Fight against abandonment and abuse: the summer guide
Abandoning or mistreating your pet seems inconceivable to you and yet every year shelters experience an influx of dogs and cats. The summer period seems to be the most critical for our four-legged friends. Some owners do not know how to organize themselves to include their pet in their vacation. Faced with 100,000 annual abandonments, the government is mobilizing with the help of 4 actors of animal welfare to raise awareness against pet abandonment. The #StopAbandon campaign and a practical guide aim to show the most recalcitrant that a summer with your pet can be an excellent vacation memory!
An observation that alerts the government and the media
France is among the countries that spend the most on their animals. One household out of two owns an animal. While we love our four-legged friends, some owners are overwhelmed by the responsibility they represent.
The increase in adoptions during the confinement period was a sign that new, happy homes were being created for animals that had already been abused by life. Unfortunately, the return to normalcy, or near normalcy, saw a huge influx of abandoned dogs and cats by mid-July 2021. A year after massive adoptions, these are the relinquishments that are just as massive.
France is one of the worst performers on the subject of abandonments and the State wishes to reverse this trend in a sustainable way.
The government has allocated 20 million euros to shelters and associations to support their daily activities and to finance the costs of sterilizations. However, the problem must be managed at the source.
How to reduce abandonment and abuse of animals?
A national campaign to fight against summertime abandonment
Julien Denormandie, Minister of Agriculture, and Jean-Charles Fombonne, President of the Société Protectrice des Animaux, launched the national awareness campaign against pet abandonment on Friday, July 23, 2021 at the Chartres-Gasville (A11) motorway service area.
The #StopAbandon awareness campaign has three focuses for the second consecutive year:
Empowering future homeowners
There are many caring owners in France. The households that abandon their pets have been misinformed or they have underestimated the responsibility that a four-legged friend represents. Taking care of a dog or a cat for 15 or 20 years is a commitment that requires planning and knowing your limits.
The confinement has contributed to this climate of doubt and boredom, which is conducive to an impulsive purchase that would compensate for an anxiety-inducing atmosphere.
Yoann Latouche from the communication agency YLG participated in the writing of the guide and reminds us that the animal is not an object.
The government has created a certificate of knowledge for buyers that lists the commitments that future owners must comply with. This awareness aims at provoking a trigger in the mind of some people who are not aware that an animal needs to be cared for:
Daily outings several times a day for needs and physical exertionBalanced diet adapted to the specific needs of the animalCare and hygiene such as brushingAction and moments of complicityRegular visits to the veterinarian and regulatory vaccinationsEtc.
Supporting owners and animal welfare organizations
The government financially supports animal protection organizations and wishes to facilitate access to veterinary care for the most precarious households in order to fight against animal abuse, voluntary or not, in the long term.
In 2022, a project for an observatory of animal protection for domestic carnivores will be launched. It will allow the collection of reliable data on abandonment and abuse. As Yoann Latouche reminds us: “It is quite difficult to quantify exactly the number of abandoned animals, but what is certain is that the figures do not decrease from year to year.
Sanctioning owners who mistreat animals
Abandonment is part of animal abuse as well as beating or not meeting the basic needs of his animal. Until now, people in this situation were facing 2 years of imprisonment and a 30 000 euros fine. Unfortunately, in reality, the legal procedures give few results.
A bill submitted to the vote in September 2021 wants to increase these penalties to ensure the long-term safety of animals. A master can abandon his animal in July and decide to adopt a new one in September. The law aims at an outright ban on owning an animal and a penalty of up to 3 years in prison.
A guide for a great summer with your pet
In 2021, the awareness campaign has a new tool: a guide to take care of your pet and adopt the right habits during the summer!
The sanction is not an end in itself for the government. The guide, made available by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, provides many tips for a good summer with your four-legged friend.
Yoann Latouche and May Chan Koung from the YLG agency contributed to its writing with the help of other animal rights advocates:
Sandrine Arcizet, presenter of the program Les animaux de la 8Solène Chavanne, animal columnist on LCI and founder of Mon Chat Pitre
“Our network is particularly committed to animal welfare and we hope this guide will help many people and their pets. We want to make people aware of the consequences of abandoning or mistreating an animal” confirms Yoann Latouche.
Download and share this guide to adopting good habits with your pet.
You’ll discover that if taking your pet with you is really impossible, there are solutions to keep your pet. Ask around, but there’s no doubt that there’s a caring person who will be happy to keep your fur ball for a few days.
All options are preferable to abandonment or abuse. Your pet will repay you a hundredfold for the efforts made during the summer to integrate him into your projects. Don’t give up on him!