Our European and Australian neighbors may scoff at the skimpy two weeks of vacation Americans typically allot themselves yearly; however, the month-long vacations that Europeans enjoy have unintended health consequences for certain members of the family: pets.
According to NPR, over 100,000 pets are abandoned during summer vacation in France alone due to owners being unwilling or unable to take their pets along and find suitable care in their absence. Consequently, shelters see an influx of animals brought in by owners who feel this is more humane than simply releasing them.
Trying to Curb Pets Being Left at the CurbClaire Brissard who runs a shelter in Chamarande, France said in an interview with NPR, "Too many people think a pet is like a stuffed animal that can be thrown away when they're tired of it." To counteract that mentality, her shelter has started insisting that the owners themselves lock their pets in the shelter cages before they depart to clue them into the fact that it's traumatic for the pet to be left in unfamiliar circumstances.
Ironically, visitors to France are struck by the fact of how pet friendly the country is with nearly half of French households having pets. It's not uncommon for restaurants and pubs to welcome to dogs or have a cat mascot.
Falling on Deaf EarsAnnual public service announcements regarding this summer vacation pet abandonment problem seem to be tuned out or disregarded because of their numbing regularity, having become like a summer reminder to use sunscreen by the skin cancer institute.
While this may seem incomprehensible to Americans, it probably mirrors a similar problem shelters report here. Some owners, when moving, treat animals (especially cats) like unwanted furniture left at the curb. They are left to fend for themselves, and these animals are not prepared for such a drastic lifestyle change.Â They often become disoriented, skittish, and may be difficult to adopt with fearful, unsociable behaviors if apprehended by animal control services.
Photo by Dineshraj Goomany.
Sadly, we received news of Gracey's passing during the BlogPaws Conference. Her story and her mission to save her big cat cousins will carry on.Continue Reading >