Photographed by Haim Schwarczenberg
The Society has initiated a proposal for a new law with the cooperation of MK Eitan Kabel, Chairman of the Lobby for the Protection of Animals in the Knesset, and MK’s Feina Kirshenbaum, Nitzan Horowitz and Dov Hanin. The basis of the Proposal is an amendment of the present Annual License Renewal Fee paid by dog owners. According to the Proposal, dog owners of animals who are not spayed or castrated would pay NIS 700 more than owners whose animals have undergone this process. The aim of the Proposal is to encourage dog owners to have their pets taken care of and so to prevent increases in the number of unwanted dogs, who, as a result of the lack in adoptive homes, are doomed to lives of suffering on the streets or long years in dog-pounds.
In Israel, approximately one hundred thousand dogs are abandoned each year, finding their deaths, in many instances, from disease, starvation, dehydration, abuse and road accidents.
According to MK Kabel: “The aim of this Law is to humanely reduce the problem of the increase in the dog population which is leading to thousands of abandoned dogs”.
As stated, one of the problems that arose in the Regulation Act for Supervision of Dogs is the difficulty in finding enough homes for such a great number of abandoned dogs. The various organizations cannot deal with the overload, and due to a lack of space, most of the organizations cannot take in any more abandoned animals in need of shelter and protection. Thus the owners of unwanted dogs see no alternative but to abandon the animals to the streets.
Due to the huge number of dogs, that are abandoned, given away or thrown out on to the streets every day, the need has arisen to try to minimize their natural birth levels.
The proposal is to solve the problem of population increase in homeless dogs by lowering their natural birth rates. This can be done by means of the simple surgical procedures of castration or spaying, which also contribute to their health and assists in lowering aggressive behavior. These operations have further advantages; in particular, ongoing health maintenance and prevention of common diseases such as ovarian and uterine cancer, cancer of the mammary gland, uterine infections, prostate problems and testicle cancer.
The amendment in the Law is designed to encourage the public to have their dogs castrated or spayed by increasing the annual license fee for those who have not undergone these procedures. The difference of NIS700 per annum, which is the suggested additional cost for the license fee, will encourage dog owners not to avoid the surgery on financial grounds. The amendment has already gotten legal validity and Parliamentary discussions are due to take place at the end of the summer recess, when the Winter Session of the Knesset begins.
Whilst pursuing the Parliamentary avenue, the Society continues to subsidize these operations and dog and cat owners are invited to have their pets operated upon in the Society’s clinic at reduced rates.