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A sad puppy

Leuven citizens can now report animal abuse online

Leuven citizens can now report animal abuse online

Or inform the authorities about an abandoned animal

Anyone who suspects neglect or abuse of animals or who experiences nuisance from them can now report it online to the City of Leuven. The Flemish authority presented on 28 March a new and hopefully – easier - way to contact the Animal Welfare Service. With this online hotline, the Belgian city wants to give citizens a clear way to react to animal suffering by also allowing authorities to respond faster.

Tackling animal abuse faster

Anyone who suspects that an animal is being neglected or maltreated somewhere in Leuven, can now easily report this on www.leuven.be/meldpunt-dierwelzijn. On the website, you can explain the problem, state the location and even add photo material. People from Leuven can also use the new channels for questions and suggestions about animal welfare.

After receiving a report, the city services, together with the police, will follow up and take appropriate action. For example, the situation might have to be investigated on the spot. If violations of animal welfare are established, the police or the competent city service will inform the owner of his or her responsibilities and will ask him to make concrete agreements to improve the animal's welfare in the short term.

If the owner does not fulfil these agreements, the police will then draw up an official report. If the situation does not improve, the police will try to persuade the owner to hand over the animal. To this end, the city and the police work together with specialized organizations that will start looking for a new home for the animal. In case of serious neglect or abuse, the police might even confiscate the animal.

The police closely follow up people who have been convicted and who are no longer allowed to keep animals. Regular checks are carried out on these people within the animal welfare network of the police.

In this way, we avoid that other animals become victims of neglect or abuse. Even if this person were to move, the police of the new place of residence will be informed of this conviction,” explained police commissioner Koen Wouters, as quoted on the city website.

However, if the animal is seriously injured, the situation is dangerous or happens outside of office hours, it is recommended to contact the police.

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