World Dog Day: Every 18 minutes a dog is abandoned in Spain

by Deborah Cater
World Dog Day is 21st July in Spain

Spain has declared 21 July World Dog Day to raise awareness of the massive abandonment and abuse of dogs. In Spain, a dog is abandoned every 18 minutes and seven out of ten dogs worldwide are homeless.

The expression ‘It’s a dog’s life’ is still a symbol of a miserable life. Although dogs are said to be man’s most loyal friend because they have been with us for over 10,000 years, they are still a frequent victim of abuse and neglect around the world.

According to data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), 70% of all dogs in the world live in abandonment and homelessness, which amounts to approximately 500 million dogs out of a total of 800 million dogs.

In Spain alone, more than 138,000 dogs are abandoned each year, according to data from the Affinity Foundation, although it is believed that the figure could be even higher. The Spanish animal rights group PACMA states that a dog is abandoned every 18 minutes in Spain.

Why is World Dog Day celebrated?

It is precisely because of these alarming figures that World Dog Day is celebrated every year. Not only to commemorate the faithful pet, but also to make people aware of the abandonment and mistreatment of animals. The exact origin of World Dog Day is unknown and the date can vary from country to country. In Spain, World Dog Day is celebrated on 21 July because half of all pets are abandoned in summer.

Stray dog

In addition to World Dog Day, there is also the International Stray Dog Day, celebrated on 27 July. Both days have the same goal: to improve the quality of life of dogs, make society aware of how to care for dogs and bring about improvements on a social level.

Prevent abandonment

Always think carefully about the consequences of getting a dog. Raising a puppy takes time and energy. A dog costs money. Not just the purchase, but also the food and the care. Adopting a dog can be a good option. Register the dog and get a microchip so the animal can always be returned. And sterilise the dog to prevent unwanted litters.

What can you do to prevent dog suffering?

Of course, a dog deserves attention and care every day of the year. Nevertheless, there are many ways to commemorate World Dog Day. For example, by becoming a volunteer at an animal shelter or by sharing messages against the abandonment and abuse of animals on social networks. Or by combining the useful with the pleasant and going to one of the Spanish beaches where dogs are allowed, going for a walk or spoiling the dog with a special gift.

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