An online petition that aims to give authorities the legal grounds to punish owners who leave dogs and cats on balconies for long periods of time was launched last week and has already been signed by thousands (click here).
Other actions targeted by the petition include leaving pet animals chained for extended periods of time and letting them roam outside of their home without the supervision of their owners.
The author of the petition, who remains anonymous, says these are practices that were missing from the animal protection law approved in 2014.
“Pet animals are social beings”, reads the petition, meaning that pet owners should “integrate them in the family”.
“It is not acceptable that an animal spends most of its life on a balcony or chained up, devoid of healthy and necessary interaction.”
It adds that the number of animals that still live under these conditions leaves Portugal “very much behind other European countries in terms of the good practices of owning an animal”.
The petition has already been signed by over 3,000 people and shared by animal associations such as Lagos-based Cadela Carlota.
“Maybe it’s time to stop playing ‘Let’s have an animal’. Why do we want a pet if we leave them on a balcony, chained up or walking around on their own? If that’s the purpose, then don’t have one,” the association wrote on its Facebook page.
Just last week, the Resident reported on the case of a dog in Lourosa, Santa Maria da Feira, that had to be rescued by GNR police and firefighters after having been “abandoned” on a balcony for several days. Authorities were alerted by worried neighbours (see story ‘Dog rescued after being abandoned for days on balcony’ at portugalresident.com)
Photo: LIBRARY IMAGE