People sacrifice pets for vacation

During the corona pandemic, several Norwegians chose to acquire a new family member in the form of a dog, cat or other pet.

The Animal Protection now reports more people making contact to get rid of the pets they took home during the coronation period.

This creates extra pressure for the voluntary animal welfare organization, which already feels that the capacity of several of the reception centers has been blown up.

Must reject more animals daily

Stavanger is one of the cities where the Animal Protection is now shouting warnings.

After the corona pandemic, the organization has experienced more and more requests to take in even more animals.

Tenant for Animal Protection in Sør-Rogaland, Eli Lunde Gilje, says they now receive around 10 to 20 inquiries daily. Some of the animals have been found damaged in the wild or are lizards, while other animals have come because the owner wants to get rid of them.

Eli Lunde Gilje at Dyrebeskyttelsen Sør-Rogaland now warns that capacity has been blown. Photo: Kristian Myhre / TV 2

From before, Dyrebeskyttelsen has 70 cats and 1 rabbit inside the center in Stavanger.

– The capacity here has exploded. This means that we are forced to reject more animals every day. It is extremely sad, says Lunde Gilje.

Nevertheless, people are almost trying to force Animal Protection to accept the animals.
In Stavanger, several hooves have been found to find abandoned animals in transport cages standing on the steps of the organization or in a cardboard box in the driveway.

Some also go even further. They just threw the animals over the fence and left the area.

But when the Animal Protection does not have the opportunity to help, several animal owners insist that the animal be killed if they do not accept it.

It makes a strong impression on the local leader in Animal Protection.

– I get angry and terribly frustrated at the people who can come up with something like that.

And many are honest about the fact that it is a holiday trip that makes them want to get rid of the animals, whether it is relocation or killing.

– Some say that they are going on holiday and have gotten an animal while it was corona. But then they have no one to take care of the animal. And if we do not accept it, then it must be killed.

Animal protection is struggling in several places with enough capacity to help all the animals they are asked about.  Many therefore end up being killed by the owner.  Photo: Bendik Skogli / TV 2

Animal protection is struggling in several places with enough capacity to help all the animals they are asked about. Many therefore end up being killed by the owner. Photo: Bendik Skogli / TV 2

Snowshoes with killing

Stavanger is not alone in experiencing an extra pressure on capacity and is threatening that the animals will be killed if they do not help.

Also at Dyrebeskyttelsen Tromsø, the inquiries are many and the concerns are great.

– Today we have 140 cats, 10 rabbits, as well as some birds and small rodents. It is completely full both here at the center and in the foster homes.

Therese S. Rye, chair of the board of Dyrebeskyttelsen Tromsø, says.

She is concerned that one now also sees a steady increase in inquiries from pet owners who obtain animals under the corona, but who now wish to get rid of the animals.

In Tromsø, they receive especially many inquiries related to the takeover of cats.

– We notice very well that suddenly there are many who have cats they can no longer have. We also see that these are animals that have been procured under the corona, as they are quite young animals.

Animal protection in Tromsø reacted strongly to people threatening to kill healthy animals in order to travel on holiday.  Photo: Bendik Skogli / TV 2

Animal protection in Tromsø reacted strongly to people threatening to kill healthy animals in order to travel on holiday. Photo: Bendik Skogli / TV 2

– I think it is incredibly selfish to consider killing healthy animals. I’m angry, pissed, frustrated. I can not bear to try to hide it. People need to sharpen up, she says.

Rye thinks this shows that people have not thought enough about what it means to go to the acquisition of a pet. She calls for a change in the mentality of Norwegians when it comes to how we look at what should be our best friends.

– An animal is not a lamp or a chest of drawers that was a boom purchase that one can only pass on. It is actually a question of a living being who deserves to live a good life.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority: – We are worried

But it is not only Animal Protection that reacts to the development.

Guro Myhrene, section manager in the section for plants and animals at the Norwegian Food Safety Authority’s district office in Central Rogaland, is concerned that many of those who got corona pets will now kill the animals to go on holiday.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority is concerned about the trend that more corona pets have been killed or dumped at the Animal Protection.  Photo: Oskar Hammer / TV 2

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority is concerned about the trend that more corona pets have been killed or dumped at the Animal Protection. Photo: Oskar Hammer / TV 2

– We’re worried. The fact that people choose to leave animals in an unjustifiable condition and do not wish to be animal owners is a very serious violation of the Animal Welfare Act. Animals are not a throw-away item, she says.

Myhrene thinks the reason why many now get rid of their pets is that they have not taken over how much work there is with animals. She fears many have not realized, until it was too late, how much resources and time it takes to have a pet.

– First and foremost, this is about people’s attitudes. It is important that one stands together to change people’s mentality around being a pet owner. Especially those who like to get a cat. We see year after year that cats in particular are not treated properly. This is a recurring problem every spring and summer.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority experiences that cat owners in particular do not treat their animals as they should.  Photo: Kristian Myhre / TV 2

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority experiences that cat owners in particular do not treat their animals as they should. Photo: Kristian Myhre / TV 2

Myhrene thinks the situation is highly unfortunate. She herself wished that one did not get into the situation where young, healthy animals are killed because the owner wants to experience the world.

But according to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, veterinarians can say no if the owner wants to kill animals without medical justification.

– What policy there is in each individual clinic or what guidelines the individual veterinarian should follow is entirely up to them. No one can force a veterinarian to kill healthy animals. It is optional.

Ask for help

The chairman of the board of Dyrebeskyttelsen Tromsø tells about full foster homes and volunteers who are as tired as they have never been before.

Now they are asking for help from both the authorities and private individuals to be able to help more animals. Especially when so many want to get rid of the corona pet. They hope, among other things, that more foster homes can mean that more people can be helped and fewer people killed.

Animal protection is crying out for more foster homes to be able to help more animals.  Photo: Bendik Skogli / TV 2

Animal protection is crying out for more foster homes to be able to help more animals. Photo: Bendik Skogli / TV 2

– We are forced to get more foster homes. People themselves must also try to find solutions. Do not just think that killing is the easiest option. Use your contact network, talk to people, make agreements to run animal shelters for others. Take responsibility yourself, says Rye.

She receives support from her colleague from the south.

Lunde Gilje in Stavanger also expresses a wish that the state must introduce a requirement for chips on all pets. The tenant of Dyrebeskyttelsen Sør-Rogaland thinks it can make people think extra well through the decision before they decide to have a pet.

– The solution is to impose a chip on the law. Because if you have a statutory chip, people will think twice before they get animals. Then one knows that information can be returned to the pet owner.

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