Animal relay (52): empowering adopters

The Animal Relay, refuge and pound of the Agglo de Chaumont in Valdelancourt, is more active than ever. Thanks to the certificate of commitment and knowledge, recently set up by the State, Emilie Godard hopes to empower future adopters.

Do I have sufficient financial means to meet the needs of a dog (food costs, veterinary costs, daycare costs, etc.)? Did I check that no one in the family was allergic to dog hair? Am I ready to commit for a long time? Will I have time for walks? These kinds of questions seem like common sense to anyone considering getting a dog. However, many do not even think about it when they cross the course. To help them have this reflection, but especially to fight against animal abuse, anyone wishing to adopt will now have to sign a certificate of commitment and knowledge for adoption, whether for a dog or a cat.

This new provision, enriched in 1is January, is a good thing for Émilie Godard, of the Relais des Animaux, shelter in Valdelancourt. She hopes that most will feel more empowered because adopting an animal is not something trivial. Above all, this certificate obliges adopters to wait seven days between the signature and the moment when their cat or dog will be at home. “For the moment, most are surprised by this imposed deadline but they understand. They sign the paper and we make an appointment seven or eight days later for the rest.

A first step for animal rights

On the other hand, in the long term, the person in charge of the refuge does not know if this measure will lead to a drop in abandonments. “We’ll see what happens but I’m not sure.” For her, the State should go even further by creating, for example, a national database. “The problem with this document is that it is valid for life. People can very well reuse it in another shelter, elsewhere in Haute-Marne or in France, even though their adoption went wrong with us. As no one will know, no one will prevent them from taking a new pet into their home.”

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However, Émilie Godard would dream of a drop in dropouts. At the moment, the shelter registers three entries of dogs per week much because of the economic situation. “We received several animals because their masters can no longer support them. They can no longer afford to buy kibble, pâté, litter. Everything increased. We even had people who found themselves on the street, after losing their job and who, for the good of the animal, left it to us,” she says.

When these are the reasons that guide abandonment, they are not happy and the owners, even if they know they have no choice, are torn at the idea of ​​parting with their dog. or their cat. On the other hand, the Relais des Animaux sees more and more abandonment following the death of their master.

“The person is dead and the family is unwilling or unable to take him. Often these are old dogs who will not live very long but the relatives are not ready to make the effort to take him home or find him a home. They part with it the same way they sell a piece of furniture or the house,” she notes. Fortunately, the number of adoptions is doing quite well. In a single day, 10 animals were reserved at the beginning of the year.

Laura Spaeter

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Everything goes up but donations go down

The current crisis is also not advantageous for associations, such as the Relais des Animaux. “Just the kibbles have increased on average by 41%, whether for cats or dogs, but everything has increased”, noted Émilie Godard, the manager of the shelter. These new amounts are putting the structure in difficulty, which is finding it increasingly difficult to buy what is needed to support the animals. It also slows down donations from individuals, which are becoming fewer and fewer. They have a smaller and smaller budget for their own needs and therefore, naturally, have greatly reduced or eliminated donations to associations.

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The Animal Relay feels it. Currently, the 100 cats and 45 dogs would need blankets, kibble, litter and money. But the seven employees are not lacking in resources. This year, they plan to canvass sawmills as well as companies that grind paper. Sawdust and paper would serve as bedding. “We have already done some tests and it works, even if we have to clean more often. As for cooking for the animals themselves, it is logistically and humanly impossible.

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