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Adoption rate up for stray animals in shelters

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The adoption rate for stray animals in shelters in Taipei City has increased by up to 65 percent, according to the Taipei City Animal Protection Office (TCAPO). In addition, the euthanasia rate for stray animals in shelters has dropped to below 5 percent, which brings the average length of stay for a stray animal in a shelter to nearly 100 days.

Yen Yi-feng, head of the TCAPO, said that with more promotional material urging people to adopt instead of purchasing pets and the launch of the documentary “12 Nights,” an increasing number of people are more aware of issues related to animal protection.

“Most people are under the impression that shelters are old and dirty,” said Yeh. “However, most shelters now have advanced equipment, and they are clean and bright. Plus, animals can receive complete health checkups and training before being adopted.”

“In order to encourage more people to adopt, Taipei City provides free shuttle buses on weekends for people who plan to adopt. The city also works with private companies to hold outdoor adoption activities so stray animals can have more opportunities to go home with new owners,” said Yeh.

According to Yeh, the priority for animal shelters is to find a way to use their resources efficiently.

“Taipei City is the first place to establish a babysitter system, which allows people who are approved to be babysitters for animals to bring home stray animals so the animals can receive better care while awaiting adoption,” said Yeh.

Yeh said that the office has also been working on social network management.

“The office can post information about stray animals immediately and also work with other organizations efficiently to generate the greatest influence possible,” said Yeh.

Yeh said that the only effective solution to the stray animal issue is to reduce the amount of pets that are being giving up by pet owners.

“If we encounter people who give their pets to animal shelters, we usually try to do everything we can to persuade them to keep their pets,” said Yeh. “First, we ask them why they cannot keep their pets and then we help them come up with solutions if possible.”

However, some pet owners who discard their pets do it secretly, which makes it hard for officials to find out the pet owners' identity, Yeh added.

Yeh said that the office will fine pet owners who do not register their pets legally.

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