By Mathieu Normand
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For refuge for dogs and cats of Norman Society for the Protection of Animals (SNPA), located on Lacroix Island in Rouen (Seine Maritime)that critical period for dog abandonment is no longer limited to summer. It shows “completed” in this month of July 2022 but works flow more than excited for months already. “Since I started here five years ago, I have never seen this,” assures its director Emilien Couturier.
Largest reception structure in the regionwith 106 dogs and 60 cats in its midst, cared for by 11 employees and about fifteen volunteers, the shelter also offers pound role for the city of Rouen and the surrounding municipalities, until Eure. “There are so many dogs left on the public highway that need to be placed in the pound, then adopted after eight days, that since January sometimes I have not even been able to help. I have seven to eight calls a day. »
“700 dogs that come home every year”
For Emilien Couturier, these many abandonments would in many cases have the same reason: “People choose animals in relation to their physique and not in relation to their needs. “Dog educator and behaviorist for 18 years, the director of SNPA advises to take your time. The thing about finding out the different breeds, seeing which ones exist and if their needs are in line with their lifestyle. And in the case of a purchase in breeding, that of choosing a serious breeder who will be able to accompany future owners.
Malinois are currently among the biggest victims of abandonment in France because too many people do not respect this reasoning. They are also present in the Rouen refuge with other working breeds, but the structure is above all “flooded” by staffs and other molossers. The latter fill almost two-thirds of the boxes in a difficult and stressful everyday life, despite the SNPA teams’ investment.
Fortunately, almost half of the “700 dogs that come home every year” are placed with owners. SNPA has developed an entire ecosystem of partners to care for and move animals (even when it comes to a pig, a llama, or any other unusual arrival that may have happened). “We also work with euphoric substances. We discover a potential in certain dogs, which we manage to replace in the brigades where they flourish. »
Unlucky dogs go back for adoption. “We do not practice euthanasia here,” assures Emilien Couturier. Except for serious illness or in the case of “really complicated” dogs. “It should be about one or two dogs a year. We work with a vet and we always take time with the dog, three to six months, before making such a decision. »
Adopt a dog or a cat at SNPA
To adopt an animal, it is possible to switch to open to the public. When it comes to a dog, it will be necessary to provide certain information and schedule at least three walks in the presence of a member of the team. “This allows us to get to know people and be able to direct them to an animal that suits them”, assures the director of the structure.
SNPA is available to support new owners afterwards and help them and their animals cope with the transition to a new home.
Need donations for better animal care
In order to take care of its residents as well as possible, SNPA tries to improve their daily life by taking measures. “We are in old premises. A lot of work has been done, but some repairs need to be done and are expensive. She still manages to move forward with this issue, just as the cat house opened a month ago. It allows felines to flourish in larger and soundproof spaces and to facilitate meetings with future adopters.
Safe land should also soon be granted to the refuge by the city via an agreement to allow it to take dogs out into the wild, as part of the redevelopment of Île Lacroix. Still, the situation is very complicated. “SNPA now has a deficit of 300,000 euros. “And the strong activity is accompanied by significant expenses for the association, in particular “20,000 euros in veterinary expenses per month”.
For this, she appeals to people’s generosity by accepting all kinds of donations. Food for dogs and cats, of course, but also hygiene products and any element involved in facilitating daily activity.
• PICTURES. The SNPA shelter in Rouen is full:
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