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The number of neglected dogs and cats that were seized sold significantly last year, reports the National Animal Welfare Inspection Service (LID). In dogs the increase was about 15 percent, in cats 22 percent.

According to the inspection, the corona pandemic is one of the main explanations for the essential number of pets that end up in the shelter. “People impulsively have an animal for company, but have not thought about the care and costs after the crisis,” the inspectorate says.

Immediately after the pandemic, rabbits and guinea pigs were dumped en masse. The number of notifications about rodents during the inspection is comparable to joint years. In 2023, dogs and cats left the house more often.

Maleficent breeders

The increase in dogs and cats is also due to rogue breeders who are sold en masse during corona times, but are now left with their young ones because the demand is no longer there. They can no longer take care of them and then leave them to their fate, sometimes in very poor conditions.

At a breeder, 200 animals were taken into caution by the inspection last year. But private individuals have also been reprimanded by the inspection. For example, last year fifteen neglected dogs were found in a house in Utrecht. Some were in old rusted cages. The rest were loose, but wore diapers because they were rarely walked.

‘Veterinarian on variable threshold’

The owners no longer have time for their animals, or they have miscalculated the costs. A consultation with the vet starts at a few tens of euros. With further examination and medication, the bill quickly rises to several hundred euros. Specialist care for a cat or dog can cost thousands of euros.

“A visit to the vet is a difficult financial hurdle, especially for owners with the lowest income,” says Marc Jacobs of the inspection. Partly because of the double, keeping a pet has become more expensive, and the price is also noticeably rising for the vet who has to pass on the higher costs. Instead of expensive treatment, owners opt for the cheap or only possible option: taking the animal to the shelter.

360 pigeons in the house

The inspection report also shows a doubling of the number of birds collected. This is mainly due to one man who kept 360 pigeons in his house in Ridderkerk. “The base was barely habitable due to the thick layers of droppings from numerous flying pigeons and the penetrating ammonia smell. ” The pigeons were confiscated, amid loud protests from the owner, who found the level excessive.

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