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MALTATODAY 26 November 2023

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 26 NOVEMBER 2023 THIS IS A PAID COLLABORATION Our animals are our country's soul. Their limitless love and companion- ship have a remarkable and significant impact on our daily lives. It is a sector that is cherished, and greatly dependent on us as citizens. Together with officials from the An- imal Welfare Department, activists, and NGOs, we need to strengthen the love that already exists, and encour- age more and more people to take the next step. The Volunteers in our animal sanctu- aries work continously and selflessly, often without any expectation or ac- knowledgment. Moreover, by neu- tering strays in our different commu- nities, we ensure a healthier animal population. Preventing the spread of diseases in the areas where we live, al- so contributes to our human well-be- ing. However, all this work that's being done, will be for nought without the help of the Maltese and Gozitan peo- ple. Unlike other economic and social sectors, the love for our animals be- gins within our homes, and is influ- enced by all the decisions we make every day, on an individual basis. That's because the ultimate goal of all our efforts, is encourage more families to take another step and adopt. We understand that a decision like this requires a lot of thought and plan- ning. While educational resources are abundant, we must continue to en- courage more families to welcome a dog, cat, or another animal into their homes. To give them a chance and welcome a new animal into their homes. This is a step that offers many ad- vantages, both on an individual and social basis. Unconditional love for these animals has a significant impact on our mental and emotional health, especially during critical moments. Animals are also important for us to remain physically active, helping us explore different landscapes in our country. That is why, during the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on the 8th of December, we are organizing Festa Annimali. By inviting officials from the Animal Welfare Department, activists, and NGOs working in the field, profes- sionals, veterinarians, as well as those who have already taken this brave step, we want to continue to encour- age more animal adoptions within our country. Festa Annimali will be a celebration of the importance, and numerous ad- vantages, of adoption. It is an oppor- tunity to encourage more people to consider taking this step and provide support to those who have already made efforts to give the best care to their animals. We will introduce more people to the recently-launched Adopt a Pet platform, and all the available means in which one may decide to adopt an animal. In this way, more people can take home an animal of their choosing. This initiative will organize discussions and exhibitions on what one should consider when adopting animals at home. We also invite those who have already opened their homes and hearts to formerly abandoned an- imals, to share their experience, thus encouraging more families to follow in their footsteps. All this will be done in an atmosphere of joy and fun for the whole family. As we approach Christmas, we will have many food exhibitions, games, and other initiatives related to this festival that is dear to the hearts of all Maltese people. Festa Annimali will be an opportunity for more animal lovers and volunteers to explain of what their routine con- sists of. To provide them with more assis- tance, we will organize fundraising ac- tivities, including a bike ride, with the aim of providing additional assistance to our abandoned animals, as well as the feeders who do such important work every day. Therefore, we invite you to join us in this celebration. A celebration of our animals and their diversity. A celebration for those who have adopted and provided new opportu- nities for animals in need. A celebration for you, so that you too can take the next step. See you there! 'Festa Annimali – Tini ċans, ħudni d-dar'

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