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Cyprus animal welfare groups say people may be abandoning dogs because of financial crisis

  • A dog is seen inside an enclosure area at a Dog Shelter in the capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. Cyprus animal welfare groups worry that the bailed-out country’s deep economic crisis may lead to more dog owners abandoning their pets because they can’t care for them. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

    A dog is seen inside an enclosure area at a Dog Shelter in the capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. Cyprus animal welfare groups worry that the bailed-out country’s deep economic crisis may lead to more dog owners abandoning their pets because they can’t care for them. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)  (The Associated Press)

  • Dogs are seen inside of an enclosure place at the Dog Shelter in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. Cyprus animal welfare groups worry that the bailed-out country’s deep economic crisis may lead to more dog owners abandoning their pets because they can’t care for them. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

    Dogs are seen inside of an enclosure place at the Dog Shelter in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. Cyprus animal welfare groups worry that the bailed-out country’s deep economic crisis may lead to more dog owners abandoning their pets because they can’t care for them. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)  (The Associated Press)

Cyprus animal welfare groups say that the country's deep economic crisis may be forcing people to abandon their pet dogs.

Vicky Nicolaou, president of the Nicosia Dog Shelter, said Wednesday she estimates that strays have tripled in number since March, when Cyprus struck a deal with international lenders for a loan that crushed the country's banking sector.

Cyprus Voice for Animals President Mary Anastasi says the country's economic woes are a key factor to the problem.

Nicosia Municipality Health Services chief Michalis Lagos said more strays have been rounded up between March and August than in previous months.

Animal welfare groups want tougher enforcement of laws requiring dog owners to register their pets and implant them with electronic identification devices.