Thousands of stray dogs are still being re-homed abroad by beleaguered animal welfare organisations trying to deal with the overwhelming number of abandoned dogs in Cyprus, Phileleftheros reported on Saturday.
Last year alone, a total of 4,791 stray dogs were re-homed compared to 4,616 in 2018 and 4,989 in 2017. In 2015, the number was 2,859, and 3,703 in 2016.
“No matter what we do, the situation with dog abandonment remains alarming” head of Voice for Animals (Cyprus Animal Associations) Mary Chrysochou-Anastasi told Phileleftheros.
“The situation seems to be getting worse with every new year, with thousands of dogs being sent abroad for adoption, others being adopted here in Cyprus and some others unfortunately being put down – the humane way,” she added.
The animal activist also said that they have recently sent a letter to Interior Minister Nicos Nouris informing him of the tragic state of play. And that few local authorities are actually implementing legislation on dogs that came into force in 2002.
At the same time, hundreds of pedigree dogs are imported into Cyprus.
Figures submitted to parliament by Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis show that from 2014 to 2018, a total of 1,259 dogs entered Cyprus through Larnaca airport from EU member states.
Specifically, the figures show that 244 dogs came in 2014, 2015 – 472, 2016 – 225, 2017 – 171 and 2018 – 147.
Moreover, during the same period the vet services at Larnaca Airport handled the arrival of a total of 1325 dogs brought from third countries for commercial reasons.
The breakdown is as follows: 2014 – none, 2015 – 97, 2016 – 489, 2017 – 505 and 2018 – 234.
As regards arrival of dogs from third countries brought to Cyprus for non-commercial reasons, these stood at 3,431 over the same period. The breakdown is as follows: 2014 – 525, 2015 – 539, 2016 – 649, 2017 – 798 2018 – 920.
Figures show that two dogs entered Cyprus through Limassol marina – one in 2014 and one in 2017.
This brings the total number of dogs brought to Cyprus over the period 2014 to 2018 at 6,017.