Pet owners and animal lovers will be meeting in St Julian’s for a national dog walk to raise awareness about, among other things, responsible pet ownership.
Christmas is a time that often sees pets bought for young children, only for them to be abandoned once the reality of pet ownership sinks in.
We all constantly come across stories of animal abuse, especially lately, or perhaps come across dogs locked or tied to very small spaces with absolutely no freedom to walk about.
The walk, organised by the NGO RAR Malta, will be looking to raise awareness on all of these issues and more.
Participants will be asked to donate €5 with the money all going to animal sanctuaries and entities that need it.
“For years, many have complained that no activities meant to benefit animals ever take place around Christmas time,” RAR Malta said, adding that it intended to change this with the “first ever national walk”.
Participants will meet at the Love monument in St Julian’s at 10am on 13th December with everyone being urged to bring their pets and loved ones along.
The NGO is calling on animal lovers across the island to “join forces and show unity in the fight against animal abuse”.
The walk comes amid an increased clampdown on animal abuse by local authorities, with a number of puppy mills having been raided in recent weeks.
“[It is time to] show unity in the fight against animal abuse which takes place all over the island through the forced backyard breeding that is leading to hundreds of animals being abandoned, sold into yet more breeding slavery, or left to perish in hidden yards or dark garages,” RAR Malta said.
“Animals are like our children, to be loved and safeguarded and to be kept close to our hearts.”
It added that people needed to better understand the responsibility of pet ownership and to think twice before adding one to their family. Many pets, the NGO said, ended up abandoned on the streets or tied to trees or sanctuary doors.
“The walk aims to raise awareness too about the need for responsible ownership, to microchip and ensure dogs are registered, to microchip pet cats in case these get lost as is often the case and for lack of chipping cannot be returned to owners. Families end up broken and the pet’s life is shattered,” RAR Malta said.
It stressed that Malta needed to become more sensitized to the need of the vulnerable or risk living in a “coma of apathy”.
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