NEARLY 138,000 dogs and cats were abandoned in Spain during 2016, according to researchers at the Affinity Foundation.
The association, which began in 1987, aims to research the relationship between pets and their owners and monitor abandonment figures.
Of the 104,447 dogs and 33,335 cats that were rescued off the streets of Spain during 2016, 16 per cent were reclaimed by their owners and only 45 per cent were readopted.
The study shows that from 2008-2014 animal abandonment cases dropped from 156,853 to 140,191, marking an encouraging decline in the trend.
However Director of Affinity, Isabel Buil, said that “so many animals being abandoned is worrying, and even more so is that the positive decline experienced over recent years has stagnated, with last year’s report being almost identical to the figures collected in 2015.”
The animal rights watchdog has called for new protective legislation after 9590 of the neglected pets had to be put down last year.