overwhelmed SPA shelters during the summer holidays

Every year, 100,000 animals are abandoned by their master in a shelter or, much worse, at the side of a road. Summer is especially conducive to these emissions: there are 60,000 in the summer holidays. This Wednesday morning, the SPA is sounding the alarm as the number of animals collected between its gates is already exceeding its capacity.

100,000: This is the average number of pets that their owners leave each year in France. And the bulk of the field will be dropped over the summer. There are thus 60,000 dropouts during the long holidays.

These rejections are of two kinds. For one part, the master brings his cat or dog to one of the shelters for this purpose. For the second, we just push him out to the side of a road – a crime that this time can be punished with three years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros.

Deposit or wild waiver, at the end of the chain, the result is the same: the abandoned beast lands in a SPA center, to the point that the association is already on the ropes.

“At the SPA, adopting an animal means you save two because you free up space. We currently have 8,800 animals in our shelters, that’s 1,400 more than our capacity. We push to the walls, but if you do not come, so let’s not free ourselves in places we can not save more ”, launched Sandrine Weltman, Director of Animal Protection at SPA, on our set Wednesday morning.

Carquefou: everyday life in a SPA center in the middle of summer

Carquefou’s center in the Loire-Atlantique exposed its situation to our cameras, like a textbook box. Between the gates to the structure there are 350 cats or dogs. A contingent that weighs heavily on the 15 employees and the approximately fifty volunteers working on site. “We really shout for people to come and adopt, because here we have a whole bunch of very cute, sociable animals,” alerted Anne, the manager of the shelter, before stating, “All animals adopted here are sterilized. , identified and vaccinated. So everything is done, or everything is planned to be done. “

The Carquefou getaway also hosts an open day on July 23 to promote adoptions. However, Anne draws a very gloomy summer perspective: “For us, it really is the big time, and it worries us because year after year we see no improvement.”

A plurality of factors

How to explain the number of abandonments and their endemic nature? According to the head of the SPA center in Carquefou, the phenomenon is a matter of mentality, although culture: “The animal is a consumer good, as soon as there is a problem, we will directly think of giving up. Whereas in Germany, for example, the animal really part of the family. “

“First, we need to raise awareness and remember that adopting an animal is a commitment to life – a dog is 15 years old – and the animal is part of the family,” Sandrine Weltman emphasized in our studies.

However, it made an effort to distinguish between the various factors that are likely to lead to abandonment. “There is the financial situation: the change in the family situation, divorce, relocation. We believe that purchasing power will also be a cause,” she remarked, before condemning:

“And there are much less legitimate reasons. We lose interest in it, at some point we will no longer want it, we move on. This is where the important thing for us is that we realize that the animal is a living being endowed with sensitivity – it has been recognized in civil law since 2015 – and therefore it obliges us.

Facing cynicism

Moreover, when cynicism becomes involved, the enchantment of the pet can even pass under the radar of the SPA. “The purebred animals that we bought for 1,800 euros, strangely enough, do not end up at the SPA, but at Bon Coin, and that’s a problem,” said Sandrine Weltman.

The association’s director of animal welfare concluded: “We do not necessarily have purebred animals, but animals that are just waiting for you”.

Robin Verner BFMTV journalist

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