The MSPCA ceased animal boarding earlier this year. The regulations made under the Animal Welfare Act requires any establishment that boards animals to hold a licence and meet certain conditions in order to gain that licence.
With a change in the rehoming centre management team in 2017, it was clear to us that we could not meet the conditions needed for a licence (especially keeping pets, strays and shelter animals in separate zones) and so we have ended our boarding service. You can find the legislation here: http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=12083&l=1 . We had previously been boarding animals without the required licence and our current team were not prepared to continue doing so.
Since ending the service we have found a lot of benefits to the animals for rehoming at Floriana which are our main concern. Not having dogs for boarding enables us to better quarantine all incoming dogs away from others until we are sure they are healthy. With this area being quieter, it helps us better understand newly arrived homeless dogs and allows them to settle. It also means the upper cat area, which we can now use for very stressed or nervous cats instead of keeping it empty for one boarding cat every couple of months, is now quieter as well.
Confident dogs (boarders) who are away from home temporarily also bark a lot, which caused a lot of distress to our sanctuary animals.
The removal of the boarding service does not represent a significant loss of revenue to the charity as the demand was not consistent and at peak times, the burden of having lots of extra animals meant an inevitable deterioration in the attention we could give the homeless ones in our care. All our staff team agree that not having this additional consideration helps us plan for caring for our rehoming animals, which are our prime concern.
If you are looking for somewhere to board a dog or cat, please check the Yellow Pages or visit this link: https://www.yellow.com.mt/pet-boarding/
We are aware that some former MSPCA staff in recent years made commitments to owners concerning the boarding of their pets and the service continuing. Those individuals were acting outside any authority and such commitments do not take away the fact that the law is the law. We apologise that owners were falsely led to believe this by former staff and that this issue was not dealt with sooner. Please understand that this issue is not the fault of the current team, whose interest is the health of all animals and compliance with the law.
MSPCA Staff, 2017.