The SPA (Society for the Protection of Animals): a little history of this venerable institution


The Society for the Protection of Animals is almost 175 years old. She has been fighting for all this time for the respect of animals and only works thanks to her donors. Let’s take a look at its creation, its fight, the number of animals it welcomes each year, but also the laws that have gradually been put in place thanks to the SPA to protect animals.

Spotlight on the SPA

It is to Doctors Pierre Dumont de Monteux and Etienne Parisel that we owe the SPA. The first took public offense in 1843 against the mistreatment that coachmen of stagecoaches and other carriages subject to horses in the streets of our capital. Inspired by a structure in practice in London since 1824, like a true pioneer, Dr. Parisel (1770-1847), French doctor who practices at the Salpêtrière, then founded the Society for the Protection of Animals on December 2, 1845. He did so. becomes the first President. Fifteen years later, the SPA is recognized as being of public utility by Napoleon III.

The very first SPA refuge opened in 1903, in Gennevilliers, after an appeal launched in 1881 by Guy de Maupassant. In 1945, it is a SPA dispensary which was born in Paris. Very quickly, the SPA broadened its action by protecting not only horses but also dogs, then cats and much later, other animal species.

Today, after more than 174 years of tireless action to defend the animal cause, this institution is unanimously considered more than respectable.

SPA in figures

Since the first years of 1900, that is to say for nearly 115 years, the SPA militates againstanimal experimentation at the planetary level. She fights theanimal abandonment, taking offense at their steadily increasing number with nearly 100,000 cats and dogs left behind each summer. She stands up against the mafia circuits and the illegal breeding with its anti-trafficking cell created in 1993. It carries out nearly six thousand investigations per year.

At the same time, the SPA brings good care the animals that it takes in on national territory and overseas in its SPA houses and shelters, numbering 62 in 2019. In 2018, it was able to accommodate more than 44,000 animals.

Let us not forget that this venerable institution only functions thanks to donations (approximately € 15.4 million), bequests (over € 31 million) and participation in adoption costs (nearly € 6.6 million), i.e. an approximate total of € 53 million per year. There are now 4,000 volunteers who provide all types of support to the Society for the Protection of Animals. But to make the SPA work, the expenses reach astronomical figures. Between the operating costs, the costs for fund research and the sums invested in multiple actions, the annual amount is around € 60 million.

The following data helps to realize the importance of AS.

  • Animals taken care of: more than 44,000
  • Number of accommodations made in one year: more than 39,000. All were offered for adoption and 38,129 of them found a family.
  • Sterilizations: almost 2,700 for free cats alone.

Remember that the SPA welcomes the following animals:

  • Cats,
  • Dogs,
  • Equidae,
  • Birds,
  • Pigs,
  • Sheep,
  • New Pets (NAC), a category that includes, for example, reptiles, rodents such as gerbils and many other species of animals.

Evolution of laws in favor of animal protection

In 1850, a first law was passed by the National Assembly in order to enforce the protection of animals. Thus, any offender mistreating a domestic animal publicly and in an abusive manner would then be exposed to a fine from 5 to 15 Francs and one imprisonment from 1 to 5 days.

But an amendment resulted in limiting the application of this law to public ill-treatment, those afflicted in the private sphere no longer being incriminated. It was not until September 7, 1959, the date of entry into force of Michelet decree, so that the animal cause is better considered and that the repression of mistreatment of animals is extended to the private domain.

In 1978, UNESCO adopted the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights. Then, after the addition to the Penal Code – in 1994 – of a law which punishes acts of cruelty towards animals, the latter have benefited since January 2015 from the status ” sentient beings », Law adopted by Parliament.

Finally, with regard to euthanasia, the SPA opposes it when a medical reason does not justify it.

The SPA website: www.la-spa.fr

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