THE Malaga animal shelter La Sociedad Protectora de Animales y Plantas de Malaga (SPAPM) has taken in nearly 1,500 animals so far this year.

According to the shelter, it has received 1,091 dogs, 425 cats and 78 other species such as gulls, rabbits, ferrets and parakeets.

The figures represent an average of more than five animals per day.

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Thanks to the obligatory chip, 79 dogs and seven cats have been returned to their families.

However it is not yet compulsory for cats to be chipped, something SPAPM considers ‘fundamental’.

This year’s numbers are very similar to those recorded last year over the same period, when 1,045 dogs and 484 cats were rescued.

The abandonment and neglect of hunting dogs is responsible for a high percentage of the canines found in the shelter.

So far this year, some 25 dogs and 33 cats have died, due to old age or illness, and a further 22 dogs and 24 cats have had to be euthanised, which according to Carmen Manzano, President of SPAPM, are the ‘worst figures and the hardest ones to tally’.

According to green group Ecologistas en Accion, three animals are abandoned every five minutes in Spain. The figure amounts to 300,000 animals every year.

On a positive note, through SPAPM, 741 dogs and 171 cats have found their forever homes in Spain and an additional 177 dogs and 54 cats have been adopted internationally.

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