Thousands Of Pets Abandoned In France, Even Along Highways, As People Head On Summer Vacation

August is the month when many residents in France take a vacation to the coast or country to escape the city for a while. Animal shelters in France do not take a vacation, and instead are experiencing an “extremely troubling situation” as people head out of town on vacation.

Every year, roughly 100,000 pets are abandoned in France with most occurring during the summer months.

The Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA) in Paris, France, posted on Facebook that they are “exhausted” after taking in over 12,000 animals since the beginning of summer. The SPA consists of 63 refuges and SPA houses, 12 dispensaries, 27 animal pounds and 36 Youth Clubs, but many are full.

In addition to the normal influx of kittens, they have seen an increase in abandoned pets with some being left outside the shelters, in fields, and even along highways. According to The SPA, “Every morning, especially during the summer, they get the unpleasant surprise of finding boxes filled with cats, puppies or kittens, or dogs attached to the shelter fence.”

The majority of deserted animals are cats with over 8,500 rescued so far this year. SPA shared, “Our shelters are overflowing and so many animals are waiting for families.”

Impulsive purchases, lack of sterilization, and inflation all play a part in the influx of abandoned pets. The SPA wrote, “The situation is critical and our teams are outclassed… Yet these abandonments most could have been avoided! Often adopted at once, these 12,000 animals suffer from thoughtlessness. Adopting is not a decision to take lightly, your lifestyle must match the needs of the animal!”

The dedicated staff members will continue to be a voice for the voiceless. They desperately need “responsible” adopters who will give the pets a forever home.

“Give them what they never had: a responsible, thoughtful adoption! By adopting an animal at the SPA, you offer him a loving home and allow us to save a new animal from abandonment,” states The SPA.

Abandoning a pet is illegal in France and unfair to the animal. France is working to end these cruel abandonments with a new law that went into effect in 2022 which increased the penalty to three years in prison and raised the fine to €45 000 (roughly $49,000).

People must also sign a “certificate of commitment and knowledge” before buying or adopting an animal that states they understand the cost and responsibility of owning an animal. According to The Local, impulsive purchases will be addressed with the new “seven-day ‘cooling-off’ period before the owner can take possession of the animal.”

Learn more about The SPA and how you can help by visiting their website.

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