The Brussels region has issued a call for applications for subsidy from animal shelters in the region.
At present there are ten recognised animal shelters, which pick up and care for animals that are abandoned, wandering free or lost. But they are often in financial difficulties, and lack any kind of formal support.
“The shelters do not have large budgets,” said Bernard Clerfayt (Défi), the region’s minister for animal welfare.
“Moreover, they function thanks to the solidarity of the citizens and on the basis of donations. That is not normal. They perform an essential public service mission to preserve the welfare of animals in distress.”
Last year the shelters took care of an impressive number of animals in need: 2,925 cats, 589 dogs, 978 birds and 130 miscellaneous companion animals, including reptiles and rodents. In all, 4,622 rescue animals.
“The figures on the number of animals taken in, regardless of whether they are found on public roads or abandoned, show the need to continue raising awareness among citizens, as well as the importance of supporting the shelters,” Clerfayt said.
“They must be helped in taking care of animals."
For the region, that help takes the form of a subsidy of up to €7,000, for which the shelters can apply. For the time being, the subsidy is a one-off grant.
“If the budget situation of the Region does not allow us for the moment to offer structural support to the shelters, I hope, with this call for grants, to breathe a little fresh air to the shelters by allowing them to improve animal welfare,” Clerfayt said.