Cyprus Mail

Animal Party calls for ‘miserable’ dog shelter to be shut

File photo

The Animal Party on Wednesday said a dog pound in the Larnaca district was keeping its animals in horrific conditions and should be shut immediately.

It said it strongly opposed the decision by the state vet services to give the owner of the pound two weeks to improve conditions.

The issue emerged following reports of dogs living in squalid conditions in a private pound that was cooperating with the Lefkara municipality.

According to the Animal Party, the premises could be labelled as a dump, “as there are scattered bones, animal remains (possibly dogs), filth and stench everywhere”.

The owner has an agreement with the Lefkara municipality, to take in stray dogs found in the area for a monthly fee of €20 per animal “for their food and lodging and welfare”.

But he instead was keeping the dogs in illegal premises, carrying out an illegal breeding programme, and had also reportedly sold some of the dogs to hunters for around €200 to €300, the party said.

A delegation of the Animal Party, including its leader Kyriacos Kyriacou, attended a meeting on Tuesday with Lefkara mayor Sofoclis Sofocleous, officials of the Larnaca vet services and representatives of animal welfare groups.

Following an inspection of the premises in question, the vet services officials gave the owner 15 days to clean up the space and microchip the 11 dogs there.

“We do not agree with this decision of the vet services,” Kyriacou told the Cyprus Mail.

He said the dogs should be immediately removed and the premises demolished.

Another four dogs at the pound, the party said, were adopted by animal welfare groups that also made an agreement with the municipality for future cooperation for the care and hospitality of dogs.

The owner of the premises claimed that six of the remaining dogs belong to hunters and the rest were his, the party said.

The party said that the Lefkara police are currently taking testimonies to see whether the owner has broken animal welfare laws.

But the Animal Party said the “the evidence is screaming and the animals suffer, living in miserable conditions”.

The party called on the agriculture and interior ministers to intervene.

It also called on local authorities to be vigilant when buying the services of private pounds for the care of stray dogs. The contract terms ought to be clear and in line with the law on dogs.

Commenting on a separate incident, the party welcomed the punishment meted out to National Guardsmen on Wednesday who were seen a few months ago throwing a cat out on the street from a height of three metres. They each had 20 days added to their service.

“We are satisfied with the intention expressed for wider treatment of such behaviours in the ranks of the National Guard,” the party said.

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