One of the effects of the economic crisis over the past three years has been an upsurge in abandoning dogs on the roads and fields, the office of the Commissioner for Volunteerism said on Sunday.
In a statement to mark World Stray Animals Day, the Commissioner’s Office said the average lifespan of a stray dog in Cyprus was 1.5-2 years after the animals are left to fend for themselves.
“World Day of Stray Animals should be an occasion for action to end of animal abuse and introduce stricter penalties for violators,” the statement said.
The public could help by contributing or volunteering at animal shelters, or by adopting a pet, it added.
“Recognising the need for finding a solution to this issue that has social, cultural and ethical implications”, the Volunteer Commissioner’s office called for the creation of a unified welfare body for animals to overcome the difficulties that exist in this area as a result of the fragmentation of responsibilities among government agencies.
“Respect and protection of the earth’s creatures in distress, the defence of their rights, freedom and their welfare is our obligation,” the statement said.