LAST year, Palma's municipal animal pound at Son Reus, admitted a total of 5'648 cats and dogs, a figure similar to the number of pets which were either rehoused or returned to their owners, 5'485, which means that the pound held 163 more animals at the end of last year than it did at the beginning of 2010.
According to figures released by Son Reus yesterday, the number of cats and dogs admitted over the course of last year was more of less identical to the 5'639 admitted during 2009 although, compared to 2008, for example, the number of abandoned animals handled by Son Reus was down by 471 last year.
The busiest period for the shelter was the summer, in particular the month of July when a total of 599 cats and dogs were admitted to the centre followed by 574 in June, 506 in September and 502 in August.
Most of the animals taken to Son Reus last year, 2'770 in total, were strays but a further 1'213 cats and dogs were handed into the pound by their owners for a variety of reasons.
According to sources at the pound, in some cases the animals were being given up for adoption because their owners were moving house or had realised that they were not capable of caring for a pet properly.
In other cases allergies in the family were to blame.
However, it was not all bad news.
Last year, 2'061 cats and dogs, 137 more than during 2009, were adopted and found a new home while 1'077 were retrieved by the owners while a further 235 pets were transferred to other animals shelters on the island such as Baldea.
The main reason so many dogs were returned to their owners was because they had been fitted with the obligatory microchip which contains all of the animal's details and the Council of Majorca is currently running an awareness campaign to remind dog owners that they must have their pet fitted with a chip in the event of it being lost, for example.