two months before summer, the shelters already saturated

The SPA is sounding the alarm. Two months before the big holidays, the number of animal abandonments is increasing sharply for economic reasons, but not only, while the number of adoptions is decreasing.

In Essuilet, in the Oise, as in Poulainville in the Somme, the volunteers are worried. Two months before the summer period, the shelters are already saturated. The number of dropouts is on the rise.

In two weeks of vacation, we brought in 7 to 8 dogs, confirms a volunteer from the Essuilet refuge in Oise. Still currently, we are especially obliged to refuse full because we have no more room“.

Inflation could be the cause of this situation. Caught by the throat, owners abandon their pets in the face of soaring prices not only for veterinary care, but above all for everyday products. Dry food for dogs and cats increased by more than 17% in one year.

This economic crisis does not spare the SPA which, at this time of the year, has 15% more dropouts at the national level. However, there are disparities between regions. In Poulainville, for example, the figures are stable, however the impact of this increase influences the operation of the shelter: “We are at 15% increase on energy, indicates Matthieu Scherenne, head of the SPA, 3% on litter and we consume a lot of it and 17% on kibble. In 2022, the care of an animal has gone from more than 800 euros to more than 900 euros.

Weakened, the shelters appeal to the generosity of the public. “We walk mainly with donations from collections“, recalls the refuge of Essuilet and Oise. Here, the establishment receives ten calls per week, but is forced to refuse admissions. The capacity is 49 dogs and it cannot derogate from the rule.

Most of the time, the dogs are thrown into the street, notes the volunteer. We are complete. We are obliged to refuse withdrawals. We could add boxes, but we don’t have the right.

As soon as people call adds Matthieu Scherenne, we see according to the urgency. If the reason is a behavior problem, they can no longer be taken. On 26 boxes, a third of the dogs need to be accompanied by a professional. There weren’t that many before.

These are races that are difficult to place and we expect others. They have behavioral problems and we know that they will stay at the shelter almost all their lives.

Helene Henocque

Oisemont Hut

Same observation at the animal protection refuge of Oisemont. The association works in partnership with the Fondation 30 millions d’amis and recovers more and more dogs who are victims of mistreatment. “It is a disaster, warns Vice-President Hélène Henocque. Currently, out of 24 dogs, we have 8 that have been removed by the foundation for abuse. Two Staff, four Malinois, a Tervueren Shepherd and a German Shepherd. Out of four Malinois, there may be one that will be adopted. A Malinois who has been mistreated can be remedied, but it takes a bit of education. We have an 18-month-old abused dog who, when you take his leash off, throws himself at you. He is dangerous. We work with him to get rid of this leash phobia..”

Trend ? Probably. Very fashionable three years ago, it is often the Malinois who today have boarded in refuges. “It’s the smartest race, says Matthieu Scherenne, but people don’t want to get involved. He has to have mental work, he has to exercise. It needs a lot of interaction. It requires a lot of investment. But people no longer assume.”

You take TikTok, owners do what they want with their dogs, adds Hélène Henocque. Some want to do the same and we find them in a shelter completely damaged. Three-quarters are unidentified. Anyone can give birth to their dog. They are sold without having a Siret number. There is no control.”

Before, we didn’t care about race, recognizes Matthieu Scherenne, but today, if it’s a Staff, it takes several months. Yesterday, I had an outing, but I can’t take a Staff, otherwise I no longer have turnover.

Who says more boarders, also says more mouths to feed. “We juggle with money. We try to collect on the right, on the left. Sometimes we wonder how we’re gonna end the month“, laments Hélène Henocque.

Two months before the summer period, the situation is alarming. Usually, the shelters are empty in the winter, but for the same economic reasons, the requests for adoption have decreased. “They think twice. It smells bad for this summer, because we won’t have capacity“, worries Matthieu Scherenne.

Since January, the Poulainville SPA has registered between 250 and 300 adoptions, all animals combined. This time last year, the shelter had nearly a hundred more. “We are at almost 50% less adoptions.”

Some time ago, we asked 50 euros to a gentleman who refused. He left with his dog. Then he ran over her a little further with his car

Helene Henocque

Oisemont Hut

A complicated situation that leads some masters to extreme behavior. “We have to keep our calm, but it’s sometimes complicated, admits Hélène Henocque. In Oisemont, for example, we no longer charge abandonment fees. Some time ago, we asked 50 euros to a gentleman who refused. He left with his dog. Then he ran over her a little further with his car“.

“We abandon an animal now, as we would throw an object, regrets Matthieu Scherenne. We are armored, but what hurts is to see people smile as they abandon the animal. Psychologically, it is difficult for the agents.”

The concern is all the greater at the SPA as this situation has persisted for a year and will probably continue until the end of 2023.

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