Animal Shelters

Thousands of dogs and cats are abandoned in Finland every year. The Animal Welfare Act obligates municipalities to arrange temporary care for found pets for 15 days. If the owner has not taken the animal home during this time period, the shelter owner is allowed to put down the animal. Almost all of the animal shelters in Finland are commercially run. Only a few shelters are owned by animal welfare associations.

Thousands of unclaimed found animals stay in animal shelters every year. As the shelters get compensation for keeping the animals for only the set period of time, it is not cost-effective for the shelters to take care of the unclaimed animals for much longer. If the animal does not get a new home quickly, or if finding a new home seems unlikely for some reason, the animal has to be put down. Approximately 2000 – 3000 sheltered animals are put down yearly. Most of them are cats.

Foster Homes for Animals

The goal of the SEY member associations is to provide unclaimed sheltered animals proper care and homes for the rest of their lives. Animal welfare associations have facilities for temporary care of homeless animals, and also more and more private foster homes. Foster homes are places where animals can get well and recover, and learn to live as a member of a family. At the same time an evaluation can be made about what kind of a home is suitable for the animal – for example whether it can live in a family with children or with other animals of the same species. In most cases, a foster home is better place for the animal to start its new life than a long-term facility.

Many of the SEY member associations have foster home activities. If you are interested in offering a foster home, or want to help otherwise, please contact your local animal welfare association.


Photo: Katja Patrikainen

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