THE number of dogs being abandoned in Spain shot up by 25% as the country started its lock down de-escalation.
The Royal Canine Society of Spain (RSCE) reported that about 2,000 dogs were abandoned in May, mostly during the final week as lockdown rules were relaxed.
This was a quarter more than in the same month last year.
Spain has one of the worst rates in Europe, with around 140,000 dogs and cats abandoned each year.
The RSCE says that the COVID-19 crisis has made the situation even worse than normal as families struggling with drastically reduced income find they can’t afford to look after their pets.
According to the society, keeping a dog costs an average of €1,350 a year once vet fees, food and other fees are totted up.
The RSCA says that during lockdown many people took on the responsibility of an animal – there was a 50% rise in demand for puppies – without realising the commitment they were letting themselves in for.
Now the organisation wants VAT on vet treatment to be reduced from 21% to 10% and for a scheme to help disadvantaged families pay for animal treatment where necessary.