Call for animal shelters to “reserve space” for orphaned pets

The head of Portugal’s veterinarian association (Ordem dos Veterinários) is calling on animal shelters and kennels to “always have spaces reserved for orphaned pets”.

The goal would be to ensure that dogs and cats that have lost their owners have a place reserved for them in a shelter while they wait for a new home. “This way they are never abandoned,” Jorge Cid told Lusa news agency on Saturday, Portugal’s national pet animal day.

However, the head of the veterinarian association did not go into detail about how this would be carried out, especially considering shelters and kennels are filled to the brim and keeping spaces vacant for orphaned pets would be a luxury they cannot afford.

For now, however, it seems to be more a suggestion than an actual project.

Jorge Cid also said that veterinarians have noticed an increase in the number of orphaned pets in Portugal, likely due to an increase in deaths both from Covid-19 and other illnesses, although he admitted there aren’t any concrete studies yet to back this up.

But on a more a positive note, there has also been an increase in the demand for pets during lockdown.

As Jorge Cid pointed out, people are spending more time at home due to the pandemic and pets play a “fundamental role” in preventing loneliness, especially among older citizens who live alone.

“In so many cases, pets are seen as family with lonely seniors describing how they brought meaning back into their lives,” Cid said.

But, of course, owning a dog has become even more of an advantage during the pandemic.

“They are a motive to leave the house and enjoy the outdoors,” conclude Jorge Cid.

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