Malta’s Adopt A Pet Allowance scheme introduced last week has now been amended following a flurry of criticism and backlash by animal lovers and sanctuaries alike.
The scheme in its initial form included a €150 cash allowance for those adopting a pet from a licensed sanctuary after certain criteria were met.
However, after some considerable online backlash, Parliamentary Secretary Clint Camilleri has since amended the scheme and tailored it to adhere to the concerns and issues raised by the public, which include the potential to abuse the system as well as the lack of concern the scheme showed towards the financially-deprived sanctuaries.
“The purpose of the ‘Adopt A Pet Allowance’ is to encourage families to adopt an animal from our sanctuaries instead of buying,” Camilleri said in a Facebook post on Monday. “Over the last several days, we received several propositions from the public on how this scheme can be enhanced.”
“The scheme is being amended, and whilst the existing parameters will stay in place, we are giving the public a choice between (two options).”
Under the amended scheme, those who adopt will be able to choose between claiming back the €150 for veterinary expenses (including check-ups and vaccines) pertaining to the adopted animal or authorise the government to donate the €150 directly to the sanctuary that you adopted the pet from.
The amended scheme has been well-received by the public, however there are still some who are wary of the scheme’s foundation as being based on financial incentives.
Camilleri also pointed out that the donations from the scheme will surpass government grants given to animal sanctuaries for every animal that is re-homed.