By Laura Bourven
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Every year as summer approaches, it’s the same old story. The number of abandoned pets is skyrocketing. And France is the European champion in this area, according to 30 million friends. Despite our strong attachment, with half of French households having a pet, approximately 100,000 abandonments are counted per year in the country.
A sad observation that does not disappear over time. The associations then mobilize to save our four-legged friends and find them a new home. This is the case of the Ani’Meaux association, which faces an increase in the abandonment of dogs, throughout the year and not only in summer.
Dropouts on the rise
“The Covid had a certain role in the adoption or purchase of hairballs, compulsively. Again this week, we intervened with the association Hop Hop Hop On Adopte, in Nanteuil-lès-Meaux, for dogs, including a female dog adopted on March 3 in SPA, already put on the right corner and given to a third person March 23…” explains Sara Moreau, president of the Ani’Meaux association.
According to her, these abandonments would be much more frequent since the Christmas party, day when, undoubtedly, small lives had to be offered as gifts. “In February, we took in a young rabbit, found with its cage in the woods,” recalls Sara Moreau, still marked by this situation, which was too regular for her taste. “We also see a lot of abandonment following the death of the owners and the inability of the family to take care of the dog”.
Abandonment, an offense punishable by law
Today, abandoning your pet is considered a crime. “The Penal Code considers abandonment on the public highway or in the wild as an act of cruelty, as well as animal abuse,” recalls the SPA, which collects 45,000 animals each year. “Today this act is punishable by 2 years’ imprisonment and a fine of €30,000. The bill defended by the Government intends to increase this sanction, which could reach three years of imprisonment and the ban on owning a pet” explains the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
But, to avoid reaching the point of abandonment of pets, the government launched, in 2020, an “action plan to fight against the abandonment of pets” in 3 phases. First, raise awareness: “Abandonment often reflects an impulsive purchase or adoption of pets, a trend reinforced during periods of confinement. To put an end to the “animal-object” bias and better anticipate its needs once they become adults, an awareness certificate will be put in place for adopters or buyers. The second stage of the plan consists of financially supporting associations and shelters with the help of France Relance. “By 2022, an observatory for the animal protection of domestic carnivores will be set up, in conjunction and in complete transparency with animal protection associations, in order to have precise resources,” adds the Ministry of Agriculture and Agriculture. ‘food. Finally, if this awareness and support campaign is not enough to limit abandonment, the government will increase the penalties for the perpetrators.
Looking for volunteer foster families
To be able to collect its abandoned dogs, the association requires the mobilization of more and more volunteer foster families. “Not having a physical structure such as a shelter, our association only works with host families. These families are followed throughout their mission, by the team of the association but also by professionals if necessary. All costs related to the animal are the responsibility of the association,” explains Sara Moreau.
But these families are unfortunately not numerous enough today to meet the continuing needs. Last March, Ani’Meaux would have needed 15 different families to welcome abandoned dogs. Élodie is one of the few people to take care of dogs at home on behalf of the association. In two years, it has welcomed six, of all ages and backgrounds.
When I had a house, I welcomed my first puppy, which was not easy but it was a good experience.
Today, Élodie supports Sara Moreau in her search for foster families but warns: “Agreeing to be a foster family is above all a commitment to the animal and to the association because we can’t throw him out on the pretext that he eats us eats our shoes. »
Ani’Meaux accepts the help of volunteers everywhere in the north of Seine-et-Marne and in Seine-Saint-Denis “Families from Oise and Aisne ready to travel a little for the veterinary trips are also welcome,” concludes Sara Moreau.
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