The Gozo SPCA may be forced to close by the end of next year
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The Gozo SPCA will be forced to close by the end of next year unless rapid action is taken now.
The new Animal Welfare Act is scheduled to come into force in the near future. In December 2007 Gozo SPCA signed an undertaking with the Ministry for Rural Affairs and the Environment that its animal shelter would abide by the terms of the Act, by December 2009. The Society welcomes the Act, since it will result in an enforceable framework of standards for the care and welfare of all animals. In particular, the Act lays down standards for the kennelling of dogs and cats.
However, due to limited space, the current premises cannot conform to the regulations while remaining a viable service to the community. It is therefore vital that Gozo SPCA, in conjunction with the Ministry for Gozo, finds a suitable site on which to build a new rescue and rehoming centre.
In the last three years Gozo SPCA has picked up over 1,000 abandoned dogs and cats. Lately the Society has experienced unacceptable problems due to overcrowding of the animals in its care, which for the first time in its 32 year history has resulted in a fatal injury to one of the dogs. In view of this, a limit has been set of the number of dogs in care and currently that limit is being exceeded.
Since it is not Gozo SPCA’s policy to put healthy animals to sleep, the Society is unable to take in any more stray dogs until such time as the numbers in care are reduced through re-homing. Gozo SPCA will continue to rescue injured and sick animals, while supporting the care of healthy strays in the community. The Society will also continue with its successful policy of catching, neutering and releasing feral animals, as well as still offering assistance with the fees for the neutering of owned animals. Gozo SPCA asks the authorities and the general public to understand its current situation and to bear with it. It is hoped that a suitable rental site, on which new premises that conform to the standards in the Animal Welfare Act can be built, will quickly be found.
Contact: Betty Berry, Centre Manager & PRO tel: 99807067 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.