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Concerns over abandoned dog policy in San Fulgencio • Ian

Concerns over abandoned dog policy in San Fulgencio Print E-mail
Written by Paul Mutter   Coast Rider
Monday, 08 August 2011 11:00

Animal lovers living on the urbanisations of San Fulgencio raised their concerns last week over the apparent change in policy as regards managing abandoned animals in the area. Under the previous Town Hall administration there was a well-developed network of volunteers both individual and associations who worked to look after abandoned animals and find them homes. There was even a special council vehicle set aside to be used specifically in the management of abandoned animals and a considerable budget according to reports of around 20,000 euros to cover veterinary bills and only in extreme cases where vets agreed it was not possible to save an animal were they put down. The recued pets were looked after by volunteers often in their own homes until permanent homes could be found for them with many animals being sent abroad to new owners.

The cases animal welfare volunteers have had to deal with have often been extremely harrowing and they are understandably anxious that there should be no reduction in the care and attention spent on this issue by the Town Hall. Those people involved with the previous administration were alarmed to hear that the new council appeared to be going back to using an animal centre near Crevillente which they claim regularly puts down animals if they do not have identification chips in them. They were also concerned that the vehicle used as the ‘animal ambulance’ had been taken off the road and was not available for use.

We telephoned the councillor for urbanisations in Swan Fulgencio, Jeff Wiszniewski, for an official view and he told us that the council have been in contact with three Spanish animal rescue centres with a view to giving one of them a contract to work looking after any abandoned animals in San Fulgencio and its urbanisations. The councillor stressed that there were several conditions that the successful company will have to adhere to in order to win the contract. These include that the animals must be kept in good conditions and examined by vets. Every effort must be made to trace owners if the animals have chips and to get them adopted if they do not. Only as a last resort, as previously, would there be a sanction to have an animal put down. The Town Hall would also receive monthly reports on the welfare and numbers of animals being housed and the Town Hall would have the option to inspect at any time. When asked about the timescale to agree the new arrangements councillor Wiszniewski said the companies had been asked to respond within five days in order that a selection could be made promptly. He stressed that abandoned animals are still being collected and that the police have cages for animals and chip reading equipment. Councillor Wiszniewski went on to say that the van that had been used by the animal rescue service was off the road waiting for a replacement part to arrive. He confirmed that when it is back on the road it will be used for other purposes.

The councillor for animal welfare in the previous town hall administration Mark Lewis wanted to remind people of the importance of having their pets registered.

A few months ago, when I was the San Fulgencio councillor for animal welfare, I introduced a new pet registration system which included a tag for each pet. I want to take this opportunity to remind all pet owners just how important it is to ensure that their dog always has this tag on its collar. A dog found with the Town Hall tag with its registration number can be quickly returned to the owner because the police have access to this register 24 hours a day. It is the best way to ensure that a pet is not taken away from the area and a much more efficient method when it comes to tracing the local owner of a pet, and quicker than the Spanish microchip system.

As reported in the Coast Rider.


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