In summer, unfortunately there is a well-known scourge: the abandonment of pets. In 2017, 60,000 dogs and cats were identified as having been abandoned on the road to vacation. This act, however trivialized, is not only a crime punishable by law, but also an immoral and irresponsible act, against which it is important to fight. This involves raising the awareness of people likely to commit this action unworthy of someone who owns a pet.
Know why we adopt an animal
Any responsible person should know why they want to adopt one before adopting an animal. If you really love animals, that you have thought carefully about the needs of the animal in question, especially the constraints that will arise for you and that you are ready to accept them, in this case, yes, the adoption is legitimate and you can consider yourself fit to take care of any animal.
On the other hand, if you want to adopt for example a puppy or a kitten, to satisfy the whim of a child, without taking the time to learn about his needs, the possible constraints that this one can generate, and that you say to yourself that you will advise when the time comes in the event of a problem, it can clearly be said that you are neither fit, nor legitimate, nor even ready to take care of an animal.
The same is true in the case where you adopt an animal out of fashion, such as adopting a Husky dog because “those of Games of Thrones are too cute “or like buying a clown fish in a jar, without especially inquiring, because the movie Nemo has just come out, while this fish requires many more conditions than a simple jar to live properly.
Clearly, an animal is never bought on a whim. There are always many things to consider before adopting an animal: taking information about the animal in order to assess whether you are fit to care for it or not is the very first sign of responsibility that the one can show in front of an animal.
Do not confuse all types of pet abandonment
When we talk about abandonment of pets, we will always think of a master who does not really care about his animal and who will abandon him without scruples by the side of the road. But there are also people who have no choice, and who do it right.
Let us take a concrete example: a family which has just had a child, the baby is therefore very fragile and defenseless, and requires a lot of attention. The family cat, who was used to receiving all respect, has been set back a little since the arrival of this baby. He can’t stand it, gets very jealous, and regularly starts attacking the baby. The skin of a child of this age being very “tender”, it is very easy for the cat to hurt the baby with a scratch, or to put out an eye. In this case, if even after consulting an animal behaviorist, nothing helps, the family will unfortunately have no choice but to abandon the cat, even if they like it very much. There are therefore two solutions for this:
- either they bring the cat in association, such as the SPA (Société Protectrice des Animaux), fill out an abandonment form, and leave the cat to the association,
- or they find someone in their circle who is ready to take the cat back and become its new owner, and in this case, it will suffice to take the change of owner process for the cat.
And there is the sad abandonment that everyone knows well, which consists in abandoning your pet on the side of a road for example, without giving it a chance to have a new life. This is a totally cruel act and devoid of any responsibility.
The risks involved in abandoning your pet
Fortunately, since the law of February 16, 2015, the animal is recognized by article 515-14 of the Civil Code as a “living being endowed with sensitivity” and no longer as a movable property as provided for in the article until then. 528 of the same Code.
This means that since this article, giving up your pet has become an act of cruelty, for which one can therefore be judged and punished.
In the event that you are found guilty of abandonment, you will incur a penalty which can amount to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of € 30,000. The penalty is certainly high but it was necessary to go through a strong threat, since for some people, common sense and responsibility towards animals is not something acquired.
Despite these measures implemented by law in France, there are still far too many abandoned animals each year. It is now up to you to educate people around you who would be likely to commit such an act, to prevent one more animal from ending up in misery.