THE ANIMAL shelter of the civic association Sloboda zvierat (Animal Freedom) in Bratislava started the first month of 2012 with “business-as-usual” as staff member Karin Svobodová told the SITA newswire that “we saw no influx of abandoned animals after Christmas – we had just one case when a lady took a dog and returned it after two days; but it was placed in a different home within several hours”.
Svobodová added that the animals at her shelter received many gifts around Christmas, including items like sheets and pasta and even bones from a Mouflon sheep brought to the shelter by a hunter. She noted that not a single other dog had been returned to the shelter since Christmas.
But a shelter in Trnava said it is overflowing with animals right now. “Many pups are tied in front of shopping centres and then abandoned. Originally they were Christmas gifts but they became hindrances and burdens once the children returned to school after the holidays,” Andrea Košťálová of the Trnava shelter told SITA.
“We get one puppy a day on average in this way. Moreover, we have older dogs who were scared by pyrotechnics during the holiday season and ran away from their homes and got lost and confused,” said Košťálová, noting that this is the most difficult period each year as there are always too many animals in the shelter and the situation improves only in spring.
“Currently, we have about 70 dogs, although the official capacity is only 45. Last year, our Trnava shelter offered refuge to 500 lost, abandoned or abused dogs, 57 of which were returned to their original owners and more than 400 that found new owners,” Košťálová told SITA.