Pet lovers who adopt a dog or a cat from animal sanctuaries or the Animal Welfare Department will receive a €150 grant by the Government. During the launching of the scheme, Parliamentary Secretary for Animal Rights, Clint Camilleri, said that persons with a past of animal cruelty are not eligible for the grant.
Director of Animal Welfare, Noel Montebello, stated that the Police arraign some 20 persons in Court a year charged with animal cruelty. Animal rights are being better safeguarded with amendments in the legislation.
“Fines have increased and the approach when we confiscate the animals, whereas before an animal is confiscated and is kept until the case is closed. Now, it can be immediately adopted”.
The Maltese adopt an average of 700 dogs and cats a year, while Mr Montebello added that these animals are part of 2,000 animals that Animal Welfare officers collect from roads each year.
“Many are run over, dehydrated, with disease….this is when our rescue operation begins. It is 24/7. Each animal we find is directly sent to APH where it is given a patent number and the necessary treatment, including surgery”.
In order to give incentives to people to adopt instead of buying domestic animals, the Government is granting €150 to those who adopt a dog or cat from the Animal Welfare Department or from animal sanctuaries. Each residence is eligible to two grants.
Parliamentary Secretary Clint Camilleri said that the grant, which is an electoral promise, is given six months after the animals are adopted and the necessary verifications are made. Mr Camilleri stated that unannounced inspections will be made by Animal Welfare officers to ensure that the adopted animals are well kept.