The situation in Italy, especially South Italy:
Despite of the existing Italian animal welfare law 291/91, every year more than 100.000 domestic dogs are abandoned, less than 10% of the domestic animals will be castrated and chipped.
Every year thousands of puppies are born in the streets of Puglia; they either die on hunger, by poisoning or accidents or naturally breed and repeat the permanent circuit of hunger, sickness and death.
Dog-catchers jail the dogs into crude „animal-shelters“, and there is no way out . The dogs die slowly of hunger, thirst, on a lack of hygiene, narrowness and neglect.
Those “animal-shelters” called "canili" are managed mostly by companies or private persons, who are paid per dog, per day and who earn a lot of money that way: The more dogs, the more money. For that reason adoptions are not wanted and these “animal-shelters” are far away from inhabited areas, to be not easy reachable.
The very rare good municipal shelters suffer from a chronic lack of money and are only kept alive by very high personal input of the Italian animal welfare activists.
Our goals are:
1) Preparation of a sterilisation and animal welfare center
The situation in Italy requires urgently the sterilisation of stray dogs and cats as well as owned dogs who are often abandoned on the streets. They could be caught, neutered and chipped, stay ther a couple of days for regeneration and then they could be brought back to their pack. This may sound hard, but it is the only possibility stop the natural breeding circle and help the dogs in the long run. Seen long-term this procedure means a drastical reduction of the existing population, which is the only possibility, under the momentary given circumstances in Italy, to reduce the suffering of the animals.
2) The preparation of a hospital emergency room and care center
A possibility for sick and injured dogs should be created, to take care of them and give them medical treatment, until they are healthy again. Many of them are absolutely undernourished, suffer from eczema, are full of ticks and other parasites or their paws are injured.
3) The installation of a "dog pension"
As the abandoning of dogs is one of sources of the stray problem in Apulia, a possibility for the dog owners should be created to accommodate their dogs during the holiday or for the weekend. Every not-abandoned dog reduces the number of unwanted puppies. In addition it would effect a small auxiliary income, which is needed badly for the monthly support of the project.
4) The preparation of an animal welfare center
The education of the population concerning animal welfare matters is of important relevance. Special theme days should be held to explain the meaning and importance of castrations. School classes should be invited and school projects with local teachers should be started, to bring the contact to animals near to future generations. Furthermore meetings of animal welfare activist from whole Italy could take place.
5) Re-homing of dogs
Re-Homing dogs is not our first priority.
But for very young dogs, or evben old dogs, dogs that have injuries and ccanot be put back to the streets or dogs that suffer from beeing left alone on the streets without a family pack, we would like to find nice homes . After medical care, vaccination, sterilisation and chipping, local families should be found, which allow the dogs a species-appropriate life. An adoption to Germany, Switzerland or Austria should only the last solution, if it is not possible to find a home in Italy.
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