As of March 13th, 2015 when the city government signed in the new law, Madrid became a no kill city for strays and abandoned animals. From now on, all pets in Madrid have the right to enjoy their lives even if they have no homes or owners.
This doesn't mean that the city will have roaming bands of strays, however. It just means that from now on, no animal picked up by animal control or living in an overcrowded shelter will be killed. Any shelter that goes against this new law will face punishment. Once admitted in the shelter, the animals will be spayed or neutered in order to control pet populations and given a safe place to wait for their forever home.
This interesting new law for the city was first presented before Madrid city officials by the local animal organization El Refugio back in the summer of 2014. Although they faced some bumps at first, the organization celebrated their win as the law was signed in.
“Today is one of the happiest days of our lives,” said El Refugio’s President Nacho Paunero. “[Our organization] has been fighting for 19 years to make Madrid and the surrounding areas no-kill. We said we would never stop fighting until accomplishing our goal and we have finally done it!”
While very few in Madrid are outwardly opposed to the bill, there are some that question the logistics of it all. In order for shelters to keep these animals alive indefinitely, they will require more funding and staff to support the facilities. There was no word if the city will be presenting shelters with extra funding, but if the logistics can be pulled off so that these strays can live in a healthy, responsible way then let's hope that other cities around the world can follow Madrid's example.