THE Son Reus municipal animal shelter was last year forced to put down 1'214 abandoned dogs and cats, 200 less than in 2006.
Pedro Morell, director of the centre, said yesterday the increase in the rate at which people are adopting animals does not match the rise in the number of animals being abandoned.
Last year, the centre took in 2'391 pets, just 35 less than in 2006.
However, the reduction in the number of pets being put down is primarily because of the increase in owners reclaiming their animals. Morell explained that owners have a period of 15 days to reclaim their pet. After that the animal is given a further six days before it is put down. The animals are put down by injection.
However, providing dogs owners comply with the law and microchip their pet, then the shelter is able to contact their owners and return the pet to its rightful owners in a matter of days.
Morell said that the centre complies with all the rules and regulations at all times, even during the busy months, such as the summer, when the cages can become overcrowded. He added that between May and September the number of abandoned animals rises by around 20 percent.