Annual campaign urges Romans not to leave their dogs behind over summer holidays.
Rome has launched an awareness campaign calling on the capital’s residents not to abandon their pets as they set off on vacation this summer.
is designed to counter "a cowardly and cruel practice that reaches its peak precisely in parallel with the summer holidays", said Rome's environment councillor Sabrina Alfonsi, who cited a recent report by animal protection group ENPA showing "an alarming 20 per cent rise" in the number of pets abandoned in 2022 compared to 2021 along with a 10 per cent decrease in adoptions.
Underlining that more than 50,000 dogs and around 80,000 cats are abandoned on average every year in Italy, Alfonsi said the city would soon launch a campaign to "encourage the adoption of elderly dogs, often destined to remain in kennels because it is normally puppies that are preferred."
The city stresses that the "inhuman" practice of abandoning a pet is a criminal offence, with those caught facing up to a year in prison and fines of up to €10,000.
Dog owners can check the website of Rome's Muratella kennels
for useful information such as dog fostering services and "responsible" adoption from the city's dog shelters.
To learn about the procedure involved in adopting a dog in Rome, see our guide