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23 May, 2024
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Cyprus takes on stray animal crisis this World Stray Animals Day

Stray cats outnumber humans in Cyprus' capital

Charalambos Stylianou

As April 4th marks World Stray Animals Day, attention shifts to the global epidemic of abandoned animals. From bustling cities to remote corners of the world, countless dogs, cats, and other creatures endure daily hardships.

Shocking statistics reveal the stark reality, an estimated 70 million homeless dogs and cats struggle for survival in the United States alone.

In the midst of worldwide efforts to combat this crisis, Cyprus stands out as a unique case. Unlike many nations plagued by stray dogs, Cyprus grapples with a surplus of cats, especially in its capital, Nicosia. Legend has it that Cyprus' feline dominance traces back to the 4th century when Empress Saint Helena introduced cats to battle snake infestations.

However, dogs roaming the streets add to the island's stray animal crisis, a problem exacerbated by hunters leaving them behind in the mountains.

Despite their historical significance, these furry inhabitants face daily challenges, with limited shelters and resources available for support. The island's scenic beauty contrasts sharply with the harsh reality of its stray animal crisis.

With few shelters meeting EU standards, urgent action is needed to improve existing facilities and bring them up to international benchmarks.

Veterinary experts emphasize spaying and neutering as crucial measures to control overpopulation and enhance animal welfare. These procedures are vital in preventing unplanned pregnancies and reducing the spread of diseases that affect both animals and humans.

However, addressing the crisis requires more than medical interventions. Shelter standards play a critical role in providing a safe haven for homeless animals. Transparency, qualified staff, proper facilities, and ethical practices are essential for ensuring the well-being of shelter residents.

From educational programs to post-adoption follow-up checks, comprehensive measures are necessary to create a nurturing environment for these vulnerable creatures.

As World Stray Animals Day prompts reflection, it also serves as a catalyst for action. By raising awareness, promoting responsible pet ownership, and improving shelter standards, Cyprus aims to create a future where every animal finds a loving home and a chance for a better life.

World Stray Animals Day inspires Cyprus and nations worldwide to prioritize the welfare of stray animals. Through concerted efforts and a commitment to compassion, Cyprus can lead the way in creating a brighter future for its feline residents and set an example for others to follow.

Cyprus  |  cats  |  dogs  |  animals  |  world  |  shelters  |  welfare

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