Whereas Malta has had a 24/7 animal welfare service for over a decade, such a necessary service seems to not be a priority for Gozo. Animal Welfare Gozo is a governmental organization which falls under the Ministry for Gozo. Its purpose is to ensure the wellbeing of animals, stray, injured, and sick animals in particular, with veterinary care and other services. However, Animal Welfare Gozo provides such services within their office hours which are only from Monday to Friday, 08:00 – 16:00 in winter and 08:00 – 13:00 in summer.
Emergencies happening outside Animal Welfare Gozo’s office hours end up left unresolved, leaving injured animals to their doom, unless a possibility arises where help is given by somebody else.
Since Animal Welfare Gozo does not have a 24/7 service, the animals needing a service after office hours often end up not being taken care of since the ambulance is not available to pick them up. This results in a situation where Gozo SPCA ends up having to take on the burden of providing the service which Gozo’s animal welfare governmental organization should be providing. This puts a strain on Gozo SPCA’s helpers and animals, which to begin with, is already lacking helpers. Animal Welfare Gozo’s work is not to be undermined. Despite this, much more effort which could easily be provided needs to be put.
Without the 24/7 service, such responsibility is falling mostly on Gozo SPCA, whom despite their dedicated effort and work understandably cannot manage everything on their own in their current situation. SPCA Gozo, being an NGO, is finding it hard making it on its own, even with the financial support from the Ministry for Gozo. The limited budget that SPCA Gozo is given annually ends up having to cover the expenses for the services that Animal Welfare Gozo should be providing, such as those of veterinary bills, apart from those that the NGO itself has to deal with, such as water, electricity and food. These veterinary bills can range from a few euro to even hundreds and thousands.
Gozo SPCA is not asking for much. The NGO only wishes to have the same treatment that Malta gets, not more, not less. This all comes to the expense of animals’ lives. Implementing such a 24/7 service means tackling important issues such as: lost pets, mistreated and abandoned animals, injured animals needing veterinary care, and others. SPCA Gozo insists that Animal Welfare Gozo should provide 24/7 service.