Commendable report from Italy
There are countless efforts for sensitization. The SMS-campaign: “I saw it!”
“Dogs with no owner”, the” attack of the 600,000”
The work of the animal protectors, the business of the private shelters.
And with the arriving summer, the abandoned emergency case is back.
They are many, impossible to count them. They live on the whole peninsula, combined in animal protection organizations, small and large ones or even private. They work every day to protect, to sterilize, to treat, to promenade and to do everything to find a new home for the mute army of dogs with no owner.
Corresponding to the statements regarding the regions, the ministry of social services published the number of 600,000 stray dogs. 400,000 of them live on the streets in a condition of dilapidation, especially in the south.
Without the animal protectors, who usually pay food and the veterinary on their own costs, the problem would be much larger and with enormous dangers for humans (regarding the phenomenon of stray dogs in the south) and the purse of Italian people. Because with the taxpayers money, the ministries support those people, who keep ownerless dogs. And this happens by law (law 281 was accepted in 1991 and says that the killing of captured dogs is forbidden).
On the streets and in dog kennels
There are basically two problems, which are caused by the problem with the stray dogs: those of the strays and those of dogs, caged in kennels. Silvia Esposito, 31 years and veterinary in Somma Vesuviana settles account with both. She collects sick dogs from the streets of the Vesuv National parc, treats them medically, castrates them and searches new homes for them. And she does so for ages.
And she does even more: during the last years, she again and again tried to conduct the dialogue with the mayor of her hometown to enter the kennels without bureaucratic obstacles. There she takes pictures of the dogs and then take out an ad for them on her website www.canidisomma.com to assure the possibility to be seen all over Italy and to be rehomed.
While the ASL Napoli 4 applies their work to the sterilization of dogs in kennels, she concentrates on the dogs in the streets. She castrates five dogs per week on average. She found a new family for more than 200 dogs. This is an example for the successful cooperation between animal rights activists and private organizations. But unfortunately it runs not always like this.
The goose that lays golden eggs
The problem is actually based in named law281/91.
In addition to the prohibition of killing dogs in kennels, the law 281 punishes the abandoning (which is forbidden since 2004, enforced by law 189), which obliges the owners to tattoo their dogs and to register them officially (since 2005, the microchip is obligatory). It also obliges the municipalities to reconstruct the kennels, the ASL to enforce castrations and the areas to enforce own laws conform to the public law.
A huge barrier for this law is actually the possibility of the municipalities to conclude the administration of the dogs to private entrepreneurs for a capitation of 2 € up to 7 € per dog and day. Because of this, a lot of kennel owners gained a lot of money, by minimizing the expenses for the dogs as much as possible and to keep the rest of the money for themselves. This usually happens with the help of corrupt civil servants.
This is why the castrations, which actually should have reduced the number of dogs, weren’t expedited any more. The dogs had already become the “golden goose”.
And until the law is not be changed and the kennels had been handed over to public administration or unselfish organizations, the destiny of Italian animal welfarists and their fosterlings will be very unfriendly at all.
Fortunately the animal rights activists and friends of the less fortunate dogs are very smart. They use the extraordinary potential of the world wide web and founded the website www.misha.cc. There they publish ads for dogs on the search of a new home over all Italy. Because of this website, they reach more people and are recognized more and more. This wouldn’t have been possible without the internet.
The agony of the abandoned
The animal rights activists also fight another problem: These of the abandoned, which are directly related to the stray problem. This phenomenon refers to a cultural state of underdevelopment, which leads pet owners to abandon their pets year by year, especially during the summer. Then about 50,000 dogs and 80,000 cats are abandoned.
These days the sensitivity according to this problem has risen and there are numerous campaigns against the abandoning. There is an interesting campaign called “I saw it”. It established by a cooperation of Prontofido and Radio 105, Radio Monte Carlo, Virgin Radio, Radio Bau & Co and Aida. The campaign consists of am sms-number (3341051030) with which you can inform about stray dogs on highways.
From 13th of August on, in theaters the comedy of Samson, inspired by the comic of Brad Anderson will be shown. The LAV and the ministry of tourism will enforce people to take their pets with them when going on holiday or to adopt ownerless dogs.
Giorgia Rozza, 27. July 2010
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