Environment Minister John Cortes and Dr Liesl Mesilio met with members of the Animals in Need Foundation recently to discuss a variety of issues of mutual concern, including animal welfare in Gibraltar.
AINF is a local Gibraltar registered charity run by volunteers seeking to help animals in need in Gibraltar and the Campo. The charity has been exceptionally busy in the past 12 months since the start of the pandemic. The charity has unfortunately seen an increase in local animals being abandoned or mistreated during Covid-19 as owners are unwilling or unable to continue looking after pets. The charity has also seen a sharp increase in local dog owners reaching out for help for their pets during the Covid-19 pandemic. As well as helping to rehome pets where needed, the charity has also helped with dog walking and temporary pet fostering for the elderly and infirm during the two lockdown periods; even buying dog food for residents where needed.
The meeting was fruitful with active engagement from both sides and a genuine desire to increase awareness on issues of animal welfare within the community. The charity thanks the enormous generosity of the people of Gibraltar who have helped the charity survive during this extremely difficult period. Despite the challenging times, Gibraltar residents have heard the pleas for aid and have made donations, volunteered their time and opened their homes to desperate dogs in need, and the charity is extremely grateful for their support.
The charity is very active on social media, having over 17,000 followers on their Facebook page: Animals in Need Foundation. They have also recently launched a brand new website: www.ainfgib.com, which includes a wealth of information about their work and promotes the current animals under their care. The charity can be contacted for more information via Facebook or by email at [email protected]
A spokesman for the Royal Gibraltar Police, said: “We will always take firm and robust action when matters of animal cruelty are reported to us. If members of the public wish to report an incident where they believe an animal is being mistreated, neglected or they are concerned for the animal’s wellbeing, they can call our Control Room on the non-emergency number 200 72500 or 199 if it is an emergency. They can also report the matter online on our website at www.police.gi/report-online.”
Minister for the Environment John Cortes commented, “I commend Animals in Need, and indeed other animal welfare organisations, for their work and commitment. Animals cannot speak out for themselves and rely on us to look after their interests. Government will continue working with these charities in order to stamp out animal cruelty”.
Further meetings will take place in coming months.