90% of the cats and dogs who have been saved from Spanish shelters have found loving, forever homes.
Unfortunately, Spain has one of the highest rates of animal abandonment in Europe, but a report by the Affinity Foundation indicates that adoption rates have increased to 51% of all cats and dogs that shelters received in 2021 or were picked up by them.
The good news for our furry companions is that 147,000 pets found new homes, a 3% rise for dogs and a remarkable 10% increase for cats over the previous year.
Although 285,000 animals ended up in shelters, the situation is still dire, and the charity has warned of the "delicate situation" that will arise when summer arrives and more animals—particularly puppies and kittens—end up in animal shelters.
According to the director, "we have indicators that adoptions are slowing down or stopped, a reality that translates into entities fuller of animals and, occasionally, the situation becomes unsustainable."
The new Spanish Animal Protection Law also prohibits the euthanasia of dogs and cats unless absolutely necessary for medical reasons, which will inevitably result in busier shelters.
Nevertheless, the adoption of 51% of the cats and 52% of the dogs from the collection indicates a very favourable development that hasn't been witnessed before 2018.
Only 10% of animals must be returned to the shelter after adoptions, according to the study, which found that the great majority of adoptions are successful. Of them, behavioural issues account for 34%, which are typically treatable with expert assistance. Unfortunately, 40% of pets are returned within the first month, which leaves little opportunity for the animal and its new owner to adjust.
The Affinity Foundation is urging people to think about adopting a pet during the summer, when families often have more time to devote to their dogs, in an effort to defy the current trend.