Advertising Abandoned Animals in Shelters

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According to the Animal Protection Act, an animal shelter must "make effort to locate the owner of an abandoned and lost animal or try to place it in a foster home" (Article 57, paragraph 1, point 6). Animals Friends suggests that the existing text of the law be changed to: an animal shelter must "search for owners of abandoned and lost animals or try to rehome them by advertising in the public media and in other ways."

Explanation: As an organization we often receive complaints from volunteers who say that dogs from veterinary stations and shelters are very poorly advertised for fostering or not advertised at all. No animal is impossible to adopt, even older and injured/disabled animals, if they are well advertised.

The most frequent version of advertising, blurry photograph on a local veterinary station’s announcement board, will struggle to get a puppy adopted, let alone a grown dog or a cat. This way the shelters will certainly be overcrowded - people should be encouraged to come to the shelter through advertising, activities and education. Education is also stipulated by the law for local self government units, so this can and should be implemented through the shelters. In contrast, shelters that actively advertise equally actively rehome, both puppies and older dogs, injured and disabled animals as well as healthy ones.

Considering that it is stipulated in the Regulation on conditions that animal shelters and pound services should satisfy, that legal entities and individual persons who perform the activities in the shelters are obliged to search for animal owners through public media, surely the duties of shelters should be made clear in the Animal Protection Act. This way it would be defined that it is not sufficient for shelters, which that for example are run by veterinary stations, to advertise animals only on their own announcement board, but that they should also advertise animals also through public media. The law would provide the basic provision regarding the duty of advertising, and the Regulation would further cement this provision.

The proposal from Animal Friends for this change in the Animal Protection Act is from the year 2012.

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