Website and funding to make adopting pets easier


Shelters across the region are to receive €3,000 if they list all their animals on a centralised website, as the animal welfare minister looks to increase the rate of adoption of rescue animals

A helping hand

Every officially recognised animal shelter in Flanders will receive €3,000 in government funding in a drive to promote a centralised website that lists pets available for adoption. This is the first time the regional government has set aside money to support animal shelters.

“We are giving shelters a helping hand and ensuring that all the animals in shelters throughout Flanders are gathered on one single website,” animal welfare minister Ben Weyts said. The money will be given on condition that the shelters list all their available animals on the government’s website before the end of April.

The platform was set up more than a year ago, but is not yet widely in use. “We want to see every recognised shelter link to our website via their own site or communication channels. Since it was established, about 60 shelters have signed up, but we want to get everyone over that line,” Weyts said. “People who want to adopt an animal will then be able to get a complete picture of the range of available animals in shelters.”

There are 156 recognised shelters in Flanders, with €468,000 allocated to help them professionalise their activities and make it easier for people to adopt pets rather than buying. In the coming year, Weyts wants to develop further structural support, with €2 million set aside to be allocated according to needs.

“Structural funding is important to us,” Weyts said. “When I became minister for animal welfare, there was a budget of €800,000 – this is now eight times as high. Many shelters rely on volunteers and get support from local authorities. With our financial support, we can offer these volunteers free training, for the benefit of all rescue animals.”

Photo: Getty Images