After a two-year lull the number of abandoned animals is on the rise, according to animal protection organisations in French-speaking Switzerland, reported RTS.
Animal adoptions rose during the Covid-19 pandemic. But as people have transitioned back to normal life the number of abandoned animals has risen and the number in refuges is rising again, particularly over the summer period.
During Covid pet owners travelled less and could leave their animals at home. In Vaud the number of animals abandoned in July 2022 was between two and three times what it was in July 2020. Other cantons report similar increases. Rodents, dogs and cats are the most common animals affected. Many of the animals have been well treated before being left with the refuge.
In Switzerland, it is illegal to release a pet into nature and leave it there. Maximum penalties can go as high as three years in prison. If an owner finds it impossible to keep a pet they must contact a refuge, sign over ownership and explain any health or behavioural problems the pet may have.