Thinking of adopting a dog or cat in France? Here’s what you need to know about rehoming charities, associated costs and requirements, and whether rehoming a pet is for you.
The Need to Adopt Pets in France
Every year, more than 100,000 cats and dogs are abandoned by their owners in France. 60% of these animals are rejected in the summer as families head off on holiday, and many are put down due to overcrowding in dog refuges. Some dogs have been abandoned, others maltreated. Some have been lost, and for others, their elderly owners have died. All need adoption, love, and care.
Indeed, France’s Minister for Agriculture Julien Denormandie has unveiled a twenty million euro plan to help animal shelters as well as imposing a maximum three-year prison sentence to anyone abandoning their animal.
If you are considering adopting a dog or cat in France, the first obvious port of call is your local SPA (Societe Protectrice Animaux). With over 1000 volunteers working for this organisation, they manage to bring hundreds of rescued dogs happiness in their forever home.
The process is very similar to adopting an animal in the UK and other countries. The SPA will seek to provide a best-match and to ensure the adoption goes as smoothly as possible and is indeed permanent.
There are also many ‘Associations’ and refuge organisations that work collaboratively with the SPA. We’ve provided a list at the end of this article.
Is Adopting a Dog or Cat in France for You?
Think carefully about your motive for adopting as this will influence your choice of animal. Perhaps it is to provide safety and security and to ‘give something back’ to an abused animal or to increase your motivation for exercise with daily dog walks and companionship. You may be seeking added security and peace of mind for your home, or you may be looking to expand your family and to teach your children about animals and responsibility. It might be a mix of several motivations.
However, careful consideration will need to be given to the animal’s needs and to those of your family. Animals require an investment of time each day to train them, exercise them and feed them.
If you’re adopting a dog, choosing the right dog for you and your family is equally important. An older dog may be more suited to those of advanced years, whereas an energetic dog will need lots of regular walking. If you have children, the background and temperament of the dog is very important.
The SPA and other associations have websites listing their pets for adoption, so it’s a good idea to research online first. It is easy to read about the animals and to see pictures before visiting.
When you do visit, take note of how the dog or cat interacts with you. If adopting a dog, ask to take him/her for a short walk. Make more than one visit and arrange for a home visit too, before you make your decision.
Each prospective adopter is required to read and understand a charter that explains the time and money necessary to properly care for an animal.
What Are The Requirements To Adopt A Dog Or Cat In France?
Normally, you can expect to be asked to provide proof of identity and proof of address, such as a recent utility bill. Some SPAs and Associations will also visit you at home and ensure that your property is securely fenced and suitable.
How Much Does It Cost To Adopt A Dog Or Cat In France?
Prices vary between SPAs and Associations. Prices can depend on whether the dog has been sterilised and the age of the animal, with older animals usually costing less. The animal will often be microchipped, vaccinated, and sterilised.
The dog itself may cost around the €200 mark, although this may be more or slightly less, depending on the age of the dog. Then, as a minimum, you will need to buy food, possibly a crate, bowls, bed, toys, a lead, and dog treats for training. Be sure to factor all of these extras into your budget.
Where To Adopt A Dog Or Cat In France
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