.
“Adoption is not something we can force. Schools have to be willing to take in the animals,” the department said.
There were 989 strays in the city’s shelters as of last month — 674 dogs and 315 cats — the office said.
The office said it hopes the city’s stray dogs could be adopted as inspection animals for customs officials, companion dogs for people with anxiety or other issues, service dogs for blind people, or other roles where they could serve people.
It also hopes that more of the city’s schools would adopt stray cats and dogs as school pets, which could reduce the pressure on the shelters, it said.
“As of September, 33 schools in Taipei had collectively adopted 30 dogs and 50 cats,” department Director Chen Yi-tsung (諶亦聰) said, adding that the department has provided those schools with equipment to help care for the animals, and has provided subsidies for vaccinations and animal feed.
Caring for the animals complements the schools’ biology classes and gives the students a better appreciation for animal life, she said.
Keelung’s Mingde Municipal Junior High School has also adopted cats and dogs from Taipei shelters, she said.
Shilin High School of Commerce in Taipei took in three dogs and 10 cats all at once — more than any other school that is working with the department on animal adoption, she said.
The department has given the school NT$470,000 in subsidies, she said.
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