A new law enforcing sterilisation and adoption over euthanasia is in force in Portugal, but a ban on putting animals down due to overcrowding in kennels, only comes into force in 2018.
According to JN, citing figures from the Directorate-General for Food and Veterinary, during 2016, 28,555 stray animals were removed from streets throughout the country and placed in council shelters, of which 9,462 were put to sleep.
That is a six percent drop on numbers from the year before, when 12,000 animals were euthanised.
Next year it will become forbidden to put animals down due to overcrowding in kennels following a bill that has already been passed in parliament and promulgated by the President of the Republic.
Even though many local authorities still see euthanasia as a solution to controlling overcapacity in kennels, some are already gearing up for the new law by promoting sterilisation and adoption.
However, the newspaper reports, last year there was a drop in the number of pets adopted from kennels; in 2016 10,400 animals were rehomed, down from more than 12,000 in 2015.
MPs approved a new bill prohibiting the culling of abandoned animals at municipal kennels and catteries last spring.