Animal shelters lack volunteers, majority of dogs not walked: group

2017/07/14 22:09:30 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Picture taken from Pixabay

Picture taken from Pixabay

Taipei, July 14 (CNA) Public animal shelters around Taiwan are facing a serious shortage of volunteers, and fewer than half of the stray dogs in those shelters are regularly walked because of the lack of help, an animal rights group said Friday.

Ho Tsung-hsun (何宗勳), head of the Taiwan Animal Protection Monitor Network, said at a press conference that the finding was based on an investigation into 29 public animal shelters in Taiwan's 22 counties and cities.

The group also found that five of the shelters don't even have an animal playground, he said.

Ho said his group is pushing for dogs in public shelters to be given at least two 15-30-minute walks a day -- once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

Wang Wei-chi (王唯治), convener of the network, highlighted the serious shortage of volunteers at public animal shelters, saying that only five of the 29 shelters had over 10 volunteers, and some did not have even one.

Members of the network urged the Council of Agriculture to assist shelters in recruiting volunteers and draft regulations to manage and evaluate the volunteers.

Chiang Wen-chuan (江文全), an animal protection official from the council, responded that it is more difficult to recruit volunteers outside of Taiwan's six special municipalities because shelters in these areas are located in more remote places in less than ideal environments.

The shelters without animal playgrounds are ones that were built a long time ago, and newly built shelters all have playgrounds, Chiang said, and he pledged to carefully review the network's suggestions and ask local governments to step up recruitment of volunteers.

(By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Christie Chen)

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