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

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.